Y’all…I am so saddened by the suicide of fashion icon, Kate Spade, earlier this week. Being a male, I do not know much about Kate Spade as a brand, but I know it has been very successful over the years and people love it. I think when most people saw this news their first reaction was,
“Kate Spade? No way!”
How could such a fabulous women with such success and fame be in such a dark place that she could take her own life? It is heartbreaking really. By the way, this is not the first time we have seen a case like this. Do you remember the sudden death of Robin Williams? I believe the important thing to take away from this is that mental health does not discriminate. It doesn’t matter who you are. It does not matter how much or how little of something you have. Kate Spade “had it all” , but none of these things matter when you are sick. Kate was not selfish. Kate was not weak. Kate was not crazy. Kate was sick. I can understand that and I have seen it first-hand. I was again extremely sad to see that today, Anthony Bourdain, former CNN reporter committed suicide this morning. He was a wonderful storyteller and, like Kate, will be so missed. Mental Health matters and it comes without warning.
No one can really imagine the pain her family is going through, not to mention her precious 13-year old daughter, unless you have been in that tragic situation. Please join me in praying for her family, friends, the fashion community, and also for those around the world who may be struggling and after hearing this news, might tragically see it as an answer for them…which by the way, it absolutely is not… Suicide is talked about right now because a woman /man of celebrity was the victim of it, but the reality is it is happening every single day. This is a problem in our world and in my opinion, something that needs to be talked about more, not forgotten as the headlines fade. Mental health needs to be at the forefront of our conversations, and accepted for what it is… completely normal. Hug your loved ones extra tight today.
If you or someone you know is struggling please do not be afraid to reach out to your friends, your family, me, or the National Suicide Prevention Line: 1-800-273-8255
I know during some of my dark times, I didn't want to ask for help and I didn't want to call a hotline number. However, everyone is different. Do not be afraid to speak up and show love. I am grateful for each one of you.
Southern and Thankful
EXCITING NEWS FRIENDS!
I’ve been meaning to write a little something…sharing my news…but I have kind of been on the run the last week (by the way- sooooo fun…I can’t wait to talk more about my latest adventure, but first things first). Last week I was given the opportunity to start a summer internship with a great group of people at Campbell Ward in Little Rock, AR. They are a public relations and public affairs firm located in Little Rock right around the corner from the capitol building. They (I guess we now lol) do a lot of work with different agriculture groups and companies as well as some work in the political world. Here’s a little blurb about them:
“Campbell Ward is a bi-partisan, state and federal public affairs and public relations firm operating on a case by case approach that achieves optimal results for each specific client. Our firm provides widespread solutions to effectively address client concerns while identifying new ways to succeed and help create a comprehensive strategy.”
They provide services ranging from media relations to political action committee management as well as special events coordination/marketing to stakeholder mapping / public engagement. This is honestly super exciting to me! As you can imagine, I am soaking it all in. I started this past Tuesday and I am already learning so much, especially about agriculture in the state of Arkansas. Did you know that Arkansas is the number one rice producing state in the nation? That means this state produces more rice than any other state in the country. I have grown up around rice my whole life but never realized how important that statement really is. Super cool!
Take a look below at the fun socks they gave me on the first day. How cool are those??
I have been kind of laughing at myself because never did I think after graduation I would be working in Little Rock, Arkansas, talking about agriculture and/or politics in the office place. It is just a small reminder that God works in oddly, yet perfectly powerful ways. I am thrilled to be here this summer with these people that are so kind, fun, intelligent, and generous with their time and knowledge. It is also greatly comforting to feel like I am not wasting time, to have some small resemblance of a schedule, and to have a little bit of a purpose. I am also looking forward to where God is leading me. All I really have to do, and you too for that matter, is follow.
PS- Keep me in mind for further job opportunities as I will be looking for something more permeant as the summer ends AND if you are ever in Little Rock and want to grab lunch… HIT ME UP!
Southern and Thankful
"So what's next?"
"What are you doing now?"
"You got a job yet?"
These are a few examples of the questions I have been asked over and over again these past few months. I have been joking saying if I had a dollar for every time I have been asked these types of questions I wouldn't even need to get a job- lol. A lot of us recent graduates feel this way. Therefore, let me update you!
On May 12, 2018, I graduated from Texas Christian University with a degree in Strategic Communications and minors in Communication Studies and FTDM (film, tv, digital media). It was a wonderful weekend filled with family and friends. I am honestly so happy about how it turned out. The whole weekend was a weekend full of celebration, not sadness, which I appreciated.
Now to the all-important question...No, I do not have a job. I had a few job offers, but they didn't feel right. I, with encouragement from my parents, did not want to settle for something that I would have been miserable at. And through this experience, I have realized that I have a lot of passions. Therefore, I am not really sure what I want to do with my life. And again, with the support of my family, they've encouraged me to embrace the fact that I don't have to know at this exact moment. When I look back on this time, I know I will be grateful I took this time to rest, rejuvenate and discover what makes me fulfilled in a career path.
I came back to Arkansas right away because it was evident that things were a changing at "my" beloved TCU, and with my undergrad experience. The very first day of postgraduate status found me watching my roommates and friends packing up and moving on. We knew this day was coming. Thankfully I had started packing in the last few weeks and was able to wrap it up shortly after my family left as well. I was ready to close that chapter. Ya know, rip off the bandaid so to speak. Since being home, I have been resting and relaxing, reading, watching TV, applying for jobs, spending time with family and friends, as well as planning a few spontaneous trips. Again, just enjoying this time that I know I will never get back and because I know how quickly my life will change.
I have to give a M A J O R shoutout to my parents who have loved me so well and supported me through this whole thing. I realize not everyone has the luxury to take a little time before starting a job and a whole new way of life. My parents. They have been wildly supportive and crazy encouraging. They have been right there with me, helping me to discover what it is I want to do. They truly want me to not only be successful but fulfilled. Gosh, I don't deserve them. Thank you, Mom and Dad...I cannot truly convey how appreciative I am! I hope to make you very proud.
I have also been working on some exciting personal projects that I can't wait to share. One of them is to get back to that daily blogging life that is so important to me. I fell out of my schedule when I realized I was putting a ton of pressure on myself to make every post powerful and life-changing. I also realized that I wanted to be "present" in my last few years at TCU. But, now is the perfect time to start again, and I am really going to be taking some time to stop and appreciate the smaller things in life - and, I will gladly be sharing with you along the way!
I have always felt like God has this grand plan for me. To really make a difference and make an impact on the world. To really be someone. I still feel that so strongly. I am not quite sure what path I will be lead down to get there but know that GOD does. God and I have been talking a lot these days, and I trust completely that He will use me, and equip me, to become whatever it is that I am to be... Now That Is Exciting!
Southern and Thankful
I have been sitting here for a good 20 minutes typing and re-typing trying to figure out how to start a post about my sweet friend, Taylor Helland, who passed away two years ago today. There really is no easier way to say that someone has passed away, is there? It sounds so harsh because there are so many mixed emotions behind that. Everyone misses her a TON, but at the same time, we know she is pain-free and happier than ever which is much more important.
Throughout 2017, I thought of my friend Taylor a lot because of her mantra- "Choose Joy". One day I sat down...I was having a hard day, and I decided to write a little in my journal about my friend, who even in the afterlife continues to inspire me. I wrote a little poem. I do like to write poems, so that isn't unusual, but since this particular one was about Taylor, I figured today was a wonderful day to share it with others. It isn't perfect, but it's from my heart and it makes me smile. Here it is:
I walked in the room, not knowing a soul
Scared and Unsure of what the future would hold
The girl was sunny blond hair & the brightest smile
Turned out to be a true friend who would stay a while
Taylor was brave and she was strong
She did not complain nor miss a beat
She always kept others on their feet
Taylor battled cancer long & hard
Her attitude and spirit was always a glow
“Choose Joy” she made sure everyone would know
It was her motto, her armor, her greatest defense
It has helped me more than I can ever admit
Choose Joy has impacted many far and wide
Especially the Horned Frogs whom cheered alongside
I miss Taylor
I thank Taylor
I often look up and talk to Taylor
She was my friend & most certainly my peer
She is someone I will forever hold dear
I Choose Joy today
I Choose Joy tomorrow
I Choose Joy to avoid feeling too much sorrow
Here’s to that girl flying around
No doubt as a butterfly high off the ground
You taught me a lesson important to all
“CHOOSE JOY “Taylor would say, no matter how often you fall.
Taylor was a wonderful friend to me and today I choose to remember the good times, like struggling to the point of extreme laughter in elementary statics. This week at TCU is coined "Taylor Week" in preparation for the annual Dance Marathon Event that benefits the local hospital, where Taylor was treated. Taylor was super involved in Dance Marathon and helping others, whom she could so easily identify with. Last year, while at Dance Marathon, I broke my scapula (LOL yeah TBT to that). This year I have been involved as a member of the PR committee for Dance Marathon. Even though it wasn't my favorite memory from last year (hence the broken bone and all), I still wanted to be involved in the organization because I know Taylor would have loved that! Because of Taylor, Dance Marathon is something so close to so many of us. I would love it, and appreciate so much if you would donate to my fund at this link:
I have been behind this year on my personal fundraising but would LOVE even the smallest amount you could give to this cause. I promise to do my best not to break any bones this year!!
Taylor is someone that will never be forgotten. She has made such an impact here on campus and much further. I see people every day in the "Choose Joy" shirts that were created in her memory. Today, many of us remember her and celebrate her goodness. If you want to learn more about Taylor, or hear her story, here is my post from last year:
Choosing joy is just that...a choice. I often have to remind myself that if my friend, who fought cancer fiercely, can do it, then so can I. I am thankful for my friend. I miss my friend. I love my friend and I am forever grateful she was placed in my life at such an important time.
Thank you, Taylor.
Southern and Thankful
Let's talk about tomorrow. No, it's not just any other day. It's V day!
Valentines Day is fast approaching, and honestly, we all know the mixed emotions that come with this holiday. Some people having nothing but heart eyes all day long hoping for all the flowers and chocolates in the world. Some people complain all day long on social media and to their coworkers because they want everyone to know they are miserable not having anyone to share the day with. Love, hate, sadness, happiness, joy- everyone feels some type of emotion on Valentine's day.
To be honest, I am a fan of the day. I will admit it is fun when you have someone to share the love with, but overall, I do like the stereotypical traditions on Valentines Day. No matter who you are, I believe it is important to love every day, but it is especially fun on Valentines Day.
One thing you should know about me is my love for all things in celeb culture. I read and keep up with popular culture each day. Partly because I am intrigued and hope to work in the industry one day, but also because I truly am such of fan of so many musicians, actors, actresses, tv personalities, comedians, dancers, and entertainers. There is just something about staying up to date with that world that is fun to me.
Last week, one of my favorites, Selena Gomez did an interview with the Fashion magazine, Harpers Bazaar, where she talked about several things from her music, to being the most followed person on Instagram, to her street style and to overall life lessons. She even talked about her love for the restaurant Chilis, which I could 100% relate to. Again, I was reading this because I am such a fan of hers. She is my WCW every day. But one thing really stuck out to me. She was asked if she believed that 2018 was going to be better than 2017 and in her response, she addressed her health struggles in the past and even her battle with depression and anxiety. This was her response:
"I’ve had a lot of issues with depression and anxiety, and I’ve been very vocal about it, but it’s not something I feel I’ll ever overcome. There won’t be a day when I’m like, “Here I am in a pretty dress—I won!” I think it’s a battle I’m gonna have to face for the rest of my life, and I’m okay with that because I know that I’m choosing myself over anything else. I’m starting my year off with that thought. I want to make sure I’m healthy. If that’s good, everything else will fall into place." -Selena Gomez
If you would like to read more the article can be found here: http://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/features/a15895669/selena-gomez-interview/
First of all, I applaud her for being so open about such a personal struggle. That is hard. I cannot imagine being on her level of fame and talking openly like that. I really identified with this because this year already I have learned the importance of putting myself first (behind God, of course). I always try to put others first because I believe that is the way I am wired. But what I am realizing is that there comes a time in your life when you have to make sure you are taking care of yourself. Making the right positive decisions that are healthy for YOU. I spent so long worrying about others and trying to please others that it truly started to affect my health. When I was casually reading this article I instantly knew God was sending me a sign, telling me to keep doing what I have been doing. It is working!
Selena is my Valentine this year even though I believe she may be back with Justin Beiber (lol). Little moments like this teach us the biggest lessons. This Valentine's day, let go of other things and love yourself. Love yourself because I am assuring you that in the end, it will not only make you happier, but it will make you healthier. A happy lifestyle is a healthy lifestyle. I am grateful for my health and the things I have been doing lately to make me a happier and healthier person. This Valentine's day I will love others immensely, but most of all I will love myself because, ironically, we were also created to do just that.
Happy Valentines Day! I love you. I love me!
Southern and Thankful
Did you know that the average person has five social media accounts, and spends at least 1 hour and 40 minutes on social media in ONE day?
Did you also know that the average person spends 5 hours on their phone in ONE day?
C R A Z Y, right?!? And hey, I am just as guilty, if not more, than the next person. As I reflected back on 2017, I realized that this has been a source of sadness and anxiety for me. You know what I mean. Like:
Why didn't they text me back?
I feel like that photo should have gotten more likes.
Did I save the streak?
Why did they lose the streak?
Why did they read that and not reply?
Did they not get my message?
Should I share this on Facebook?
Is this funny enough?What would people think about that?
How does this edit look?
Got any funny caption ideas?
Did I put too much on my story?
Why does their life look so much better than mine?
Now, you may not ask yourself all these questions, but these are thoughts I found myself thinking over the last year. Don't get me wrong, I am also a fan of social media, but it comes with such pressure. I also believe it can be unhealthy to the point where it changes a person. Several of my friends have recommended over the course of the year that I should try and spend less time on social media , and eventually my phone, but I was too stubborn to listen. You have to keep the followers happy, right? False. You need to keep yourself happy. Obsessing over posts and pictures can lead you down the wrong path.
For me, spending less time on social media is a resolution for 2018 that is on the top of my list. I have other goals on my list, like spending more time in the word and pray, reading more for fun, and exercising more. I realized that if I cut back on social media, I would have time to properly do these things. I have already read two books this month!! Don't get me wrong, removing myself from the constant barrage of social media has also been inconvenient, but it is so worth it for me. I gave up Facebook (although, I will still be sharing this on there for people to read). And. I have also done away with Snapchat (I still have been keeping my streaks because I am loyal and may get back on there one day so I want to keep them up... lol pointless-seeming I know...but it was a big investment for me to just throw away). The only site I really use and check now is Instagram. I know what some of you are thinking, but it is my favorite one and I wanted to be connected somehow. Even this slightest change has already made me feel so much better and it has only been a little over a week for me!
The Chainsmokers recently released a song called "Sick Boy." Not my all-time favorite, but one verse stood out to me: "how many likes is my life worth?" it questions. This is the issue with social media nowadays. Everyone's lives are devoted to social media and if they don't have it, nobody would be known. Their lives would fade away. At least, that is what we think. People aren't living just to live anymore. They live for the likes they will get when they post about it. They live for the Snapchats they can get to make it look like they are having fun. They live for the funny things they can post about on Facebook or Twitter. They make fake and staged poses, take 10,000 pictures in order to get one perfect one and end up editing the life out of it. People are posing for "candid" pictures nowadays. Excuse me, but doesn't the word "candid" mean you don't pose for them?
I am so guilty of living for other people and not living for myself, but I can promise you that is going to change this year and it starts with taking some time away from the root of the problem. Even giving up a few accounts makes a difference, I swear. I mean you know it is bad when you are trying to take multiple pictures because you need one for the Instagram story and one for the Snapchat story, but they have to be equally as good. Enough is enough. Live in the moment. Don't let people, or "likes", define your happiness. Your life is worth more than all the likes in the world...that is a proven fact I am thankful for.
Southern and Thankful
I sat at home this morning, laying on my couch, watching out the windows as a gloomy day passed in Arkansas. A little rain here and there, colder weather, and lots of fog... Honestly my favorite type of day to stay inside! The house was quiet, as everyone was either at school or work- perks of being a college student on Winter break. I was reading a book, but I could not take my eyes off of the fog. As the day went on, the fog really set in. It was not only strangely dark and pretty, but oddly very peaceful.
Naturally, it got me to thinking... lately, our little town has lost several people to sickness and cancer. I had lunch with a friend yesterday and we dicussed the sadness that brings to a small town, whether you are directly affected, or not. As I was studying the fog, and thinking/praying, a thought suddenly came to mind. We are often faced with a fog in front of us. Maybe physically it's not there, but mentally, we do not know what the future holds- it is clouded by fog. As you all who follow me know, I have become even more aware of how important it is that I trust in the plan God has for me, even though because of "fog", I don't always know exactly what that looks like. We can all overthink too much, playing out in our heads what will happen, but no one knows except for God because He is on the other side of that fog, guiding us through. Somedays the fog is thicker, some days, very faint; but, still present. Regardless, it is there distracting us, obscuring our vision.
With the fog this morning, I knew what was beyond it. The homes and trees of course, because I have seen the world outside my house in full color and clarity. I believe the only way to see through the "fog" and uncertainty we face in every day life is to trust in God. Having faith in Him is the only way for us to truly be okay with the fog.
I can think back to times in my life where I was attempting to navigate through the thick fog all alone and of course, I failed miserably. Life is too short and too fragile to waste it wondering and worrying what lies beyond or within the fog. Just like the fog, life is mysterious, dark, light, and full of potential. Often in fog, our vision is clouded making our decisions clouded. The fog hides the truth from us and let's be honest, the longer we hide in the fog the worse things get.
I encourage you to find your light. For me, that is Christ. Use whatever or whoever you choose to help you walk in the light- to live in the light. The fog is breathtaking, but at the end of the day, we all thrive from a little light. Love your neighbor, hold on to your friends, and cherish the time you have walking in the light because the longer the fog sticks around, the easier it becomes to get lost.
1 Corinthians 13:12
"We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!"
Southern and Thankful
Last week, I was wandering around a party supply store anxiously preparing for a New Year's Eve party with my sweet sister, Madison. For many years we have celebrated the New Year in Hot Springs, Arkansas. As we have grown up, Madison and I have enjoyed making sure we have proper decorations to make the celebrations even that much more fun. We especially love the giant number balloons that are so IN right now...I mean, they even have their own Snapchat and Instagram filters during the holidays. Anyway, as I walked around the shop and looked at all the different decorations, I thought how fun it would be to be in that business, right?
Confetti, balloons, streamers, noisemakers, hats, and more!
I could not take my eyes off of this giant ball of ribbon. I am assuming it is used for something related to balloons. But, being the OCD individual I am, I was freaked out at how easily it looked like the whole thing could fall apart at just any minute. All someone would have to do is pull the ribbon the wrong way and BOOM they would have it all over the place. What a mess that would be!
We finished our shopping and stuffed the balloons in the car. I moved on from the near disaster they had on their hands at the store with that ribbon, but later that night as I was laying in bed, my mind wondered back to that giant ball of ribbon. I am serious, thinking about it made me cringe a little. I realized that I have more in common with that big ball of beautiful ribbon than I would like to admit.
You see that ribbon was sitting there perfectly fine. The workers were using it as normal. They were surely used to it! But if someone wanted to make a mess of it, they easily could. That ribbon was holding itself together. It didn't need to be bothered, but if it was in the slightest, it could really start to unravel.
Now, you may think I am silly comparing myself to a ball of ribbon, but I had this oddly accurate realization that I could relate to this ribbon. You see over the past year it has been easy for me to hold it all together, or atleast make it look like I had it all together. Appearances are no problem! There were very few things that could cause me to outwardly unravel, but when would I think about the things that were bothering me, and dwell on them, that is when I would completely fall apart, just like this ribbon would if someone started pulling on it.
For me, I could see areas and instances in my life where certain things or thoughts of certain people would cause me nothing but negativity in my head. And, that is exactly what the devil was trying, and still tries, to do. He knows what makes us weak. He knows our pressure points and he wants to push on those until we completely cannot take it anymore. In my life, it is always focusing on others approval or disapproval of me. He so enjoys putting those negative thoughts in my head... making me overthink. It always gets to me. But I will say that seeing this ball of ribbon in this little party shop taught me something pretty cool. Seeing something for what it is, like the devil trying to pull me apart just perfectly by nagging on something so sensitive makes it that much easier to fight him and not let him win.
A lot of life is fighting against whatever or whoever (in my case the Devil) you believe is trying to bring you down. These days I am doing everything I can to fight against him and rely on God to help me always see the positive. Seeing what I am fighting against, in a party shop of all places, gave me a good start to 2018!
I want to thank all of you who have encouraged and said such kind things to me about my blog post the other day. It really made me feel good to share what 2017 was like for me, but also receiving such wonderful support warmed my heart. I hope everyone is off to a great start in this new year AND I hope you will not let someone or something pull on a part of your ribbon that breaks you down! You are beautiful, full, and just as complex as that shiny ribbon....no need to let anyone or thing mess you up. We have so much to be thankful for!
Southern and Thankful
Pop the champagne-- 2017 is on the way out!!!
Most of you know that I had my hardest year to date in 2017. Don't get me wrong, I made wonderful memories, but also experienced some big-time lows. My anxiety reached a whole new level. I felt worthless and stupid. I blamed God. I struggled with waves of emotion. I forgot where my worth came from. I lost sight of who I was and what I was doing. I let the opinions of others and the thoughtlessness define me. Looking back, I now know that in this disappointing time, I had a decision to make...I could spiral or I could rise. Sadly, for a brief time, I unknowingly chose to spiral.
During this time, I reached out to someone who I cared about and who I know at some point cared deeply for me. Sadly, they didn't respond. I waited, but the help I was hoping for never came. I didn't think much about it at the time. Of course, I was hurt, but I didn't learn until months later that this was a defining moment for me. Understand, it made me feel weak just to reach out. There were nights where I didn't know how much more I could take before I let such darkness and negativity overcome me. I am not going to lie, it absolutely would have if it weren't for a few saving graces.
1. Christ has always been my rock. No matter what adversity came my way, I always stood up tall and proud because I have tremendous faith in God. This year I did not have that faith for a majority of the year. No worries, I got it back recently! But negativity piled on negativity forced me into this box and I could not see my way out for a while. I know God has a definite plan though, and I also know that his divine intervention saved me in the nick of time.
2. My family never fails to remind me how loved I am. They show their love in multiple ways, but at the end of the day, love was one thing I really needed. They have been wonderful encouragers, and I know I did not make it easy on them at times. They know I love them just as much! Whether it was a simple text or a surprise visit...family always reminds you that you are not alone!
3. My friends. Sol, Sam, Patrick, Chris, and Justin to name a few. They chose to walk with me during this time, even when it got hard. Whenever I needed support, these guys showed up big time. Thank you for forming #teamcade!
The world is cruel and people can be, too. Surround yourself with God and build your faith by getting in the word. Satan wants nothing more than to make you feel isolated and alone. Case in point, we are in an age where technology is controlling us more and more every day. We don't like what we see in the mirror and we constantly strive to keep up this image online for our followers to see. We don't feel good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, popular enough, or strong enough. But, I've learned that perfection leads to isolation. I've also learned that we don't love or listen to our parents enough. We let the number of views our stories get determine our mood for the day. We forget to say thank you and we judge the common stranger. We also might drink too much on occasion and make stupid decisions. We gossip and spread rumors. We rely too much on others and become victimized by our friend's actions. We are flawed, but with all these flaws and self-doubt, we are fearfully and wonderfully made for a reason. We have the option to spiral or rise- both uniquely different routes, but both filled with tremendous lessons on life.
This year I spiraled and hated almost every minute of it. Now that the year is coming to a close I see what God was trying to teach me: you were born to rise but in order to rise you have to start at the bottom. I reached the bottom, believe me, and in this coming year...I will choose to rise! And, I have to know that if all the good in my life were to be taken away, God is still good. I cannot rely on people, even the ones who love me most, for my happiness. And I sure can't rely on the ones who don't. I must rely solely on HIM!
I don't think all my struggles will go away at the stroke of midnight. However, I do know that with the start of a new year comes the closing of one chapter and the beginning of another. I don't have many expectations for this coming year, which may I add is a big year with added responsibilities and changes that come with graduation in May. I look forward to the excitement coming my way. The unknown, the new relationships, the lost relationships, and whatever else God has in store for me. Together with God... I will rise!
So, 2018...let's do this. I'll be bringing my new found faith in Christ, my wonderful relationships with friends and family, the life lessons I've learned and Taylor Swift's new album with me, but the rest of 2017...I'll be leaving you in the past!!
Happy New Year to each of you. May 2018 be a year on the rise!
--by grace through faith--
Southern and Thankful
I have always loved this time of year. From the holiday parties to the presents to the delicious food to the traditions, like the Christmas Eve service...It is such a wonderful time. Lots of love and laughter to go around for all, yet this year it has been different for me. I have still loved all the excitement and celebrations, but for me, this year, Christmas has been different.
Just when I thought I understood the depths of gratitude, 2017 came along and showed me up. In the coming week, I intend to recap the year, but I didn't realize how grateful this year has made me until the holiday season came around. When my Mom was begging me for a Christmas list I honestly had such a hard time coming up with much. I am not just saying that to sound humble, promise. I truly know that I have everything I could ever want in life. There is very little, if any at all, that I need. I did came up with a list of wants and popular items that are probably on everyone's list but in all honesty... I could go this whole Christmas without opening one gift. Not only do I have everything I need, but this year has shown me that some of the biggest blessings are not material possessions. I will be opening gifts, I am sure, but the point is I came to this realization that Christmas is so much more than the fun parties, the extravagant gifts, and the delicious food... Christmas is something more.
All the decorations, the mistletoe, the snow, the carols- if none of that was here, would you still celebrate Christmas... you know, for its true meaning? This is something I have asked myself over and over again. It's a hard question really, but I have decided that I definitely WOULD celebrate Christmas without all of these things. For the first time I not only understand how truly special and holy the birth of Jesus is, but I also understand how truly special the people and things already in my life are. I think understanding the importance of Jesus' birth and knowing how blessed I am has given me the best outlook I have ever had. For me, this Christmas will be one unlike any other.
Happiness does not come in a cardboard box. It is wonderful and beautiful to sit by your fire and gaze at all the Christmas decorations, as I am doing now, but if all of it went away, would you still celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ? Ask yourself that this year! Spend time with your loved ones, and if you can't be with friends or family, text or call them and show them love. We should do that every day, but especially on a day like Christmas. I know my friends and family mean more to me than they ever have in the past. We get so caught up in all of it that we often forget the reason for the season. We forget that on this day many years ago, in the stable where Mary gave birth to Jesus, that they had none of this. Be grateful for everything and everyone that makes this season bright, but don't forget to be thankful for the brightest of them all. You know, the birthday boy who saved our lives. I, this Christmas more than ever, know without a doubt that he saved my life. That is something I will celebrate and consider my BEST gift this Christmas.
Lots of love to you and yours. Christmas is something more...that is what I am thankful for.
May your day be joyful and bright... Merry Christmas to all!
Southern and Thankful
Blessed is an understatement when it comes to my life. Each and every day I am amazed by God's steadfast love. In return, I have claimed this space to show my thanks and whatever else comes along the way. A student at Texas Christian University who loves any creative insta post, all donuts, and dress pants that make you do a double take. I pray God has a grand purpose for me and I plan to get there with a little Southern and a lot of Thanks! Join me!