Miss Congeniality sound be voted on after the competition

The competition is over. You didn’t win. What now? Many of us have competed in some sort of contest at some point in our life. The truth about competing is there can only be one winner. We cannot all win the title we are fighting for. I have competed in many different things throughout my life…some I have won…some I have lost. The main point in competing for something is to always be better than the person you were the last time.

I have lost on numerous occasions. Some I have not even placed. However, I always try my best to stay true to who I am. Losing shows so much more about a person’s character than winning. Anyone can win and be graceful but it takes a strong person to lose gracefully. Over the last few years I competed competitively in pageants. During my years in pageants I met a number of people and learned a lot about the way people act once the pageant is over. The day of the competition emotions are high, everyone is scoping out the contestants, and we are trying to make sure you have the best wardrobe all while keeping our composure.

A few months back I decided to compete in a fitness competition. Over the course of four months I had calories cut, lifted lots of weights, and practiced countless hours to make sure I was 100% prepared to take the trophy. During my preparations I kept reminding myself this is a hobby and win or lose I would still be the same person, but I will have a lot more muscles. So the competition came and passed and guess what…. I didn’t even place. Nothing. I left with nothing. But I was told I had one of the best attitudes even after losing. I congratulated all the winners and made many new lifelong friends.

That’s the thing about competing. All of the contestants are vying for the same thing. We all want to win. We have all prepped and prayed. But there can only be one winner. It’s ok to lose. It doesn’t make you a bad person or say you aren’t good enough, it simply means it wasn’t your time to win. But what most of us quickly forget is; the judges are watching until the very last person leaves and you never know what competition they could be judging next. By standers are also watching your actions and if you leave with a bad attitude you are proving to everyone why you didn’t win. Poor attitudes result in poor outcomes. You cannot walk around with a bad attitude after losing and expect sympathy.

Losing does not make anyone a worse person or say you are not good enough. It simply means that particular completion was not your time to win. God always has a reason for things that happen in our life. Whether it is the outcome we want or not, there is always a reason. We have to thank God for the opportunity win or lose. I have always reminded myself when I lose that the other person must have needed the win more than. After ever lose I have always had something positive come from it. Never beat yourself up to the point you lose your composure. After losing we must simply regroup and start chasing our dream again. Never give up on something you want even if you lose.

Being a competitor in anything we have to train our self to have poise and grace regardless of the outcome. Every single person on that stage deserves to win. We may not always agree with the judges but every person deserves to win due to the mere face they have trained and prepared just as hard as we have.

Miss Congeniality never wins due to the lack of respect or being conceided. Miss congeniality is won based on the fact they realize the hard work that everyone has put into the competiton yet still remains humble and kind. I never vote for Miss Congeniality until I have seen every person interact with every contestant. Actions always speak louder than words. Miss Congeniality should be voted on after the competition so true colors are revealed and the right person is selected.

Win or lose we are all winners. We should place our self in the position to keep trying harder and never lose sight of the goals and dreams we have set for our self. If we all were to give up we would never have anything worth fighting for.

“I get it now; I didn’t get it then. That life is about losing and doing it as gracefully as possible… and is enjoying everything in between.” – Mia Farrow

What Might Have Been

What is the definition of a father? Is it love? Support? Sacrifice? According to Webster a father (noun): a man has begotten a child. What does this mean? Many people this day in time grow up without a mom or a dad. Many children have step parents that step in and fill the void of a parent that has left. Some have family members that step in to fill the spot of a parent. A few days ago this particular letter was sent to me ( http://theodysseyonline.com/nku/letter-to-you-dad/127984). After posting it on Facebook I had multiple people ask why. Many people do not know my story because for one I do not like to talk about it and two I like my personal life to be extremely private. However, after talking to a few people they said I should write about my experience and share my story because it may help others in my same situation. Before I start I want to say this is my personal story. This is something that has affected my life for twenty-six years. This is who I am. Not sugar coated. Hopefully my story will help someone dealing with the same situation and help understand it is something you can overcome.

When I was a few weeks old my dad decided to leave my mom. They were young, married, had a baby, and were (I am sure) completely stressed out. There are multiple details that were involved with the decision of him to leave. However, those are details that should not be shared on the internet. During this time I was an infant, my mom was a young single mother, and my grandparents had to step in to fill the void. The first few years of my life my granddaddy stood in as my dad. He would take me to dance, pick me up from school, play baseball with me, and do all of the “stuff” fathers are supposed to do. Through this I also gained an exceptional relationship with my Uncle who became more like a brother (even to this day). I never had the reality hit me until I was much older what it actually felt like to have your own father not love or want you. My granddaddy made sure I was loved and never once doubt that people cared for me. I am so thankful to have my grandparents who were so loving and caring to take us in and raise me in a Godly home.

When I was three my mom met my step dad, who soon became my Daddy. I never knew the impact one man could have on someone’s life.  But having someone love and care about you after being betrayed is a whole string of emotions I cannot even put into words. Growing up I would constantly battle the “what ifs”. What if he would have stayed? What if he would have loved me? What if he would have been in my life? But as I grew older, I realized you cannot live in the life of “what ifs”. You will worry yourself to death and cause more emotional strain than you can handle. At the age of twelve I wanted to meet my biological father. I wanted to know why I had brown eyes. Why I was tall and skinny?  Why he left? Why was I not good enough to love? But most of all I wanted to know what he was like. After meeting him, I realized why God choose my path to turn out the way it did. I had always questioned God as to why he did not love me, but once I met him I understood why. God had bigger and better plans for my life. Thankfully for almost twenty years I had a stepdad who was my dad. He filled the void. Although things never turn out the way we want, for 20 years I had someone who showed me they cared and were always there for me.

My biological father is not a bad person. He is a person of bad decisions. Maybe he truly never loved me. Maybe he did not want to ever have anything to do with me. But maybe he did. Maybe he does think about me when he is driving or wishes he could go back and change it all. Maybe he lives a life of regret. Maybe he is too ashamed to admit he was wrong. But I know that I have forgiven him. I am a strong woman who has overcome the life of a parent walking out of their life. My heart breaks for him because he has missed out on so many incredible things in my life. He also denies his other daughters the chance to have a big sister. He has missed so many memories, milestones, breakups, new relationships… everything. There is a whole family that I have missed out on for twenty six years. I know nothing about them. I can barely pick them out in a crowd. But what none of them know is the hurt I have gone through and the wish to be a part of their family. But… I simply can’t.

Shortly after my sixteenth birthday my grandmother passed away. I realized that day you cannot take relationships for granted. From that day forward I tried to give my all in every relationship I had in my life. Life is so short and it is too precious to waste one minute not letting people know how much you love and care about them. My mom is my rock. She has been there through thick and thin. We have had our ups and downs but she is 100% my best friend. Mom is always there no matter what. Even 15 hours away my mom drops everything if I need her. She has been my number one fan since day one and has never left my side. I would not be able to make it through all the situations thrown at me without her support.

My faith in God has a major impact on the reason I’ve become the woman I am today.  Instead of becoming the victim, I decided to use my situation as a teaching and learning experience. You can live your life in the dumps. When something bad happens in our life we automatically want to become a victim. I could easily use this to my advantage. But there is no point. It does not help the situation or make it any better. If anything it would make it worse. I chose to overcome it. Yes I probably could have done more to make it work, but I believe everything happens for a reason and I would not be where I am today if one thing would have been different. Walking out of your child’s life is probably one of the worst things you can do. You have no idea the impact it makes on them. It emotionally, mentally, and physically changes them forever. I have always had trust issues with men because of my situation. I have tried to overcome it, but the impact that made on my life caused such an emotional toil that it is hard to let down my walls. Meeting Nick was God’s way of showing me it was time to let my walls down and showed that all men are not the same.

To all of the people who have been in my situation or have children in my situation…. It never gets easier. You eventually cope with the pain, you grow from the situation, but most of all you learn how strong of a person you can be. Never let your situation make you become a victim. Use it to help someone else. Use it to love your kids more than your parent loved you. But most of all use it to help you become a better and more loving person.

“Sure I think about you now and then
But it’s been a long, long time
Well I’ve got a good life now, I moved on
So when you cross my mind
I try not to think about what might have been
Cause that was then and
We have taken different roads
We can’t go back again
There’s no use giving in
And there’s no way to know
What might have been”
-Little Texas

 

My Path To A Healthier Life

Many have asked and have been following my journey as I compete in my first bikini competition. First off let me say, I am not a personal trainer nor am I an expert at health and fitness. However, this is my journey and how I have achieved my goals. Your goals will vary based on the results you want. I had to learn the hard way, what I eat in private shows in public. The statement “as long as you work out, you can eat whatever you want.” Is 100% false. Diet is 70% and work out is 30%. Trust me. It has been tried and proven.  I am not going to lie there are some days I wake up and could eat the entire kitchen, but I have to remind myself that is it very important to eat healthy calories. Recently I was cut to 850 calories {I know many of you are cringing at this statement}, but I still get to eat.   You are what you eat; so don’t be fast, cheap, easy, or fake!

I started my journey March of 2015. I weighed 135, had no abs, and could barely run a half mile. When I started all I wanted to do was lose weight. I wanted to weigh 110 but did not care about any of the other stuff. Two weeks in Big Mike {my trainer} told me I should compete. I told him he had lost his mind, there was no way I could compete. Much less be ready by July 18. Today {less than 3 weeks out} I look back and am so grateful I joined his team and decided to compete. I have gained so much strength, muscle, beat personal goals {450 lbs. leg…. Until I beat that tomorrowJ}, lost weight, and learned how to eat healthy calories. I am overall a much happier and healthier person. I have never felt more comfortable in my skin and do not take offense to people who say “you are crazy for working out so much.”

I would like to say that I would not be where I am today without the love and support of so many people. To my amazing trainer Mike Schumate {Big Mike’s Extreme Team}. He has believed in me since day one and has helped me achieve so many personal goals as well as surpass them.  Steve, my nutritionist, for following every body change and pound. Steve has helped me lose weight the healthy way (even if he cut me to 850 calories this week).My sweet husband. He has put up with the constant battles that I have faced throughout my journey to compete. Even when I am in a bad mood and starving, Nick reminds me why I started. Kelli, my two-a-days partner, makes me laugh when I want to cry and reminds me who I am. But most of all, won’t let me do cardio alone. Last but definitely not least, my family and friends, thank you for the endless encouragement. I would not be able to do it without your prayers and kind words.

Before I give an example of my 1200 calorie diet, I want to make sure everyone reading this realizes I am competing. This diet is written specifically for me and my journey. It may work for others but you have to listen to your body and make sure you are being smart and healthy about it. I do not want people to jump in to quick so I will not share my 850 calorie diet. You have to train and be prepared before you are physically and mentally prepared to only have 850 calories.  I will also share a week’s worth of workouts. Keep in mind I have been training since March. The reps and weight I currently lift will probably not be what you can do. That is ok. It takes time and patience to gain muscle and build strength. Your body is capable of anything. It is our minds we have to convince.

Trust me… Once you see results, it becomes an addiction.

Monday {PULL DAY & Hamstrings}

Pull-Ups {wide grip} – 10 reps X 3

Bent over rows- 25 reps {each arm} x 3; 30 lbs. dumbbell

Pop squats- 30 reps x 3; holding a 10 lbs. ball

Barbell curls- 25 reps x 3; 30 lbs. barbell

Cable row- 20 reps x 3; 30 lbs., 40 lbs., 50 lbs.

Lat pull-downs- 20 reps x 3; 30 lbs., 40 lbs., 50 lbs.

Dead lifts {smith machine) – 20 reps X 3; 90-150 lbs.

Lunges- across the parking lot 6 times {there and back = 1}; 30 lbs. barbell on shoulders

Tuesday {Sweating Stadiums}

High- Knee Jumps- 75 meters X 6; walk back to the starting line

Sprints- 75 meters x 6 {as fast as you can}; side squat in-between back to the start line

High- Knee Jumps- 75 meters X 6; walk back to the starting line

Run- 1 mile

Stadiums- the entire length of the stadium 5 x; walk back to the start in- between

Wednesday {PUSH DAY}

Bench press- 20 reps X 3; 30 lbs. dumbbells

Tricep Dips- 20 reps X 3; body weight

Pushups {not girlJ} – 20 reps X 3

Standing Cable Crossovers- 20 reps X 3: find the best weight for you. Mine varies depending on the day

Tricep Extensions- 25 reps X 3; 20 lbs., 25, lbs., 30 lbs.

Standing Lat Raises- 25, 20, 15 reps X 3; 10 lbs., 15lbs., 20 lbs.

Standing Overhead Press- 20 reps X 3; 30 lbs. bar

Mountain Climbers- 100 X 3

Thursday {THREADING THURSDAY}

Cardio- 30 minutes

                Run- 30 minutes; speed 6; at least 2.5 miles

                Walk- 30 minutes; speed 3.5; incline 15

Abs- 1000 reps; whatever machine or activity you want to do. I usual do a circuit of 250 reps X 4

Friday {LEG DAY; which is my favorite}

Elliptical- 2-5 minutes; incline at the highest

Squats {Smith Machine} – 10 reps x 20; up and down the river with weights. I start with a 10lb weight on each side and go until I have 8 10 lbs. weights on each side.

Lunges- 50 reps X 3; body weight

Seated Leg Extensions- 50 reps X 3; 50 lbs.

Pop Squats- 40 reps X 3; body weight

Leg Press- 10 reps X 10; up and down the river with weights. I start with 45 lbs. weight on each side and go until I have 5 45 lbs. on each side.

Side Squats- length of the gym X 10; body weight

Calf Raises- 100 X 2; 80 lbs.

Jump Squats- 25 X3; 10 lbs. dumbbells

{Workout written by: Big Mike}

1254 Calorie Diet Example

96 oz. water per day

Meal 1: 6:30 am                                Cal          P             C             F

                4 egg whites                      64           16           0              0

                1 whole egg                       69           6              0              5

                ¼ cup oatmeal                   70           2.5          13           1

Meal 2: 9:30 am

                1 scoop protein powder     127         20           4              3.5

                12 almonds                        87           3              3              7

Meal 3: 12:00 pm

                4 oz. chicken tenderloins   109         25           0              1

                ¼ cup brown rice                80           2              18           0

                1 cup broccoli                      36           3              6              0

Meal 4: 3:00 pm

                1 scoop protein powder       127         20           4              3.5        

                 12 almonds                          87           3              3              7

Meal 5: 5:30pm

                4 oz. extra lean ground

                                  sirloin                  150         24           0              6

                4 oz. sweet potato                 104         2              24           0

Meal 6: 8 pm

                ¾ cup Greek yogurt               144         15           21           0

Totals:                                                   1,254     141.5     96           34

                                                                            45%        31%        24%

{Diet written by: Steve}

“Suck it up now and you won’t have to suck it in later.”- Unknown

Don’t Let Labels Define You

Life is a constant battle of “Who we are” and “Who we want to be.” Do you ever get caught up dreaming about a life that you want? Do you ever pray to be something other than what you are? Many of us have been in this same situation. We think “if I could just have more money” or “if I could just have what {insert name} has” I would be much better off. We are given our lives because God chose us to live it. He looked at us and determined how we would turn out.  Yes I know some people are better off than we are and some may have better paths, but this is your life that YOU were given, do not take that for granted.

 Many times we are thrown curve balls in life. Divorce happens, we lose our jobs, friendships fail and the list goes on. But why do we always try to portray a different life than what we actually have? This day in time we are forced to meet the standards of society. What if we stood up to society and decided we would live the life we want instead of what {they} want? Better yet who is {they}? We are constantly trying to please others or meet the standards that are set by someone we do not even know. In doing this we miss out on so much trying to live out some other life that is not our own.

I have made many decisions in my life that have molded me into the woman I am today. I have tried things and been in certain situations that made me appear to be someone I was not. But every time I was quickly reminded who I was and where I was from. Some of us have the ability to realize our true identity. Some of us may still be searching. I know I will never be a rocket scientist and I (unfortunately) will never be a well-known model, but the best part about all this is… I am okay with that. I am content living in Michigan, a stay at home wife and being married to my best friend because at the end of the day this is who I truly am. I am not trying to be better than someone else or see how many likes I can get on Facebook or how many people I can convince to believe I am truly happy.  Being truly happy and comfortable in your skin allows you not to care what other people think or continually search for approval.

The older I get the more I understand how important it is to stay true to who you are. Facebook, Instagram, twitter and the list goes on are all ways we strive to keep up with society. The amount of comments or likes we get will never change who we truly are. Do not get so caught up in society that you lose who you are. It is ok to make mistakes. Life allows you to make mistakes… that is how you learn. We must not let others decide who we are. No one lives your life. No one understands your battle, so do not let them determine who you are or how you handle the situation.

Running from our mistakes and who we are will only result in more hurt and pain. Instead just own up to them and accept that sometimes we make mistakes. We will never be able to influence someone by trying to be something we are not. We lose so many people by trying to live a false life.

“The greatest prison people live in, is the fear of what of other people think.”            – Unknown

Not Always Eye To Eye.. But Always Heart To Heart

Why do mothers only get one day out of the year to be praised and recognized? A mother’s work never end. They are there for us our whole lives. They cook, clean, give us endless support, unconditional love and the list goes on.

I thankfully have a mom who not only is my mom but also my best friend. She has been there for me no matter what my entire life. She never once turned her back on me or left me for any reason.  I have no idea where I would be without my mom. If I can be half the woman she is, I will forever be grateful.

A mother is a person who loves unconditionally, helps build character, heart healer, but most of all a person who is loved and greatly admired. It takes a very special person to be a mother. Being completely devoted to another soul and completely selfless shows a lot about a mother. Most mothers wouldn’t trade anything in the world for their children. But sadly… some would.

My grandmother always set the bar really high for the women in our family. She always taught us to put our faith first, family second and ourselves third. My entire life I have tried to live this way but I also realize that it is extremely hard to put yourself last.  Putting yourself last makes you not a top priority but more towards the bottom. Who in the world would want to do that? But as I grew older I realized she taught this to get us prepared to be wonderful mothers. My grandmother had two daughters of her own and in my opinion they are two of the best mothers in the world.

Being a woman we naturally have a more loving and forgiving soul. But after all isn’t that how we are supposed to be? My mom always tried her hardest to instill the best possible morals in me, teach me to be a hard worker, but most of all chase after my dreams. Mom never told me not to do something I wanted to do (even if she knew it was a bad idea).

Many people take their mothers for granted. Many people treat their mothers with no respect. Many people make no time for their mothers. You only get one mother. No one can ever replace your mother. I am guilty of not being the best daughter. I have made multiple mistakes and hurt my mom over the years. However, every day I makes sure she knows I love her and that I am grateful for her. After getting married I had the gift of my husband’s mother who quickly became a huge part of my life. She is an incredible mother and grandmother. She always puts everyone else before herself and does it with a pure heart.

When is the last time you picked up the phone and called your mom? When is the last time you dropped by for a visit? Has it been weeks, months, or years? Don’t make the mistake that many make and wait until it is too late to let your mom know she loved and appreciated.

To all the mothers who read this. What you do as a mother does not go unnoticed. You are strong, beautiful and greatly loved. I hope each and every one of you have the best Mother’s Day.

A Mother is she who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take. – Unknown

The Courage To Let Go

If you allow people to make more withdrawals than deposits in your life, you will be out of balance and in the negative. Know when to close the account. – Christine Williams

 Life is all about the “KNOW”. We all want to know everything about everything. However, knowing when to let go is a subject many of us know nothing about or we know about and ignore it. 

Have you ever had a hang nail? For some reason it would not let go. It caused pain and caused you to not be able to perform to your best ability, but the second you got rid of it there was instant relief. Life can be the same way. Many times we allow situations or people hang on in our life longer than we should.  It is ok to have a time limit for the presence of some people in your life.

So many times we get caught up in the thought that letting go means we are simply giving up. This is definitely not the case. It simply means you have finally accepted that some things just are not meant to be, some people no longer belong in your life and some situations are better when you remove yourself.

We all pray for God to show us what path we need to take or what decisions we need to make. More often than not we choose to ignore God when He says walk away or close a particular chapter in our book. Why? Why do we not listen to God? Why do we ignore what He says? We are simply scared to let go of the comfort zone we live in and scared of letting go of the things we know. The saying goes “opportunity is right on the other side of fear”. Sometimes we have to let go of what we are used to and take the chance on the opportunity that lies ahead. The funny thing about life is 95% of our problems come from situations we can do NOTHING about. After all that… we still hang on to things we simply cannot change.

If your husband or wife hurts you or leaves you. You cannot change the situation or them. If your children completely rebel against everything you have taught them. You cannot stop them. If your family completely falls apart. You cannot change it. All you can do is pray and listen to what God wants you to do with each particular situation. Sometimes trying to fix it on your own can make it worse.

Your spouse. The day you said “I Do”, you knew what type of person they were. You cannot change a person. People do not change, they alter. The may seem like they have changed but true character always comes out at one point or another.  

Your children. Children are a blessing from the Lord. No matter what happens they will always be your children.  I do not have children, but one day I hope to.  I can only pray that my children turn out to be the best they can be. There is only so much a parent can do. Instill the beliefs and morals of your family, but never forget you cannot live their lives for them. Pray daily that they remember what you taught them and leave the rest to God.

Your family. We cannot pick them. So people say unfortunately, but I say thank goodness. Because even if we could pick our family there would still be problems that would arise. The decisions that family members make are a direct reflection of them not you. We must do our part and pray that what we do is enough. Pray daily that bad situations will be resolved or that you have a chance to come a peace with what cannot be changed.

If a thought, situation or person is bringing you more misery or hurt than peace, let it or them go. How can you possibly be the best you are meant to be if you lack joy and peace? The main thing about having control of your life is finding who you are. Once you find yourself you will quickly realize how many people you will lose. We may lose people in our life because they no longer fit in our lives… and that is ok. Every experience, lesson and journey is all a part of God’s divine plan. Let go and let God.

 

Charm is deceptive and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praise. –Proverbs 31:30

I’m too busy working on my own grass to notice if yours is greener.

Life is a constant battle of trying to please everyone in our life. We try to please family, friends, employers and the list goes on. But why, why do we try to please everyone? Instead why don’t we try to make the people in our lives accept us for who we are?

We live in a world where everyone is continually trying to “Keep up with the Joneses.” Our neighbor has a new car so we should get one. So and so’s daughter is a model so we should push our daughter to be a model. We get so caught up in everyone else’s life and what they have that we forget to be thankful for what we have. I have fallen victim to this. I wanted so bad to be a successful model. I wanted to be well known, live in New York, and have everything that comes with that. But guess what… it didn’t happen. I didn’t become a model. I am not well known. I do not live in New York and I did not get all the perks of being a model. Instead I am a small town girl, who married the man of her dreams and lives life everyday more happy than I could have ever imagined.

So what if I would have become a model? Yea I would be well known, probably have loads of money and live in New York but, would I be happy? Would I have my husband? Would I be who I thought I would turn out to be?

That’s the problem. Society pushes us so hard to keep up with what their definition of “life” is. Fame, money, drama… all of which make most people more unhappy than happy. How many successful marriages do you read about? How many times do see someone dressing modestly and being praised for it?

Being content with what you have and where you are is a very hard thing to do. We lose sight so quickly of the things we have been blessed with and the things we have worked so hard to achieve. I moved 15 hours away from everything that I have ever known. I left my family, friends, house, job, and so much more but it was for a reason. That reason was for God to make me realize that I am content with who I am. It’s ok that I did not land a modeling career or an overpriced apartment in New York. It’s all ok because I have more now than I could have ever imagined. I have a husband who loves me, new friends that I adore, a beautiful home and a solid testimony that no one can change.

Forget what everyone expects you to be. Forget about being the richest person in town. Forget about all the designer clothes. But never forget who you are and where you came from. Be ok with what you have and where you are. It does not matter if you have the best of the best, it matters that what you have is yours and no one can change that. Be content with where you are in life. But most of all… be content with YOU!

Confidence isn’t walking into a room with your nose in the air, and thinking that you are better than everyone else, it’s walking into a room and not having to compare yourself to anyone else in the first place.- Unknown

Southern Compassion

Every person you meet is fighting a battle that you do not know about. We all carry around different burdens and hurt that we do not allow the world to see. How many times have you been sitting somewhere and see someone with a gloomy look on their face and you wonder what is going on? I at times stop and say a little prayer because we have no idea what they truly could be battling.

Being from the south we naturally are taught to have compassion. We love others when they cannot love themselves, we help others when they are helpless, we always have our lives completely put together on the outside but could be dying on the inside, and we always make sure we use our manners. However how many times have we caught ourselves being quick to judge situations we know nothing about? Unfortunately I am guilty of doing this. I have judged and jumped to conclusions in many situations I had no business even worrying about. The result I have learned is it hurts more than it helps.

Instead of putting others in their place, put yourself in their place. If we worry more about our self and where we stand, we would spend less time worrying about other people and their choices. Many times we catch our self so consumed in other people’s lives and choices. We should be more focused on bettering ourselves and the community rather than judging other’s and their decisions.

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”- Maya Angelou

Perfect Imperfection

Everyone grows up looking for the perfect “fairy tale ending.” We all want the perfect wife, husband, children, job, family, and so much more. But how many of us have stopped and realized life is not always going to be perfect. There are going to be upsets and set backs but we have to look at our life as an overall picture. Life is precious and we must not spend it wasting our time on things that we can not change.

When I met Nick I thought he was perfect. Tall, dark, handsome, everything (most) women look for in a man. After we started dating and got engaged I realized the reason I fell in love with Nick was not because he was perfect but because he was imperfect. I have the perfect husband. He loves me, provides for me, takes care of my family and so much more but just like the rest of us he is not afraid to make mistakes.

The best thing in life is finding someone who knows all your flaws, mistakes, and weaknesses but still thinks you are completely amazing. Nick is the perfect example for this. I can be moody and hard to please but he never gives up on me or gets upset with me. When I am having a bad day he goes out of his way to try and show me how much he loves me. I am very thankful and fortunate to have someone as sweet as Nick to spend my life with. Every relationship is different. No two are the same, fight the same battles, experience the same trials but every relationship should be two people who love each other unconditionally and are willing to face anything together.

Being in a relationship is not about kissing, holding hands or the showing off. It is not a competition. It is about being with someone who makes you happy in a way that no one else can. It is also about being with that one person who accepts you the way you are and does not expect you to change.Life changes constantly but we all have to remember to stand firm for what we want and protect what we have. Never let anyone take that away from you.

Surrender to what is. Let go of what was. Have faith in what will be. – Sonia Ricotti

Happy Valentine’s  Day

Once you control your mind, you can control your body.

Cry as hard as you want. But make sure that when you stop crying, you never cry for the same reason again. Life can be so difficult, relationships can be challenging, jobs can bring us down, but why do we let it control who we are? Only we have the ability to control our minds and bodies. Through my reading this week I found some advice about people who are mentally strong.

They move on. People who move on do not waste time feeling sorry for themselves or trying to convince others to feel sorry for them.They stay happy. There is no time to complain or worry about situations that can’t be changed. They stay positive. People who have control of their mind and body continuously stay positive because there is not enough room in our lives to be negative and positive.

There are two things that prevent us from happiness and having control over our minds; living in the past and observing others. We have to train our brains and learn to be happy with who we are and what we have. The world was not meant for everyone to be exactly the same and have the exact same things. Besides, who wants to live in a world like that anyways?

Our choices in life should reflect our hopes and dreams not our fears. Sometimes we let the little people sitting on our shoulders control what we think. We have to learn to make firm decisions on our own and not let a little voice inside our head or someone else determine our destiny.

We have to constantly remind ourselves that we have control of our lives and destiny. The worst thing we can do is lose sight of who we are and what we deserve. Every choice we make in life becomes a chapter in our life book, we just have to make good choices and never re-read an old chapter. Start today and take control of your life and make sure you invest your time on bettering yourself and others around you. Every positive change in your life begins with a clear decision that you are going to either do something or stop doing something. The choice is yours.

When you go through deep waters. I will be with you. Isaiah 43:2