Have you ever looked back on your life and wondered how you arrived at the place you are in today? What if you had taken a left versus a right? Did you make the absolute best possible choices for your life, or could you have done better? So many questions, with very few answers. At some point in time, most adults ponder over all of these things and even more before determining what course their lives will take.
Growing up, I was insanely shy, almost to my detriment. I rarely spoke up for myself, my head hung low, and my voice was so light you could barely hear anything I had to say. Being teased quite often in grade school didn't help with overcoming my meek personality. From the way I walked, the way I dressed, to my face's shape, I constantly felt like I was fighting an uphill battle while going in reverse. Many years after graduating from high school, I sensed a change in my demeanor. Although still very shy, I began to embrace who I was as a young woman. Looking back on the kids who teased me in school, I now realize it was necessary for my growth as a woman.
🎶 Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear momma, Happy Birthday to you! 🎶
If I could scream from the highest mountain top I would let the whole world know that today is your special day and just how much you mean to me. It's not everyday that angels come to greet us here on earth but I know that is just what you are. A smile that can light up a room, a heart made of pure gold and a spirit that is unmatched, you are truly one of a kind. As I took time to have a moment with God this morning I thanked Him for you. You have selflessly been our nurturer, provider, care-giver and shown us the meaning of compassion, love and humility. What do you give a person who has all of those things? Any and everything that puts that beautiful smile on your face.
When you admire a person so much you can't help but wonder every little thing about them. Did you always know you would be a wife and a mother? What were your dreams? Where did you tell your friends you would go when you graduated? What music did you dance to? Who taught you how to draw? Do you know how much your are loved?
This year seems to have been a blur at times. The challenges and obstacles placed before us have only made our faith stronger and our testimonies worth hearing. May the flowers brighten your day, may the gifts serve as a token for how much we care and may the love shown to you on this day overflow into the next, and so on and so on.
Wishing I was there to celebrate with you this year. Even though the miles separate us I carry you with me through every single step I take because you showed me the way. I honor you, I adore you, and I love you from this side of the world all the way across this magnificent universe, right back to you. Happy Birthday to my favorite person in the world, my Mom! 🎁
I love you always and forever...Your Lisa
Singing, "It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life for me, and I'm feeling good". As I woke this morning to my cats meowing because they knew it was time to eat, I fed them, opened the blinds, asked Alexa what the temperature was and felt a little offended when she didn't say or at least sing Happy Birthday to me. I mean she should know me by now seeing as though I talk to her every single day. Gotta research the newer versions because that is just unacceptable!
Once I got over that minor setback I spent a little time talking with God. Thankful for the past year that has shown me so much, tested me in ways I would have never imagined and pushed me closer and closer towards my dreams, all of which have brought me to the exact place that I am in today. Trusting in Him to direct my path to lead me to what is next. Reflection is a huge part of my life as it allows me to adjust as needed and forever remain thankful. Make changes to anything that doesn't naturally flow and allowing myself to acknowledge that I deserve all the good that has come my way and all that is to come.
No one ever said it would be easy, that the road ahead would be absent of obstacles and no one knew there would be a force so strong that things would start to gravitate in a reverse direction preventing forward motion. We often try our best to avoid change because of fear of the unknown and the uncertainty that comes along with it, however it's best to embrace that change because quite honestly what is written is what shall be.
If this year held a scorecard 2020 would be in the lead and the entire universe would be trailing behind with a huge loss and disadvantage with little to no hope of taking the lead. As things continued to unfold we watched and waited as if it was playing out on television as the most dramatic year ever. The continued need to have something to smile about, something to make us proud to hold our heads high and to finally see a brighter day is just the dose of medicine this world needed.
It's one of my favorite times of the year. The fall weather, the leaves changing colors, the cooler temperatures, the ghouls and goblins and of course the pumpkin carving. That time of the year when you can dress up however you want and no one will look at you weird. Doesn't matter if you want to be your favorite super hero for the day or a princess it's perfectly normal and actually kinda cool. Growing up I always chose a costume with a mask and by the time I made it to the end of the sidewalk it was quite hot and uncomfortable, but to remove it would mean you wouldn't get the full effect that was my costume, so the mask remained.
I never quite understood the chant of 'trick or treat smell my feet, give me something good to eat' because the only thing we were after was candy, lots of candy and more candy please, and thank you. The amount of candy we would collect was unbelievable. It was almost too much to enjoy. My parents would inspect the candy and make sure it was safe to eat, no open wrappers or anything that looked suspicious. Afterwards my mom would let me have a few pieces, and then she put the candy away which of course brought on the crocodile tears and confusion as to why I couldn't just keep it under my pillow in case of emergencies. Seemed like a version of torture at the time but I now know they were just keeping us safe.
So many memories of that fall day and the excitement it brought to dress up for a few hours and just be a kid. I can't think of this day without instantly smiling.
With all the challenges of 2020 parents have come up with creative and different ways to celebrate the event while remaining safe. From pumpkin carving at home, celebrating in your own neighborhood, having a virtual party, to planning an all day dress up complete with Halloween music and themed movies to keep that spark going for your children there are so many ways to make it completely safe and fun.
Whatever you choose to do, have fun with it, be safe and just be a kid again! I promise it's perfectly normal and it will actually make you feel good.
Happy Halloween 🎃
The reservation has been made. The invites have been sent. Your outfit will likely be decided at the last minute. The only thing left to do is arrive at the restaurant, and begin to create memories with those who matter the most. Friends who have traveled near and far, and those who will be meeting for the first time. The older I get the more these special moments mean to me. When I start to plan an occasion I am thinking of those who I have shared my deepest thoughts and feelings with. Those I can laugh and cry with, and those who get on my nerves at times! But especially those who love me just as I am.
Ever since I was a little girl I remember wanting to feel so special on my birthday. Who got me a present? Is there a cake involved, and will I get any money! Nothing has changed. LOL! Either way, birthdays have always been and will always be very special to me. Each year I grow deeper and deeper into the person God intended me to be, and I'm still growing and learning. Over the past year I have adapted a new way of thinking that truly brings me joy, and I wish I could bottle it up and sell it, but because I love all of you so much I will just tell you my secret for free.
The secret is releasing your mind, body and soul to be free to live out loud. Living your best life has been a 'thing' for a while now, and for some, the meaning is having the best things money can buy. For me it is finally embracing my worth, my destiny and my dreams. That's it! I have moments of stress but I release those vibes immediately because it causes disruption in the current fairy tale I'm living.
Ever had a feeling that something great was happening and you just wanted to grasp onto that feeling and never let go? If I had a dollar for every thought that has gone through my head I am pretty sure I would have enough money by now to travel the entire world or at least purchase every pair of shoes I have every drooled over. At times my thoughts can become all consuming and almost stifling. I have had many conversations with God and I always asked the same question, what is my purpose? What was it that I was passionate about and what really made my soul happy is what I was always left with.
AJ writes & blogs from her home in Atlanta, GA. You can also find her work as a contributing writer at www.groovmagazine.com
"This is how you do it; you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it's done. It's that easy, and that hard." -Neil Gaiman