She is You

(Wrote this a few years ago, but it showed up in my memories)

Woke up with this on my heart, so grab your coffee and sit for a spell.

I spend a great deal of time in conversations with other women, some in a coaching capacity, some at church, and well, the rest of the time because I have an amazing tribe.

This isn’t about any one woman, or myself for that matter, but more food for thought. This also isn’t about or for my 20 something girls. This is about the 40+ women who have seen, experienced, and championed over life. This is mainly for those who are single, but there are some married friends that need the reminder, too.

Dear single ladies:

You have overcome some of life’s most difficult challenges: you’ve cared for aging parents or spouses or buried yours before you should have; you’ve singlehandedly raised your children, your grandkids or raised them alone because your spouse worked, was deployed, passed away or just an ass. You’ve championed over disease, depression, loss, disappointment and bad fad diets. You didn’t just survive that abusive relationship, you picked up your shit and you walked out, knowing damn good and well your Momma didn’t raise you to be treated that way. Or you stayed in the relationship and stayed brave and prayerful that you’d stay alive because the risk of leaving was too great.

You have worked hard for everything you have, not asking for handouts and very rarely asking for help. It wasn’t out of pride, it was to prove to yourself that you could and would do this! You may not have much, but what you do have, you appreciate it even more because you know life isn’t about stuff and God always provided what was needed.

You’ve taken care of your kids, their kids, their friends, your friends. You’ve opened your home and your heart to those in need, giving shelter, nourishment of the body and soul, and a safe haven for all those who wander without any place to set an anchor.

While some see your attention to yourself as vain or self indulgent, such as pedis and manis, treating yourself to a piece of jewelry, regular trips to the salon, a new pair of shoes, a regularly posted SM selfie, you see and know it as self care … nurturing and loving yourself enough to feel good on the outside too.

You have grown to an age where you just really don’t care. And no, I don’t mean your give a damn is broken. I mean, you really don’t care what people think. You don’t care that you’re single and 40+ or 50+ or even 60+ because you know life isn’t about making others happy or fitting into everyone else’s idea of what your life should be like.

You’re a prayerful woman and your faith is stronger than it has ever been and yet, you’re still growing in your walk with God. You know that to be single puts you as the head of the household, but you’re not willing to sacrifice that spot until there’s man willing to chase after God with the same passion and purpose that he chases after you.

You are a passionate woman. You love with your whole heart and you love unconditionally. You accept those around you with all their darkness and brokenness because you carry your own too. You see the good in everyone, hoping one day they see it too, but you don’t take any shit from others, either.

You’ve learned to quit fighting for a place in other’s lives. That doesn’t mean just because you don’t see someone for a while or talk to them, you give up or walk away. It means that no matter what you do, they don’t see the person you’ve worked so hard to become or value the fact that you had to take some time to fight your battles or slay your own dragons.

You are brave, beautiful, brilliant. You’re educated (even if that means at the school of hard knocks), classy, and hard working. You can do a ‘man’s job’ and rock it like there’s no tomorrow. You laugh out loud, you smile at strangers, and you pray for those who don’t like you. You live each day filled with joy and happiness and you do laugh without fear of the future. You are amazing and courageous and looking for and are living a life of purpose and filled with passion.

Peace, love, and pie.
Red

2019: Bold and Unapologetic

I love reading everyone’s posts reflecting on 2018 and dreaming big for 2019. Years ago, my dear MOJO taught me to spend time in quiet reflection and prayer and listen to what God was writing on my heart for the upcoming year.

2018 was #theyearofpurpose. I wasn’t sure what that was going to look like, except that #purpose struck a chord in so many ways. As 2018 came to an end, I believe I let God guide me to understand what purpose really meant, and my heart and spirit rejoice in what He’s shown me.

My 2019 word/phrase hit me like a 2×4. It isn’t about becoming something, it is about:

🌻Embracing who I already am in Him.
🌻Being bold and unapologetic in my faith.
🌻Rejoicing In the spiritual gifts God has given me.
🌻Sharing my unwavering and unconditional love for others.

Many dreams were gifted over this household in 2018. I don’t believe just because a new year is upon us, those dreams disappear. I believe that if we let Him, He will guide us, using whatever choices we have made, into manifesting those dreams that He has given us. Some may come true, and some may shift like the warm summer breeze. There are goals that were set that were not met, and I believe that there is a purpose for that. You’ll start seeing the ones that stir my soul manifest, there’s no doubt.

I refuse to make resolutions that will only set myself up for failure and disappointment in myself. However:

🌻I will establish goals that work towards what sets my soul on fire and what I feel my purpose is.
🌻I will (try) learn to not be so hard on myself.
🌻I will embrace and rejoice in the glory and hope of each new day.
🌻I will no longer apologize for being passionate, full of joy, or loving people unconditionally. These are my gifts to the world. It is no one’s place to refuse them of others.
🌻I will continue to nurture my tender heart and not let the world harden God’s gift to me.
🌻I will be brave in stepping out where I am often most uncomfortable.
🌻I will not feel guilty for enjoying the gift of good food with family and friends because we all know food is a love language in this home.
🌻I will not chastise myself for not going to the gym because I hate my body. On the contrary, I will go to the gym because I love this vessel that has carried me through the storms, peaks, and valleys of life.
🌻I will TRY to not take life so seriously, because God knows, we don’t get out of it alive.

My promise to myself is that I will live boldly and unapologetically in His grace, abundance, and purpose over my life.

I will continue to create and rejoice and dance in the beauty of each day and to continue being a dreamer, encourager, and champion of the lost at heart and downtrodden spirit.

I encourage you today to set down the resolutions that are temporary and dream of what soothes your soul, bewilders your spirit, or sets your heart on fire and make 2019 all about that.

My verse of the year: You may make your plans, but God directs your actions. Proverbs 16:9

Happy New Year to my friends and family. I pray joy, healing, laughter, happiness, peace, and health over you and yours. Remember life is short, so live your legacy each and every day.

Here’s to an absolutely, positively, unforgettable 2019.
Big love,
RED

#boldandunapologetic #authentic #fireinhersoul #graceinherheart #lifeonthehorizn #turquoiseismysoulcolor

Boomerang

You gotta love FB memories. I wrote this 8 years ago for one of my girls, but I think it applies to life in general and all those we come into contact with.

Peace, love, and pie.
Red
…..

It is the purest of hearts that you will find God’s love and favor, peace and joy. It is with the heart that is pure in God that you will sow forward love that cannot be matched because you are sharing a small glimpse of what God has for us. It is in your heart that there is no way any man will ever truly grasp the depths or the widths to which you love unless he is fully seeking his peace and happiness in God. It is then that he will see His abundance and gifts seeping out of everything you do with the purest intentions.

Graham Cooke: “”How do you love when love is not returned? Real love doesn’t look for a return. It loves for the sheer sake of loving. It loves because that is the real nature of God.”

“Getting what you want is not nearly as important as giving what you have.” – Tom Krause.

Dear Lord, may my heart be pure, may my love be true, and may I give away freely to those I know or come into contact with the love, patience, and grace you shower upon me each and every day.

Love Heals

In cleaning out some family treasures this weekend, I happened upon this little gem that belonged to my Daddy:

What is love? Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out. If you love someone, you will be loyal to them no matter what the cost. You will always believe in them, always expect the best of them, and always stand your ground in defending them. (No doubt based on 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7…it’s a must to highlight this in your Bible, journal, or Bible app.)

Growing up, I was always told I was “too tender hearted” and “too emotional” – as I transitioned into adulthood, I took those words as a negative mark against who I was – the heart that I had inherited from my Daddy. I was tricked into believing that the depth and breadth of how I loved was a setback, a flaw, something to be ashamed of. So, I learned to hide it. I tucked it away in the shadows of my heart, only showing to those who I thought deserved it. I thought it better to hold on to the love that was in my heart than to give it away – knowing full well it often would not be returned in the same way.

Tucking it away and keeping it to myself was like a rock in my shoe. It hurt more to hold on to to it than it did to share it with others. In the midst of a perfect storm that we often encounter in life, God showed me that this heart he gave me was in fact a gift that He had given me – to shower others with a love like they’d never felt before. While I had prayed fervently for some other type of spiritual gift from God, He made it clear that LOVE was to be my gift to the world and that at no point was I ever to expect anything in return. And I don’t. The gift I receive is seeing others take what I have given them, plant it in their lives, water it, and share it with others. Helping others to see how divinely created and loved they are. To put down the burdens they were never meant to carry and pick up the abundance of gifts God has for them. That is my takeaway.

What once was a burden I carried is now what motivates me to be who I was called to be, to love out loud, to love on purpose, to the deepest depth of my soul. To help others feel what I do when I bask in the grace and mercy that awaits me each and every day. People ask how, even in the midst of adversity, I find such peace and joy, I reflect on this:

When you awaken love and laughter in your life, your mind lets go of fear and anxiety and your happy spirit becomes the healing balm that transforms every aspect of your human experience. – Unknown

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear. 1 John 4:18

Remember, true love (whether with a partner, a family member, or a friend) is fierce because it will challenge who you are. It will make you question everything you’ve thought love to be. It will encourage you to be better than you were yesterday. To be who God has called you to be. To step and step out. It will also provide a place of shelter to be yourself. It will cover you in comfort and grace. It will help you to take off the masks. To lay down those heavy burdens. Love is to be unconditional, accepting, forgiving, nurturing, encouraging, empathetic, caring, compassionate, non judgmental. Tue love heals a wide variety of ailments and casts light into the darkest of places.

So, my gift to you today is the knowledge that you are loved. Unconditionally. That if you ever need to tangibly feel that love, there is always a place in our home for you – no matter who or what you are, where you’ve been. What you’ve done. And pie. There is always, always, always, pie.

Thank you Lord for you love. May I grow and live to show others what your love looks like.

Peace, love and pie!
~ RED

Rainbows, Dandelions and Unicorns, Oh My.

Purpose: the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists; have as one’s intention or objective.

We’re half way through the year, and I’m not sure that I understand any deeper what my purpose is or why this was my year for the word…but, I can tell you what I do know so far. Top 10 things I’ve learned so far in 2018:

1. I’m learning to be purposeful with my time. My emotions. My thoughts. My words. My actions. My prayers. My attention.

2. There is no such thing as a healthy diet. Only healthy eating. Quit using food as a reward or punishment. I grew up in a culture that food brought people together. You ate as a family. You laughed, cried, celebrated, mourned. Food is not the enemy. Your thoughts about it are. Take care of your body from the inside out, naturally!

3. I never thought I’d have chaco tan lines or that I’d enjoy the water as much as I do. There is such peace and tranquility in the water. It really does soothe the soul.

4. I’m okay some days just being okay. Not every day is a rainbow, unicorn, loud, boisterous, jam packed day. Quiet is nice.

5. I’m good with not wearing makeup most days, my hair pulled up/back, and my favorite tshirt on.

6. My peace and joy are mine. I’ve fought a lot of battles to get where I am, and while I can share my happiness with others, I can’t make, pray, or encourage them to fight for their own. They’ve got to want it themselves.

7. I am in love with myself. Now, before you go off… let me explain. I have been picked on, made fun of, mocked my whole life. I have never ever fit in. I spent a good part of my life trying to be better, look better, do better. For what? Validation from others. Until one day I realized, if I don’t love myself, how will anyone else? I’m okay with not posting revealing photos of myself, or that I’ll always have curves, my teeth are small, my hair is big, my laugh is loud. But my love is pure. My friendship is forever. And my heart is on fire for God.

8. I spend a lot of time alone, and have truly come to learn the difference in being alone and being lonely. If you’re not careful, the 2nd will lead you down a path from which you can’t always return. Fortunately, I am developing habits that are making use of my time, including deleting Netflix and Prime video off my phone, monitoring my time on social media, and spending time growing my passions, skills, and talents… and when I do spend time with others, it is with those who make my life better, who love me for me, and encourage and support me.

9. It’s okay to be in a good mood when others aren’t. To have joy when others are sad. To see the silver lining when others only see black clouds. The other day, someone commented (about how I smile at everyone) that I just want everyone to be happy. No, that’s not it. Because some people may never be happy. I just want everyone to know that there is someone who cared enough to look up from what they were doing, make eye contact, and share a second of their time. Some days, those smiles may make or break someone’s day.

10. Leave yesterday’s worries, problems and heartaches in yesterday. Wake up each day knowing you have a clean slate, and while you may be having a bad day, it does not mean you’re having a bad life. Live through it and then let that shit go!

Here’s to an amazing rest of 2018!

Oh. PS.

11. Life, love, sunrises, adventure, and a good waltz wait for no one.

Peace, love, and pie!

RED