being happy.

choosing joy.

loving life.

it’s just how i roll.  and i’m so determined to show others how to get to this same place that so effortlessly dwells inside of me.

yes, it has become effortless.

I know what it feels like to be unhappy.  joyless.  and hating my reality.  i know what it feels like to be a hundred pounds heavier and rejected.  i know how it feels to conquer demons that are deep rooted from generations back.

and early on i learned how to be a fighter.  i learned how to survive.  it wasn’t until about 7 years ago that I actually started learning how to thrive, not just survive.  my inward journey to complete peace and health started about 15 years ago.  it took time.  i wish i could sit here and say it was overnight and to just ask the Lord to heal you instantly.

don’t get me wrong, God does do that and it’s a true sign-and-wonder when that happens.  and i believe in it wholeheartedly.

but for me, the Lord decided to take me on a journey.  he knew i would grow throughout the process and growth was what was best for myself and my future self.  that maybe an overnight quick fix wouldn’t erase the generational curse that was so incredibly planted inside my heart.

but once I learned–yes, learned, that I actually got to call the shots in my life…that I actually had full control over my own mind. oh boy…it was a game changer.

i began to design a new life.  and when i realized that i was the architect, i started laying out the most bodacious blue print for my future.  it looked a little like so:

i will marry a man that loves me without a single question.  he will be funny.  he will like to thrift shop.  he will have long hair.  and he will hike trails with me.

(if you don’t believe me on this list…i still have the paper crinkled in my bible as i began to write out specific qualities i wanted in a forever soul mate.)

sure, i had all the most important qualities on there that make up a great man, but i heard a message in church one lonely Sunday morning that told me to get specific with GOD.  so i trusted.  i believed and wrote down all sorts of qualities i wanted.  and i got specific.

this note was wrote during my loneliest of days where i wanted so badly to be a wife.  i wanted to be loved and i wanted to have a family.  i had peace over this area because i simply would refuse to settle for anything less than what was on my list. just simply things i knew i deserved out of a soul-mate.  and i prayed for my husband from that day on.

note written october 12, 2002.

(i met the husband in october of 2003, and we married exactly one year later in october of 2004.  note was written in october of 2002.  moral to the story:  i love OCTOBER.)

and well, husband has long hair and he is a HUGE fan of thrift shopping, hiking, and heck…he’s even a huge fan of ME.  i’ve never been loved as much as he loves me.  matter of fact, he whipped our ginormous truck into a church parking lot just yesterday to turn around because he spotted a garage sale.

so yeah, God pretty much rocks and i like that HE is very much in the small things as well as the BIG things.

that was the beginning of my blueprint.  the very very beginning.

i knew i wanted a family.  a healthy family.  and i wanted my children to have a much different childhood than i had.  i wanted to end that generational curse over my family.  and low and behold…it ends with me.  praise the LORD ALMIGHTY…my babies will know nothing of such darkness.  nothing.  and no matter how successful i ever become in business, my greatest success will forever be crushing that curse and ending it once and for all.

once i started seeing the fruits from sowing into my life in these areas: Jesus, kindness, speaking words of life over people, health and fitness, and just overall possessing an optimistic outlook, i began to feel powerful instead of powerless.

and once i really figured out a few things about how life works, i began to have this incredible desire to inspire folks to live life in a huge and bodacious way, too.

i can’t know this huge secret and keep it all to myself.

heck no.  this mama don’t play no ‘finders keepers losers weepers’ game.  i will graciously and happily share how my life has been totally transformed and how you can live the exact same way, but you are the one who must apply a few simple things to your life.

starting with these changes:

*realize you are worth the best life has to offer.  because you are.
*start writing out your blueprint.  what do you want life to look like?  and go get it.
*and just be nice to everyone.  do nice things for people everyday.  spread kindness daily.
*carve out time every day for devotion and prayer.
*and please….please please please start tapping into health and fitness.  your life will completely change and  you will reap such a great reward.

and one last thing.  i am the first to admit that i put myself last in my daily world.  and i would certainly not have it any other way.  my family comes before myself.  but, that doesn’t mean that i don’t balance in a little time for myself.

(disclaimer:  and that doesn’t mean that some days my very best is just plain rotten and in need of grace for a new day.  please know that.)

but there is always a little segment of every. single. day. that is carved out for me to love myself.  some days it comes in the form of a hot bath.  yep, that’s all.  just a fifteen minute hot bath spent texting my best friend, lizzy.  then i’m refreshed and i feel like i cared for myself a little.

my workouts aren’t considered a luxury and i don’t count that as time for myself.  working out is not an option.  it’s how i have the energy and joy that i need to fulfill a day in my world.  not, and i repeat, NOT OPTIONAL.  i don’t think taking time out in your day to workout should count as selfish.  it should count as essential.

some days i choose to paint my nails a pretty and season-inspired color.  and i shall make note of them for the next five days as the color on them make me happy.

just little things.  daily.

and this weekend, as i felt a little overworked with moving and getting important (and boring) things out of the way, i treated myself to a book that was meant for nothing but pleasure.  not a book to help me be a better wife, mommy, or child of God.  Just a good book about being lovely.  and i sucked it down all weekend and made myself a priority.  and this book totally rewarded me in more ways than i can describe.

my soul needed a mindless read for a change.  (not to mention my five dollar red specs i scored this week.)

and what are the chances…this book just so happens to be more in the category of personal development without my knowing.  because i was just inspired by the way Audrey Hepburn lived out her one blessed life, minus the daily whiskey and six cigarettes a day, that is.

i have learned that if i don’t work, nothing does.  don’t fail in life simply because you never make time for yourself.  don’t…oh please don’t forget to indulge in a little something that will make you smile for the next five days.

go, paint your nails.  and let me know what color you picked.

in HIM and health,

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