Category Archives: Life

Grace – the Amazing Gift

 

For those who know grace, means you have received grace. To know it also requires that you give it. It is a beautiful gift to be shared because of the boomerang effect it has.  This may sound self-serving but hopefully, most of us don’t give to get.  Grace has to be given from a healthy mindset which can be the challenging part.  Like practicing automatic forgiveness or hugging someone you want to sucker punch.

It did not come naturally for me until I received it. Given to me with love and kindness, it opened my heart to realize what a gift it really is.  Maybe some are born with it or grace is their given name. Possibly you are described as being graceful. Ballerinas floating through the air on their tippy-toes with their arms extended wide comes to mind. That was not me.

The only thing I had in common with grace is that four of the five letters are found in my first name. Is that even saying much? Running into posts, tripping over things,  and being a clutz describe me best.

Since I have come to know grace I trip up less and haven’t run into anything lately! I’m not sure if this is my subconscious mind telling me I am no longer that person. I am no longer the person that thinks of my own feelings. I think of how undeserving I was to be shown grace and how freeing it is to know it.

A few examples of grace:
-For someone to forgive you when you don’t apologize.
-For someone to assume the best of your intentions.
-When someone does not rub your face in the dirt when an “I told you so!” is in order.
-Shown unconditional love.
-When you do not judge a loved one even when they hurt your feelings.

Giving grace generously is not always easy. You will be challenged to react in ways you haven’t before, yet you will be rewarded in ways you haven’t experienced before.  It may just be the secret ingredient to living a peaceful life.

 

The Pending Etiquette Class

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For months now, maybe even for a couple of years I have jokingly, threatened to enroll my kids in Etiquette Class.  They completely detest the idea but it doesn’t seem to bother them enough to remind them of their manners. Being raised in a conservative household, I think it’s a ridiculous way to spend money. Secretly, I love the idea of them sitting around a stuffy table with a buttoned-up, older woman saying, “Raise your elbows! Unfold your linen and place it on your lap.”  Yes! That idea makes me laugh, like an evil, Cruella Deville laugh, Wahhahaaha!

Because I’ve jokingly made this threat they don’t take me serious, which is to be expected. The other day a brilliant plan came to mind, though.  Before I tell you about it let me explain a few of my struggles. I have one child who will place heaps of food on his fork and shovel as much in as possible. His mouth can barely remain closed as he chews because of the ginormous bite. He thinks this is normal. It’s a bit embarrassing to think that other parents have had to experience this when they’ve had him over for dinner. I know there are worse things to be concerned about.

Another issue we struggle with also occurs around the dinner table. No wonder family therapists recommend eating dinner together so many times a week. It forces families to deal with their issues. We deal with constantly interrupting each other, making it nearly impossible to finish a conversation without being side tracked with another topic. Dinner time = game time with me blowing the metaphorical whistle playing referee,  and directing these little people on how to be respectful to one another in conversation. “We TAKE Turns!” I know was shouted at least a gazillion times when they were toddlers. I guess they need to be reminded of this as they mature.  Sometimes I allow the convo. to go to complete insanity mode (where everyone is talking at once, the volume steadily increasing), just because I’m curious to see if they’ll notice. The struggle of who has the most important thing to say is real. I figure it will work itself out, eventually.  Usually, my middle-child will share something truly funny on accident, which makes it even funnier. My unspoken rule is that whoever is being funny gets the floor. Because who doesn’t appreciate funny?

Here’s my idea: an “Etiquette Jar” to collect fines from the kids. They will use their own money to cover etiquette class (insert clapping). If I have to remind them of their manners or to be polite, they’ll deposit anywhere from a quarter to $2. While I think for some there is a need for etiquette class, I am not going to be the parent paying for it. The jar concept is not original by any means (Read about Maria Shriver and what her Dad would do), having the kids pay for something they Do Not Want to do is priceless to me. 🙂 Life lessons can be oh, sooo sweet!

Etiquette jar

After all, only free people

“After all, only free people can truly free people. Yes…

  • Hurt people hurt people, but helped people help people. 
  • Broken people break people, but rebuilt people build people.
  • Shattered people shatter people, but whole people restore people.
  • Damaged people damage people, but loved people love people.
  • Wounded people wound people, but healed people bind up wounds.
  • Bound people bind people, but freed people lead others to freedom. “

This passage is from Christine Caine’s book Unashamed, Chapter 7, God Moves In so We can Move On.  That first line “After all, Only FREE people can truly FREE people” hit me like a ton of bricks! All of us will experience feeling broken or hurt, or any one of these mentioned above, in our lifetime. How are you overcoming? Avoiding the emotion or tucking it in a deep corner of your soul creates a toxin in you. It becomes like a venom that slowly creeps in other areas of your life, poisoning relationships, life goals, your aspirations. Unashamed gives a refreshing perspective and suggestions to live the abundant life God created for you. He wants us to live fully in his abundance and has anointed Christine Caine to share his message with us.  Unashamed

She blesses the lives of so many through her ministry and her writing. She believes when she allowed God to change her, it freed her to lead others to freedom. This is why she leads a global ministry today.

Check out  A21
A21 EXISTS TO ABOLISH INJUSTICE IN THE 21ST CENTURY. 

As well as, Propel Women.

The Importance of Gratitude

We hear so much lately about the importance of gratitude and having an “attitude of gratitude” is such a healthy mentality. Who knew it was the Father of fitness, Jack LaLanne who adopted this mentality long ago? “A healthy person always starts by counting their blessings.”, are the wise words he shares with Bill Phillips in Bill’s book Transformation. These words are still relevant today. The chapter goes on to discuss the science behind it and how those who kept gratitude journals exercised more often, felt better physically, & had a more positive mindset. Each day be grateful for something and start your journal.

Thank you for coming here to my blog.

Are you a person of your word?

Being “trustworthy” comes to mind when you hear this question, right? Have you ever told someone you would do something and then not follow through? Me, me, me, a thousand times over, I was guilty of it. Last year, I set out to not make that mistake again. There were days when I’m sure I forgot to do something, and most likely let someone down. The effort is on-going and I make very consciuous decisions to not over commit myself.  I want my trust bank to be full, for my family and friends to count on me.

Are you reliable? It’s in that same “trust” category.  Are you the person who tells a friend, “let’s do lunch” then you never call?  Brenè suggests, experience those awkward moments of just saying, “It was nice to see you”, nothing else. Then move on, don’t commit to a lunch you never intend to schedule.

Take some time  to have your mind blown by Brenè and watch this video. You won’t regret it!

Brené  Brown: The Anatomy of Trust

Charge On

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Why, why, why does anyone need this anymore?

This outdated tool has sat on my bedside table because I have not been able to throw it away. Maybe it’s because of what it represents? You certainly have noticed that it is the older charger, right? If you have an iPhone 4 or older this is your charger. Do you notice that this one is still new, although it’s outdated?  Notice that it is still coiled up and there’s not any wear or tear on the components. No, I did not just buy it nor was it given to me. I came across it in my closet, as I was throwing out my old iPhone box, which felt heavier than what I thought an empty box should feel. Much to my surprise, this brand spanking new charger was in it!

Even though it seems like garbage since I’ve upgraded my phone, it made me think of the times I did need it. The times where I searched high and low for what I thought was my charger. I am sure I accused my husband and children of ripping mine off and leaving it somewhere. Hmm, never did I think that “Carrie” forgot it! And IN THE BOX, no less! So lame, right?!

There was a time not too long ago that caused this silly forgetfulness in my life. It was a “busy” time, when I chased my tail and I’m sure grumbled at others all the time, “where’s my charger? Did you take it?”,  “Did you leave it at your cousin’s house?” , ” Is My Charger in your room? Go check your room!”  This was not a happy time for my family and my kids even feared to answer me. They thought I would snap at them and would disengage from all conversation.

This charger reminds me that being too busy is toxic. It’s toxic for relationships with people you love and it keeps you from building potential relationships with others. Recognizing the important things under my nose was a real awakening for me.

I am thankful for this reminder and never want to be too busy for my family nor do I want to be accusatory. Which leads me to a different topic of taking responsibility for yourself.  That subject is definitely a post for another day.

CHARGE on readers & be the kindest version of yourself today. Your kids will love you for it and so will everyone in your circle.

Nobody’s Cuter Than You

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Surprise! A brown padded envelope from Amazon arrives in the mail addressed to ME! What?Scanning my brain, I think to myself, I didn’t order anything. What could this be? My dear friend sent me this book on her birthday! Yes, it came to me on her birthday!!  The title is the sweetest too, you’ll have to read my friends story on The Dreaming Tree to fully understand.  This woman has many gifts, one is to make people feel sincerely special. (To see her other amazing gifts, you must check out her blog!)

The kids had arrived home so I was not able to jump into the book right away. The following few nights I stayed up late reading one story after the next. It brought back so many memories, some were sad but most were funny. I belly laughed as I read Melanie’s life stories.

I have learned so much about friendship through my friend, Elayne. She has inspired me in many ways and has reminded me how important friendship is, we need each other.  We need women in our lives that lift us up and encourage us. Do not take friendships for granted.

After finishing this book, marking it with a giant coffee spill right on the front cover,  I decided it’s going on a journey to hopefully inspire others or at least make them laugh! The book is going to a smart, kind and loving friend of mine. I will ask her to do the same by passing it on to a friend and so on. It will be interesting to see the travels of this book & if or when it will make it back to Alabama.  Hopefully, friends of friends will be as delighted as I was to receive it. If that is you, please let me know by leaving me a comment with the whereabouts of the book.  Happy reading and happy sharing. Now go bless someone today with an act or word of kindness!

Be Ridiculous!

 

Yep! That is what I said,  BE RIDICULOUS! Have you been offended by someone,  your feelings hurt in some way or possibly a miscommunication between you? Instead of reacting today, take action today.  Be completely ridiculous with your actions. What will leave this person in awe, saying “That’s ridiculous!”?  Think doable though, this way you get it done today!

Here’s some food for thought…

**Buy a deliciously, fancy lunch and set it up at their desk with a white table cloth or cover their entire desk in white paper for a faux fancy look. Then leave a personal note of gratitude for one thing you appreciate about the person.


**Tape a huge Poster Board in their work area (or on their car) saying “You Are Loved!” or write something amazing about the person, whatever is appropriate. Remember to do this from a place of love.

**If you know they like a certain treat, pile it on their desk until it’s overflowing and falling to the ground.

**Give them something you have, that you know they would like to have, for example a project you know they wanted the lead on, or it could be a sweater, a pair of earrings or a gift card.  If you go the gift card route, make it a honking gift card! That ‘s the term our Pastor uses and it cracks me up every time I hear it.  As you know this can be done online.  Think about the person, do they like to cook? Williams Sonoma would be a good option. Do they enjoy Starbucks or the movies? There must be a sacrifice on your part. For some of us $5 may be a ridiculous sacrifice and for others $50, no one is judging. Do what YOU can do.

When you are performing an act of kindness throw practicality out the window. Excessiveness is o.k. when you are doing for others.  Plus, this is not any random act of kindness, you are being bold, to the point of  RIDICULOUSNESS.

Share your ridiculousness below. My hope is that you will experience freedom. Freedom from anger, frustration or from whatever is keeping you from forgiving.

 

Letters of Love