Friday, June 12, 2015

Fear and Optimism

Lately, some of the people I come into contact with have been experiencing fear with certain issues.  Whether they are related to the workplace, family, relationships, health or finances it does not matter. They have had a gripping fear of things not turning out right, becoming hostile or not having enough to cover their needs. The fear did not just show up one day but more than likely has been accumulating over time. Most of the people have a relationship with Christ so they know that He will provide, but it does not stop them from having those feelings of doubt creep up and overwhelm them at times. It is natural for us to be overwhelmed by the unknown and worry about what may or may not happen but we have to remember that God DOES hear us...and will provide our needs...notice I did not say wants...but needs...that is a whole separate blog...moving along.

I have known that I am optimistic for a good while now...I know, major surprise to you all. Now this does not mean that I do not get discouraged, sad or worry about anything. What it means is that my default is that the glass is always half full...with room for more. I have had people ask me why am I so happy or why am I always giving the benefit of doubt? It is because I make the choice to be happy. When I get down about situations, I try not to stay in that funk.  I think the situation over, then find healthy ways to put my energy into use. It is not easy but it can be done. Many of you know that at one point I was married. Unfortunately, I divorced. That was definitely a sad time in my life, but I had to keep repeating to myself that life goes on, God still is in control of my life...and I was still alive and healthy. For me, channeling my energy into more productive things meant starting my blog and my business...which I cannot be more happy about. Now while I am an optimistic person, this does not mean that I am one of those all day happy, blissful, walk-around-cheesin-all-day kind of people (although it is not uncommon for me to smile), my mom can vouch for me not being a morning person. :-) Happiness and optimism can go hand in hand but they are not always simultaneous.

Optimism is keeping, realizing, maintaining the outlook that things will get better.

I can talk to someone when they are down and encourage them but something I will not do is invalidate their feelings.  Obviously, they feel the way they do for a reason because of their circumstances...and initially the last thing they want is rational advice.  Sometimes it is just a listening ear. Being present with someone may be all they need to remind them that physically they are not alone, which can calm their nerves.  Sometimes the ONLY accomplishment I have in a conversation with someone who is fearful is to get them to acknowledge that God is in control, which plants a seed of optimism in their mind.  It may not grow, but remembering that is a good enough start. Many people (including me) sometimes find it hard to see how God is there when we cannot see Him.  Sure, we can get signs of His presence through things around us and other people, but it is not the same reassurance. Now I have come across some people that just refuse to see a positive outlook...they are bent on only seeing the bad (pessimists)...I have found that I cannot have those people in my inner circle of friends...I may be friends/acquaintances with them, but when the rubber meets the road, I know that I need positivity around me, cause if not, worry and FEAR can easily creep in (and also DRAMA). 

Okay, so how DO you maintain optimism? Believe me, it is an everyday task...throughout the day, Satan, the Devil, Fate (or what ever you call it) can bring things to your mind to remind you that you are not perfect, that situations are too great for God to handle, they are never going to end....and anything you do will be of no help....and you have to remind yourself that it is not true. My favorite verse is Isaiah 43:2-3 and it reminds me that no matter where I go God is with me. God keeps me safe at times when I do not realize I am in danger (and at times when I do), He watches over me and protects me.  With that in mind, I have no logical reason to NOT be optimistic.  I already know hands down that he is covering the tougher situations that I cannot handle whether it is health, finances or family issues.  All I can do is my part....and if that means relying on Him, then that is what I do.

Life is too short to live under the constant cloud of worry, regret, fear and the like.  They will silently paralyze you and drip the joy out of your life...You will find yourself wondering why nothing good ever happens to you or why life is so hard.  You will not even realize how much TIME you spend being negative or fearful...and that time does add up.  The next time you are presented with a tough situation, remind yourself that life changes and that is okay.  We will go through good and bad times, happy and sad days, days of overflow and days of lack.... Refusing to give up is the first step...God said to cast all your cares on him...let Him "worry"/handle things for you....when you can do this, fear easily subsides and ceases.

"Just as the size of the mind of a ladybug is to me, so are my insecurities, heartaches and trials to God.  He is so much bigger than they are...Oh to let go and be secure and happy in God."


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Things of Importance...

Over time, I've realized a few things that are important to me... and not in any particular order...some are serious some are not...but all are good.

God made you a certain way, don't fight it.  He gave you a personality, a personal touch, a point of view.  As long as you keep it aligned with what HE has for your life, you won't go wrong.

A hot bath with essential oils goes a long way...easy way to relax.

Guys with poor/vulgar vocabulary need not approach me, save us both the trouble. It's one thing to NOT know the word you're looking for, it's another to fill it in with an expletive as a general term. Very few people have language that is 100% clean (no anger, envy, lust,etc.) all the time, but the least you can do is make it not offensive (not just to God, but to my ears as well).

When people show you who they are, believe them....even if it's in the first 5 minutes of meeting them.  Don't think "oh, maybe they're like this cause I'm meeting them in the middle of ___".  This goes hand in hand with: Don't act fake with people.  Don't butter up what you say to get them to like you any better....if you do, the real you may be a disappointment.

I have a good group of support from my girls a.k.a. female friends, but within that group there are different circles....and there's nothing wrong with that...not ALL my girls are going to meet each other. Don't expect that all of your friends will be cut from the same cloth as well.

Enjoying silence with someone is a good thing. Talking isn't the only way to communicate. Quality time is another way to.

If you believe firmly in something, find ways to help that cause/address that issue, don't sit idly by and let "someone" do it, cause then "nobody" will.

When someone feels like they are not priority with you, ask yourself why? Or better yet, see where your time is spent, cause that is one thing you only get to spend once.

Embracing all the details about yourself is one of the most liberating things....

I do have a thing for skirts and girls know they will HARDLY EVER see me in pants...but on the upside, whoever I date/marry won't have to worry about me never wanting to dress up for anything. :-)

If you are honest with people 100% you won't have any lies to remember...

I meet a LOT of people...and as much as I try, I DO forget names...don't go running off getting offended....if I have to ask your name, that means I DO want to talk to you again...and would rather call you by your name than "hey you".

Taking time to read your Bible is important....I don't care if it's a physical book, e-reader version or a downloaded app on your hasn't changed in YEARS for a good reason...obviously cause it's the correct thing to read....

Cherish your loved ones.....even if it's just a text, phone call, card.....let them know you love them....when they cross your mind, let THEM know. Don't just think,  "oh, I wonder how they are doing..."

It's never saying "I love you" that's scary.....we say that to people all the's what HAPPENS after you say it that's scary.

Don't be afraid of change....Isaiah favorite verse....look it up.....(just trying to help you with that read your bible part) :-)

Life changes and that's okay.....

Make time to do the things that matter....cause one day, you won't have the time to.

In relationships, never make the next relationship pay for what the last one did.....remember you're probably not someone's first significant other either, cut the newbie some slack.

Everybody's likes and dislikes are not going to be the same as others. The things that drive you won't be the same as the things that drive others.  No need to look down on other peoples interest as trivial because they don't make sense to you.  Not only is it annoying to them, it's also rude. Some people do things to get rich, some do it for the feeling of accomplishment.

Never be afraid to try again.

Enjoy your day and be blessed,


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Friends for Life and Different Seasons

The topic of friendships has been on my mind for a while so in the spirit of's the first blog of the year!!

Every now and then I look at the friends that I hang out with more often and the ones that I do not. While I still have great love and admiration for long time friends and remember a lot of the fun and serious times I've had with them, it is in no way diminished by my lack of attention now. So many times we have a tendency to think of same gender friends, but no this covers the gender gap.  I can think of guys that I've known for a long time (or a short time) and they have brought enrichment to me with their openness and honesty to me through our friendships the same way my female friends have.

Sometimes God gives you friends that you will experience certain things with, it does not make them more or less important then people you don't see anymore. When you are in an academic setting, God may give you people around you that know how to help keep you focused on school. People that will pull late nighters with you, go check out the new professors with you, help give you the moral support you need to get your degree. In a relationship setting, God may give you friends who have been through what you may experience in your own relationship with your significant other. In a religious setting, God will give you the friends that will help encourage you to recognize what your gifts are and to help you find a way to use them.  

So many times, people do what I did...they move out of the area and make new friends. When you move back though, you may not hang out with the same people you hung out with before. It's nice to know that even though you may not hang out with them as much as you used to that there is no love lost. So many times people assume that just because they don't see you anymore or that you don't spend time with them anymore that you feel that you have become better than them. That is not always the case. More times than not, we find ourselves wishing that we could spend more time with people we used to but because of whatever we have going on presently in our lives, we don't. It's not a matter of like and dislike it's a matter of priority and what we need to take care of to do things for ourselves. I know I have groups of girls who are wonderful, some I met as a young girl overseas and today I'm still close with them even though we don't talk everyday. There's another group of girls that I went to high school with and they're always on my mind even if we're not planning a last minute get together, but in all the celebrations and heartaches they go through I go through them as well. I remember going off to college in a town that I did not live in, not knowing a single person at the school and I made a group of friends there that I will never forget. Looking at where I am now I have a few girls that I hang out with and bounce ideas off of and make memories with but it does not discredit anything that my previous friends have poured into my life.

I can't speak on the specifics about the friends that God has given you, but I can encourage you to do this: don't let those who you don't see or talk to on a regular basis lose hope that you still hold them important. Everyone wants to know that they mean something to someone else and that they will not be forgotten. It may be a text message, a phone call, tweet, Facebook message or card. Everybody has their faults and I know mine is sometimes keeping in touch with people on a regular basis. I keep the phone numbers and emails and get so busy doing other things and I don't stop and take those few minutes to just send a hello. Most times when I do get back around talking to some of my friends, so much has happened since the previous time that we have to play catch up. But the joy of having real friends is that they don't ride you that they haven't seen you or heard from you in a very long time they just say , "hey girl I haven't seen (or talked to) you in forever..."  and then the next few minutes are spent on talking about what is going on in our lives.

If you find yourself thinking about why you haven't heard or seen some of your friends don't get upset with them.  If you have had no arguments, no disrespect, no unloving or inconsiderate moments, don't jump to conclusions. They may be going through something and they may be getting whatever support they need for that through someone else. Be happy for what you brought to their life, I'm sure they're happy for it. Just make a commitment to stay in communication with people more often that's all you can do... When someone crosses your mind, send a text, call them if you'll both benefit from it. Friends are for life and for different seasons.