Sunday, March 31, 2013

He has Risen!

Happy Easter! I have so enjoyed She Reads Truth this week as they guided us through the lead up to Jesus' death on the cross and then His resurrection. It really helped me see the despair and deep sadness of this day, as well as the beauty, love, and great gift that it is. I'm very thankful I had the opportunity to understand Easter on another level.

Jesus arose. He isn't in that tomb. He is alive and in heaven, and He wants you to join Him in heaven one day, too. Believe in what you can't see, have faith that He is your savior, open your heart and acknowledge there is an empty space crying out for Him. He loves you and He will hear you.

He paid the price for me. Nothing I could do would get me to heaven, but He gave me my way in.

Happy Easter, everyone!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Me. Sewing. Seriously!

Ya'll, I haven't sewn anything since home ec class in 8th grade. Or was it younger than that? Whatever, it's been over 20 years, easily. And I've never used an internet pattern.. But I have now.

One of the blogs I follow, Grits and Giggles, asked for testers for a pattern. So I let her know, if you need me, I'll be glad to try. Yay, she chose me to test one of her patterns! I've really been wanting to learn how to sew for Macy, so here was my chance!

I'll skip over the drama in the store where I planned to buy fabric and left ticked and empty-handed and instead show you the dress I made with lots of help from mom!

Get the pattern HERE on Etsy! You know you want it!
Welcome to the Lindsey Reverse Knot Dress by Grits and Giggles! The joy of this dress is how the straps feed through the button holes in the back, making it very adjustable! We made ours a bit on the large size for growing room, but she's good to wear it now thanks to the adjustable straps!

The straps make a cute bow in the back, which is stinkin' cute!

It really wasn't hard to make, and now that I've done one, I could do many quicker. And you can really make it look different! Check out some of the other testers here and you'll see what I mean!

So there is my first handmade Macy dress! If you are sewing machine savvy on a Kenmore, please let me know. I bought one at a yard sale with no book. :( Thanks ya'll!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday's Letter

Dear world, it's for the best if you'll just go ahead and admit this is the cutest baby girl you have ever seen. JUST ADMIT IT!

Dear coworker, it's kinda funny to hear you snoring ... but I also know you stay busy 20 hours out of 24, so it's ok, snore away.

Dear Pen Pal, thanks for the awesome REJOICE journal. It totally made my day to open my mailbox and have a present instead of a bill! ... or in addition to a bill? :)  THANK YOU!

Dear local produce stand fruit and veggie box, I'm so excited to be part of your program! I have prepaid for 7 weeks of homegrown goodies and so look forward to the program beginning!

Dear Pressed Clovers fans, look for a coupon code on my Facebook page on April Fool's Day! :) Woop woop! (hello gift ideas!!!)

Dear MJ, It was so good to catch up on the phone today. How can we be in the same county and still not have time for brunchy lunch? This summer. No excuses allowed. Brunchy lunch between friends.

Dear moon, well hello there!  I love it when you visit and it's daylight outside.  It's like a special little treat, just for me.  Yes, I know, it's the simple things that make me happy.

Ya'll, it's Easter this weekend.  And I love me some peeps and chocolate bunnies.  BUT, Easter is about MUCH MORE than peeps and chocolate bunnies.  So please reflect on Jesus, God's only child being sent to our imperfect world, living a sinless life, weeping and despairing at the thoughts of being separated from his Heavenly Father in order to pay for our sins.  And on the third day, he arose!  Up from the grave he arose!!! So thankful for this selfless act that gives me an opportunity to enter into heaven. Words cannot explain.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sticking my nose up in the air...

As everyone is revealing their Cara Boxes this week, (here is mine, I think I revealed early?), I like to check out everyone else's and leave comments here and there.  When someone emailed me back and we started this chat, I realized - I am a snob.

Not your everyday run-of-the-mill snob. Like, I don't get snobby over your income, your clothes, if your toes are the right color, if you have a trendy car or a smashing haircut.  I truly do not care about any of that.

I'm a pen snob.  I want nice pens that write decent. Goooood pens. Smooth writing pens. I'm even happier when they are in a dark navy ink color. Not bright blue. Not black. But blue-black. Yeah, I'm picky. I'm a pen snob.

I have a feeling I'm not the only one. Who else out there is a snob about something?  FESS UP.


I'm also confessing here my new love of DUCT TAPE!  Well, decorative duct tape.  Isn't this stuff awesome?

My niece needed her dance box decorated and I was at a loss at how to make it cute for her.  It's a big plastic tool box, how do you cute that up?  After buying $35+ worth of supplies at Wal-Mart, I ended up only using $9!!!  I'm taking back all kinds of stuff because once I discovered my love for duct tape, I just didn't open the rest of the stuff.

The polka-dots are from a roll of duct tape and the letters are from a duct tape sheet - about 8" x 10". I still have over half the roll left for other projects.

So how did I get cute letters when I don't own one of those Cricut machines?

I found a font I liked and printed the letters out on regular paper. I used pencil to scribble all around the outline of the letters and placed it face down (pencil rubbings face down) to the back of the tape sheet.  Then I realized I couldn't read the letters through the paper anymore because of the pencil rubbing! So I printed another, placed it on top so I could SEE the outline through the paper and using a pen, traced the letters with LOTS of pressure. When I took off all the paper, the letters were traced onto the back of the tape sheet.  Just cut and stick to the box!  With the left over tape sheet I made stars and hearts and added little details to carry the zebra print all the way down to the bottom.

I thought it was cute! I know there are dance moms that have much more creativity and do all kinds of oh-la-la things to their youngin's dance box... but hey! I'm happy, she's happy and that's all that matters. :)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Muffin Monday - GUEST

Today, you get a treat! Muffin is taking a break from being photographed and CHLOE has stepped in to help us out.  Chloe is my sister's cat, a large white cat with an itty bitty squeaky voice who just wants to be snuggled and petted constantly. 

To be a hefty kitty, she's definitely agile and can jump crazy heights.  Chasing moths is one of her favorite things.  And avoiding the dog in the house.

 I have no idea what this look is all about, but it makes me laugh.  I must have taken a dozen photos just to get these two. Just wanted to be petted and just refused to be still until I did show her some love and affection.

And this would be my sweet nieces!  I know I'm a bit late on the St. Patrick's Day celebration, but I love this picture from this past weekend.  Adorable? Why yes, I do think so.

I'm heading out of work a few minutes early.  We are selling all kinds of Macy stuff - we need some space and some money to buy her MORE STUFF! :)  Woop woop! Wish us luck!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday's Letters & Confessions

Dear Friday, I needed you. Actually, I needed you yesterday, but I also understand you can get here any earlier, so I forgive you for that.

Dear Macy, Sweet Niece, you are so dang cute.  You are at the stage where you learn something new everyday.  It's totally awesome and I love being so close to you that I can enjoy it.

Dear Spring, I'm not sure you received the memo, but you are supposed to be here by now. Granted, you are queueing the plant life around here, but you may need to discipline Mother Nature. She's PMSing or something and giving us the COLD SHOULDER. Seriously, warm it up a bit, ok?

Dear Me, I'm so excited! I did something crafty/pintrest-y and it turned out pretty good! I waited until my Cara Box partner got her box to post this - so here it is! A message board (she actually pinned something like it and I made it).  Just use dry erase markers. I so hope she likes it. She loves whales, so I think she will.

Dear Leslie, how awesome to meet my first Blogger and Etsy Shop Owner in person! I loved the items I bought from your Etsy shop... oh my gosh I'm ready for spring!

Link up with everyone else at Ashley's! :)



I Confess...

... I have eaten my weight in choclate this week, but don't judge me. I might knife you.

... I have not been focused AT ALL this week. Or last week. Hm... maybe not the week before that, either. Do I need an intervention for my attention span? 

... I managed to get at least four letters out this week, which makes me very happy!

...My house is a wreck and I have totally not felt like doing anything.
This weekend is THE WEEKEND to get it cleaned up and looking like a nice home again. Unfortunately, Toys R Us is also having a sale... so guess which one of these will actually win out this weekend. :) 

... I'm totally excited to do dinner and a play with my friend, Donna, tonight. Dinner is Japanese Steakhouse and play is Chicago and a local high school.  YAY! Can't wait! 

Make your confessions with Aubrey!

 photo HighHeeledLove_zpsbbcc137c.jpg

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Note to Self: #1

Dear Self,

I was thinking back and reliving some old memories about you the other day.  My my how you have changed over the years.  Back in high school, you were a skinny hyper and probably manic teenager with no direction.  Although you thought you were presenting yourself as endlessly happy, the older me is realizing you didn't actually come across that way.  I think it was that whole temper thing or the boyfriend drama that possibly ruined the facade.

Anyway, fast-forward to the you that was about 10 years ago or so... maybe a few years less but I'm too lazy to do the actual math when it doesn't matter.  That you, wow... that you had some brass ones and some big ol' butt kickin' boots.  Whoa Nelly, you were bad to the bone. The older me is thinking it may have been the issue of feeling like a doormat in the relationship and then it carried over into the workplace, where you were also feeling like a doormat. So, you put on your boxing gloves and went to town. *sigh* Those were some rough days, but girl, I gotta give you credit - you learned how to fight.

In thinking about the me of today, I feel like I'm a lot more laid-back.  Maybe it's the massive weight-gain since high school that has sapped my hyper tendencies. Maybe it's unloading the relationships that were making me feel backed into a corner.  Maybe it's just getting older.  The cool thing is I'm kinda ok where I'm at right now.  I probably shouldn't be... I should probably want to toss aside this feeling of life being a comfy old t-shirt that's been washed too many times and is now soft as butter. Maybe I do need to get that scratchy old sweater life out of the closet and bare my teeth a little more than I do. Get good and riled up and wanna fight again.

Eh. I feel like those drama-filled days will return soon enough. I think I'll wallow around in this comfy old t-shirt version of life a little bit longer.



Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Perfect Timing

I went home from work yesterday and made the mistake of crawling into bed while talking on the phone.  2.5 hours later, I woke up, 8:30 p.m., and realized I hadn't done anything but sleep and I was starving.

Once I went back to bed, I didn't read my Bible devotion... thought about it, but instead just passed out.  I knew I needed to. I knew I had made time in life for Facebook, Twitter, and email. But, nah, I decided to roll over and not do my Bible devotion.

This morning, I opened my Girlfriends in God, and once again, the timing was perfect.

The reality for each one of us is that every moment of every day is focused on someone or something. We either set the focus through which we live and view life or we allow it to be set for us. A balanced life is focused on God as a result of sitting at His feet.
What does it mean to “sit at the feet of Jesus”? First of all, we have to stop. Now that is a novel idea for many of us. Mary stopped what she was doing—helping Martha in the kitchen—to come and sit at the feet of Jesus. Of course, Martha immediately began complaining that she had been left to do all of the work while her sister was wasting time. Listen, my friend, there will always be someone who will misunderstand or complain when you choose to do what Jesus told Martha was “the better part” (Luke 10:42).
But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:40-42).
Notice the word “chosen” used in this passage. Mary made a choice, and so must we. Making a choice to sit at the feet of Jesus requires decisive planning, purposeful scheduling, and willful determination. God wants relationship-building time with us every day, which means time at His feet, in His presence, must be our highest priority. It is absolutely amazing to me how I can squander away the best part of my day, leaving Him with the leftovers and scraps of time, and then have the audacity to complain that my life is void of power and purpose. Distractions come from every side. Some of those distractions are good and wonderful things, but they are all still wrong things if they keep us from spending time with God.
Jesus gently rebuked Martha because she had forgotten what was really important. Oswald Chambers writes, “We can choke God’s Word with a yawn; we can hinder the time that should be spent with God by remembering we have other things to do. ‘I haven’t time!’ Of course you have time! Take time, strangle some other interests, and make time to realize that the center of power in your life is the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Every day you and I choose where we will invest our time. We plan and schedule everything from hair appointments to lunch with friends, but we sometimes fail to schedule the most eternal activity in this life, spending time with God. Do you need the power to live your life above your circumstances? Are you desperate for the peace and balance only He can bring? Do you long for a relationship that will energize you to carry the burdens and passions of this life? Then it is time to take inventory of the demands upon your time and begin sitting at His feet.

This is just the first part, but it really convicted me. Wow, I need to refocus my priorities, do I not?    So here is the prayer that they published... and I'm also using it today.  

Father, help me learn to cherish and make time to simply sit at Your feet and be in Your presence. At the same time, Lord, show me how to live a life of integrity in which I am a woman of my word. Teach me how to discipline my steps and invest my time in a way that pleases You and honors the plan You have for my life. Only You can bring a holy balance to my life as I surrender my agenda and every priority to Your perfect plan. I do that right now.
In Jesus’s name,

Monday, March 18, 2013

March Cara Box!

Ya'll, I have decided when you REALLY need a pick-me-up is when one appears on your doorstep. Or on your office desk, in my case.

My Cara Box was waiting for me at work, a big brown box wanting me to rip into it and find lots of GOODIES inside!!! :)

Clara at Walking in the Light really knocked it out of the park with my awesome Cara Box. This month's theme for our Cara Boxes was to use the first initial of the receiver's first name. B is for BETH! And also a lot of other goodies!

Yes, I have my Cara Boxes delivered to my office because I want to make sure I actually GET them. We've had packages left sitting on top of the mailbox on the road and HELLO, can we say FREE GIFTS for the first person who swipes it? So yeah, this is my messy desk. And my way cool presents! Woop woop!

Bride Wars!!! I am looking forward to a weekend of kicking back and watching chick flicks.  Butterfingers Bites! And I'm going to be so sweet that I'll even share with the office! :)  Que Bella face mask - oh la la! How nice will that be!

B is for BETH MUG!  Isn't this adorable? BBB... and I'll probably eat ice cream out of it. :)  Yum. Blue toenail polish that I plan on using ASAP for the benefit of ALL those around me.  Burt's Bees totally rocks my world-Lemon is one of my favs. And a Blue poof! Isn't this awesome? I think she did great.

THANK YOU CLARA! You are so cool!

I'm packing up my gifts for Tyler at Rays of Purple today and hoooope to have it in the mail this afternoon. I loved this first initial box and had to stop myself from buying anything else with the letter T.   :)  I really enjoyed this month!

Now I'm ready for the Spring Swap Box! :)

---- So I posted this WAY EARLY --- now you all need to go see what everyone's else got in their box, and SIGN UP for next month because HONESTLY, aren't you feeling left out of the fun?? I keep saying - I'm not doing it this month, no really, I'm not. (I always fear I'll disappoint someone or drop the ball or something!) but I'm totally addicted. So why don't you just go ahead and sign up so maybe we'll be matched up! AWESOME!

------------>  OK the link to check out everyone else's loot is with Kaitlyn at Wifessionals!

Muffin Monday

While in Bama, I picked Muffin up a new scratchy pad, which came with fresh catnip. I'm not sure what catnip is or what causes cats to go psycho for it, but she tried to inhale the mat up her nose. Then manage to get her entire body on the pad. It was hilarious. She loved it and that made me very happy.

I'm running severely late this morning, so away I go!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Saturday Recap With Pics!

My last three weeks have been shot to pieces as everyone around here has been so sick. First my sister, which resulted in three doctor and one ER visit. Then my mom, which resulted in three doctor visits.

Add in a delay to my trip to Alabama, then my trip to Alabama for five days. I came home and took another three days off from work to help babysit Macy since mom was so sick.

Yes, I'm ready to reestablish a routine.

Anyway, I thought I'd share some pics of the last week or so. If I've already shared them, sorry.

This was taken on Macy's 9 month birthday this week.

Baby's first flip flops!

We visited Aunt Donna at school!

Sleeping babies are good babies...

I managed to unload this ugly giraffe bowl on my friend in Alabama. I bet it's been in my trunk for two years or more.

So anyway, that's my week in no particular order. It's time for me to roll out of this bed, grab a shower and go shopping. I have birthday presents that need to be bought and awesome Spring weather that must be enjoyed before it freakin' snows again (jk...I hope). Ya'll have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Spring is on it's way!

I love these!  Find them here... before I buy them myself!

Spring Spring Spring!

Oh my, I'm just so excited at the thoughts of SPRING being here soon.  EIKK! I'm SO SICK of cold weather.  I'm sick of everyone being SICK.  Oh please send a warm breeze, bright colors, some good music... oh yeah.... bring on the Spring! Of course, that means bringing on the allergies... poooooooh.  But I think I'll risk it for some beautiful weather. 

I'm also excited to join Katie at Tomorrow with a Smile for a 
Spring Blog Swap! 

It's like a Cara Box (for those of you who do Cara Box) but it seems like this will be more friend-inspiring.  Or maybe create deeper friendships through blogging... anyway, I think it will fit my wants for a swap better, so I'm totally excited!  Click the link and sign up yourself by Friday so you can be a part of the fun and friendship building. 

So, Confession Time... I'm telling myself this is the year to lose weight and feel better about myself. Yeah, I haven't done the first thing to change my weight. I had started walking at work, but when life happened, that stopped. So hopefully I can buy a DVD player that works this weekend and start my mornings with a 15-minute energizing yoga DVD and then walk when I get home. This week won't start it (long story), so my goal is Monday.  Will ya'll please say a prayer that God will give me the focus and motivation to see this through?  I know it won't happen on my own steampower, so I'm asking for some prayer support here, ok?  Thanks! 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Liebster Award!

I just got in from Alabama where I visited my friend, Sherry! Awesome trip, I miss her so much. I wish she lived closer, I'd love to do dinner with her and catch up in person.She's solid, down-to-earth, honest and real. Good people.

Anyway, while I was gone, Aleshea at Glitz & Grits nominated me for aLiebster Award! So honored, thank you! (If ya'll don't follow her, go check her out because she is HILARIOUS!)

The rules are basically answer the 11 questions listed for you, nominate 11 others and send them 11 questions to answer. Since I did this not too long ago I'm not going to pay it forward, but I will answer the questions!

Here are the questions Aleshea chose for her nominees!
1 Favorite word: only one? How about Love.
2 Favorite drink: Sweet Tea Baby!
3 Favorite color: in general, pink.
4 Life Motto: I don't have one. How lame is that?
5 Hero: my grandmother. I ask God to let her know I'm thinking of her.
6 Favorite song: lately it's been baa baa black sheep. :)
7 Give me seven random facts about yourself: 1) I hate washing my hair. 2) I'm slowly learning to cook and will try random recipes, like pretzel bites. 3) I can't spell worth poop. 4) I love my gps. 5) I write for a local monthly publication. 6) I have two pen pals I met through following Susan Branch 7) I still have two Christmas Trees up in my house.
8 Why'd you start your blog: just to track life.
9 Life goal: be happy
10 Favorite food: pinto beans and cornbread
11 What's the weather like where you are: cloudy and warm. The rain is on the way!

How sad is it that I didn't take any pics in Alabama? I know! Horrible! So here is one of me coming back into SC. I was pretty happy to be that far.

Ok friends, I'm off to eat some dinner and crash in my bed. Sweet dreams, ya'll!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Muffin Monday

I'm currently in Alabama, visiting a very dear friend. I miss my sweet Muffin kitty, and would love to share a pic with you.

She is hiding behind the curtain, which usually means she's doing something wrong! ha ha

My friend has two cats and two dogs so I've gotten plenty of pet lovin' this weekend. My family had loved on Muffin for me. :)

I'm also missing my sweet nieces. One I missed until her visit back her again. The other I'll see as soon as I get home. This are the pictures they sent while I was away:

Too funny! Hope you all have a great week ahead!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Friday's Letters And Confessions

Because no letter is complete without pics of Sweet Niece

Dear sickness, I've been polite in asking you to leave my family alone, but you haven't listened. I'm about to put my butt-kickin' boots on and take care of businesses. (I hope this sounds scary enough that you'll leave without a fight...)

Dear Atlanta, your traffic sucks.

Dear Alabama, your road work sucks, but your welcome center is beautiful.

Dear cancer, you suck. End of story.

Dear Hydrocodone cough syrup, you don't suck at all, you rock!

Dear blog friends, I'm so enjoying getting to know you through blogs, comments and conversation!

Dear God, thanks for many blessings, thanks for keeping Pop well so he can take care of everyone else. Especially while I'm gone

Link up with Ashley here!



Friday Confessions!

I confess...I hadn't cleaned out my car in over a year and found quite a few things I've been missing. Oops.

I feet shouldn't been seen by man or beast until I get a pedi but oh well. Some folks better prepare to be scared.

I confess...I hate the capchas to post comments and usually have to do them twice. And that's ok when my comment posts afterwards, but when I get the "your comment will post after aporoval" um...isn't that a bit overkill?

I confess...weight loss is no longer an option. Seriously. I want to feel cute again, so I am going to HAVE to be better prepared at home and work.

I confess...I feel very guilty about leaving Muffin at home alone. :(

Make your confessions! Link up to Aubrey!

 photo HighHeeledLove_zpsbbcc137c.jpg

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Funding Vacation Homes... among other things...

see the website here
How do you like the house my family purchased in the past two weeks? It's nice, isn't it? Too bad it's for the doctors and not for the family...

Seriously, I think with the four doctor visits my sister has had in the past week + the visit my mom will have tomorrow + the one Macy is going to have if she doesn't get over this cold = a new vacation home for the doctor!!

Strep, Flu, Virus, Thrush, Coughing, Hacking... it's really lovely between all the three houses. And we are all praying that Macy just has a cold and doesn't get anything more serious - like STREP! Please send up a prayer for her, too. Thanks.

So I cleaned out my car this week. I really should have taken before and after pictures because it was that bad.  I'm not sure what I have against taking my mail inside, but I found all kinds of unopened mail. Mostly junk mail.  A bottle of prescription medicine dating back to April 2012. Three more that I picked up last month.  Three jackets - one was my old letter jacket from high school (and I'm 37 now!)  A crockpot. Shoes shoes shoes. A full-sized George Foreman grill. A random large serving bowl in an everyday china pattern that involves giraffe print. My charger for the Garmin. The Garmin. Hot glue sticks. Country Dance for the Wii. A case of water. And just junk junk junk.  Now I need to vacuum. And stay a bit more organized!

I'm so excited, I've heard from both Cara Box partners for this month! The one I'm sending to and the one sending to me! I think this theme of finding things with the person's first name is going to be fun. I have a list of ideas already.

I'm also excited because I won a gift card to Whole Foods from Influenster last night! WHOO HOO!  I never win anything, but my tweets won me this!  I'm watching The Taste while tweeting like a mad woman with Influenster.  Although it's a show I might not watch initially, it's a lot of fun to join the tweeting party while watching!  And sometimes you WIN THINGS! So I'm totally psyched.  Basically, these chef contestants have been making themed dishes (last night was Seduction) and they have one spoonful of the dish to impress the judges.  Blindly the judges eat and rate - chefs go home and others move forward. Pretty cool so far.  I would love to have gotten a VoxBox last night, but maybe next time. (Check out Influenster to learn more about how this program works).

Ok, time to refocus energy on something else today...  ya'll have a good one!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Changing my Word?

Isn't this pretty? Buy it here!
If you have followed along here for a while, you know I choose one word to be my focus for the year, in an effort to see self-improvement within the calendar year.  When I chose "Appreciation," I could see great improvements in my attitude and thankfulness.  Last year I chose "Breathe" and I totally failed.  This year, the word I picked was "Simplify," but I'm discovering this is difficult to implement and measure.  So I'm becoming frustrated. 

Yesterday I mentioned I would discuss further this concept of THINKing before you speak. After being severely chastized through #shereadstruth while we visited through Proverbs about my words, then this THINK poster popped up somewhere... it is one of those things none of us REALLY want to work on but KNOW we need to work on.  You know what I mean?  

I think my problem is two-fold.  I've lost my focus on "simplify."  While I won't completely kick it to the curb, I'm going to add the THINK concept to my yearly word.  This is something I struggle with and hopefully can make some progress in this year.  

Along with this, I shared a friend's blog yesterday.  Today I would like to share another blog with you, because this really seemed to strike in my heart.  Funny enough, both ladies that I have shared are my Cara Box peeps! Cool, huh?  Anna at The Things I'm Learning had someone pay it forward for her, which is inspiring her to do the same for others.  

After the tragic events at Sandy Hook, I wrote a blog post about the tragedy and the triumph over this evil.  America was buzzing with people doing good deeds in honor of those who were killed on that day.  I followed along on Twitter (#26acts, #20acts) and would end up crying at some of the acts of kindness people would perform for random strangers in the name of innocent lives lost. Seeing Anna's post reminded me of the beauty that came from such sorrow... 

I'm not sure where I'm going this year. I'm not sure why I'm struggling with my word. But I believe if I can incorporate all three concepts: simplify and focus on the priorities, remove the gossip and irrelevent talking from my life and pay love forward, I know I'll be a much better person in the end. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Running off at the mouth.

As I was just about to create a post about gossip, I ran across another blog post that I just had to share with mine.  Andrea was my first Cara Box partner and I know God placed her in my life - she's a wonderful inspiration and I love following her instagram and blog.

So here is her post - go read it then come back over here, ok? Her blog is about Speaking Life Into People.  Doesn't that sound awesome?  I think so, too.

I like her banner, too. :)

Anyway, so I've really been reflecting on the THINK method of thinking before you speak.

T:  Is it True?
H:  Is it Helpful?
I:  Is it Inspiring?
N:  Is it Necessary?
K: Is it Kind?

Obviously, this closes down a lot of conversation that shouldn't be happening but we all know it is happening. I'm just a guilty, if not more so, than everyone else.

Now that my attention has been drawn to it, gossip really drives me crazy. I sometimes just have to plug in my earphones and spike up the volume in an effort to drown out it all out.

I write for a local newsprint/magazine and I pretty much have freedom to write about whatever I choose, however, I'm listed as a service writer.  Since changing my job, I'm out of the service market (so to speak) so I try to write about ways to give back to the community or self improvements. Here is the article I just submitted - you get a sneak peek before it's even published.  I'll share more thoughts on this tomorrow...


Remember the game we played as kids, where the first person would whisper a secret in the next person’s ear, and so on and so forth until it got to the last kid.  We all waited to hear what the last kid would say… and he would announce, “The secret is, ‘Billy ate a goat foot at the dime store counter!’”  What? We would all look at that kid like he’s grown three heads because it was nothing like what the first kid said, which was, “Mary paid a buck for a brand new jumper.”  Of course, we all heard a different version and passed it along until it was nothing like what it started as in the first place.

And that’s the entire point, isn’t it?  The game was to prove to us as children how all the gossipy whispers you hear may not be the truth and therefore shouldn’t be repeated. Somehow, as we grew older, it seems we forgot about this lesson.

For whatever reason, gossip is one of those things that has really been getting on my nerves lately.  And trust me when I say, I’m not lily white when it comes to this topic. Not at all and I’ll be the first to admit it! Once it was drawn to my attention and I took a step back from having my nose directly in it, I realized how destructive gossip is to every one of us. It’s ugly. It’s damaging. It’s totally not necessary. I’m not just talking about “ugly talk” but just talking about people in general. Sharing the details you know about their life, their struggles, their ups and downs, their history, their family’s history and what their dog did back when you were in fifth grade. Seriously, it’s the Southern way to know all and share all. But understand, adding a “Bless her heart” at the end of a particularly juicy tidbit of knowledge does not counteract its harmfulness.

I saw this poster online and copied it down to share with my coworkers and friends – people that are around me frequently and could hold me accountable to this new life skill I’m trying to implement. The poster said, “Before you speak: THINK.”
Each letter stands for something to evaluate before you say anything.  “T: Is it true? H: Is it helpful? I: Is it inspiring? N: Is it necessary? And K: Is it kind?”  Let me just share with you now – very little that is shared in our society today can fit in these five categories. 

For example, Jane Ann may have gone a little crazy on Saturday night and streaked down the highway in nothing but her nightie. And, I’m sure plenty of people saw Jane Ann in her nightie to verify that yes, it’s true, she did it.  But is sharing her embarrassing situation helpful to anyone?  Possibly if they were looking for her that night, yes. But the next day? No. It’s definitely not inspiring to further hurt Jane Ann when she’s obviously already struggling. Definitely not necessary to do so nor is it very kind of you to share it.  So, why not stuff a sock in your mouth and keep the info to yourself. OR, better yet, why don’t you go talk to Jane Ann and see if there is something you can do to help her.  And you don’t have to tell everyone that you went and offered to help her and when you did you found the said nightie burning in the fireplace, either.

Do you see my point here?  I believe most of us (again, myself included) have become way too comfortable sharing any and everything we know about everybody with anyone that will listen.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  I hate to tell you this, but it’s just not appropriate. It’s actually quite child-like to do so.  To quote Eleanor Roosevelt, “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.”  So yeah, that stings a little, but it’s very true.

As we have implemented this in my office, you’ll catch one of them pointing a finger and shouting, “THINK! THINK!” as they know something inappropriate is about to come out of my mouth.  And you know what, I’m thankful for them doing so.  I don’t want to be seen as the slightly crazy and gossipy cat lady that lives up on the hill.  I’d rather be known for being a person with integrity, faithfulness, and discretion. A gossip can’t be viewed as these three things because if you’ll talk about someone else to me, you’ll talk about me to someone else, so you just can’t be trusted.

Make no mistake, gossip isn’t always stretching the truth or flat out lying about someone.  Oh no – go back and read these five points again:  True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary, and Kind.  Don’t start thinking you are off the hook if you only share what is true.  Frank Clark said, “Gossip needn’t be false to be evil – there’s a lot of truth that shouldn’t be passed around.”  I can’t disagree with him. 

Is this one of the hardest habits I’ve tried to break? Definitely. I’m not even going to pretend like I’m perfect.  One of my best traits is my ability to quickly snap off a comeback or comment that gets a chuckle from folks. A lot of times that snappy comment is at someone else’s expense and is usually based in truth.  It’s been hard to stop that quick wit and realize a cheap chuckle isn’t worth the ugliness that seeps into my soul for being so catty.  I have found myself becoming a more positive and optimistic person as I’ve slowly been learning to bite my tongue.

It’s not easy, but I hope you’ll consider taking a step back and honestly evaluating if this is something you might need to address in your own life.  If so, try applying the THINK concept and see if it helps you better discern what should and shouldn’t be shared.  I believe you’ll realize the improvement will greatly impact your life, as well as those you were going to gossip about.    

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