Everything Is Beautiful . . . Yes, In It’s Own Way . . .

Growing up my sister, Carly, and I would go to Missouri every summer for a couple weeks to visit my Aunt Karla, her family, and the rest of our family that lives there. It was so much fun! So many wonderful memories were made there throughout the years. And for a long time, before life got so dang busy for us, after Wade and I were married and had our family we would still go once a year to take our boys fishing on “Lake Karla” and do the other things I had enjoyed so much through the years. When we were there our aunt would always take us out to dinner and a movie for our birthdays which happened in January and June. One year when I was 15, on our big movie night, my cousins, Dana and Austin, Carly and I were sitting together with my aunt on the end of our respective row. There was loud music pouring through the speakers keeping us movie-goers entertained until the featured film would start flashing on the big screen in front of us. The theater was absolutely PACKED for the debut of “True Lies” with Arnold Scwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis. Now, to appreciate this, you might have to know my aunt a little. She is a tall (I’m guessing 5’8”-9”), slender, brown haired, patriotic lady of the Lord. She loves Jesus, her family, her friends and her country with abandon. Always has. I have been marked by her in my life in more ways than one and I am better for it . . . SO much better for it. She is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. During one of the songs, she stood up in front of us, got out into the aisle and started dancing, yes dancing, singing along, and pointing at us as Ray Stevens’ song, “Everything Is Beautiful” flooded the auditorium. All four of us slouched so low in our chairs from the embarrassment of it all! Side note: any parent worth their salt has done this on at least one occasion to their children. I KNOW I have and I learned from the best (thank you, Aunt Karla)! What I have always remembered about that evening was how she was fully into the moment of loving life and viewing everything as beautiful. It’s just who she was. Still is, actually.

This weekend, we remember the soldiers who fought and died for this country that my aunt, and so many of us, love so much. We thank them and their families for their ultimate sacrifice that allows us all to enjoy the life we have in this great country today. Through their sacrifice, we have the “unalienable rights” to life, liberty and the PURSUIT of happiness. I remember the first time I read and fully comprehended what that meant.  We have the right to pursue happiness. That doesn’t mean that life is just going to grant us happiness. But it does mean we can chase after it with all that is in us. If I am being totally honest I would have to say that I believe a large part of the problem in today’s society is that far too many people focus on WHAT or WHO can make them happy instead of building something that will make themselves happy. We buy things, and we go places, all seeking to escape our problems and to be “happy” there in that place and somehow bring it back with us to our everyday lives. I’ve been guilty of it. But what I have come to realize is this (warning – soapbox and opinions ahead): First of all, I believe that Jesus is the only source of true joy. If we are seeking it in the possessions we have, our job, our friends, our activities, our family, we are missing the mark. Second, if we focus more on trying to make those around us happy we will end up there as well. It’s all about what we can do for other people. 

I’d bet that most of us have heard that life is lived “in the dash” between our date of birth and the date our our deaths that will be etched on our grave markers. It’s in that dash that the pursuit of happiness was lived out for every single person who has ever lived and died. Hopefully, that dash represents years worth of days spent chasing after the dreams and happinesses our hearts desired. It is in the pursuit that we have the unique opportunity to find beauty. 

For a long time, I have been unsatisfied with a lot of things in my life. And I believe I was looking to the wrong sources to make me happy. I have wanted a new house, a new car, a new body. I wanted those things because I thought if I could just change the “physical” it would make me feel better. Now, I know that part of this was the depression I had dealt with for so long. And THANK GOD, I am so much better than I was a couple short years ago. Through Jesus’ love, the love of my family and friends, and CBD, I have found my way through that. I am on the other side, pharmaceutical FREE, and free from the symptoms of my depression. This last year I have truly seen myself and my life in a new light. I am not waiting for things to change for me to feel better. I am changing it myself. We aren’t guaranteed happiness. In fact, we aren’t guaranteed much of anything in this world. So you don’t have the health, wealth, body, car, house or whatever it is that you desire? Change it. You can’t find beauty in the things you have and the situations and circumstances in your life? Change it. It is up to YOU to make the things in your life beautiful. 

I have made some BIG decisions in my life in the last year. I couldn’t see the beauty in my body. I am changing it. I have worked so hard in the last year to change my health. And when I started on that, I realized I needed to work on mySELF just as much as I worked on my body. I had to change from the inside out. I started out on a health journey that has been truly amazing. Life changing. As for my physical environment? Our family has been working in our backyard. We are trying to get rid of the old and make all things beautiful. (We have time right now as all of our normal activities have been cancelled and we aren’t spending time on the baseball field as we have every spring and summer for the past umpteen years.) And most recently, of course, I left my job. Life is too short not to chase after the things God has laid on our heart. Pursue the worthy things in your life. Happiness, health and love. Pursue the things you want. It’s up to you. 

I truly pray that your dash is filled with the pursuits of every passion God ever laid on your heart. If the proverbial grass is greener on the other side, maybe it’s time to water yours. Fertilize it and then bloom where you are planted. If it isn’t beautiful, figure out what it is going to take to make it beautiful and do it. Simple, right? In the meantime, don’t be afraid to close your eyes, throw your head back, spread your arms out and sing and dance along with life. You will find it very fulfilling if you give it a try. Just ask my Aunt Karla.

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

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