I know what your thinking. Why is the title asking me what type of fruit I like? Well, I am not talking about the food fruit. I am talking about the “Fruits of the Spirit.”
You see I just recently was reading and this came up in the book. I have never been asked to do what the author asked us, readers, to do. She named out the 8 fruits of the spirit and said, “Write down the ones that resonate with you most.” Set them out where you can see them. Seems silly yeah?
Well, for me it is not. For me, I am a visual person and I like the idea of having something in front of me every day to remind me of the things that unfortunately can slip my mind. Here are the 8 Fruits of the Spirit if you are not aware of them as I was not either. This is a good place to start.
Love, Joy, Peace, Kindness, Self- Control, Gentleness, Goodness and Faithfulness. Now I was completely unaware of this knowledge. So perhaps that is why I find it so interesting. Either way, I choose to write about things when it really sits with me. So here I am.
Now, if you’d like to join me you could take the moment and write down maybe which ones resonate with you the most? I wrote down these four fruits, Love; Faithfulness; Kindness and Peace. What I want to share with you wasn’t just the list of the 8 fruits. It was to first share with you the information I read and perhaps maybe someone else would enjoy the practice as much as I did. Second I wanted to share with you the ones I did write down and why those resonated with me. The third was to share why I did not choose the other four.
-Why I chose Love: I truly believe with all my being that Love is the most powerful thing in the world. It is also Free.
-Why I chose Peace: Peace is something that is not only healthy for our inner beings but it is simply a better way of life. A better way to example living with gratefulness and being humble. We collectively can only see more if we collectively example more peace. Because I pray for this daily, it resonated with me strongly.
-Why I chose Faithfulness: This one is something I sadly feel is completely disappearing from our generation. No matter what the situation is. Being true and faithful today is so tough to find in realtionships. Not completely extinct obviously but, this resonated with me because of how important being faithful is to me and my morals. That just because being in a world filling with unfaithfulness, does not mean I am pouring from the same cup. I never will actually. I am wired to be a pretty different cookie.
-Why I chose Kindness: You guys being kind is one of the most contagious things you can carry around with you. I believe that. I believe that when you open a door for a stranger they then will do the same for someone else. I believe that when you allow someone out in traffic during rush hour even when you really don’t want too. I truly believe that act will then spread to them doing the same thing. Which can actually lead to less accidents with more teamwork and patience. I believe that when you kindly compliment someone on their attire, their choice in food or even their hairstyle it can alter someone’s entire day for a simple 10-15 words from you. When you take the time to notice things, to be considerate. You would be blown away with what you don’t see happening after that effect kicks in. When you have done something kind and the next person follows that example but you don’t get the pleasure of seeing it. For some reason, I find that more beautiful. Which from another angle you could just say, Kindness is the beauty.
So, now that I have shared with you where my thoughts came from, why this post is happening and the choices made inside of my thought process was shared here with you. I now feel like it is important to share with you why the other four were not the ones I chose. First, let me just start with it was not that the words/actions did not resonate at all. It is that they weren’t as strongly felt for other purposes which I’m going to share.
-Joy: Now with joy, I feel like a huge smile naturally happens on my face when I even say the word. Try it. You see I feel like Joy stems from Love. Because I can only actually speak from personal feelings or experiences. So when I love something or someone I know that it is bringing absolute joy to my life. Basically, to me, Joy is under the umbrella of Love.
-Gentleness: First thing is first, I can be gentle but I am sort of a wrecking ball. Accident prone I should say. Now when I think of babies and puppies, of course, I am gentle. But for a day to day, this word is not so much in my vocabulary. HA! But I do have to say I am good at being gentle with feelings.
-Goodness: Having this inside of you is there. It is inside all of us. I have never had any issues with digging deep and discovering my goodness or even digging in some of the worst people I have ever met and I can always find a piece of goodness in them. I am wired that way. Sometimes it drives others crazy but most times it is a great blessing I was given. Goodness comes naturally to me and to find so it didn’t resonate with me only because I rarely go without feeling or seeing it. No matter how hard.
-Self-Control: You may not agree with me on this one and that is absolutely okay. You can take it and alter it in your own paradigm with the same general aspect. I believe the more you try to control shit in your life the more it won’t go your way. Because I truly, truly with all my guts and insides that God is completely in control of my life and everything that happens. Don’t get me wrong, I have the wheel. But in the end, he knows the destination. So self-control is not on my priority list. Outside of not having a total adult meltdown or a screaming match in public, I feel like self-control is not in our control. Just my take.
So, now that I have shared all this with you and you might be like that was a huge waste of time to read. Or you could have been inspired somehow. Either way, I would encourage you to try this exercise and see what it does for you. For me personally, it allowed me to learn what the Fruit of the spirit was as well as write down and address directly why and why not each one is or is not as important to me.
Writing things down really is magical. X O X O
When I was typing the title to this I cringed a little. Mostly because I actually feel the need to title something to basically encourage kindness in our world. When we all know, that should come naturally and quite frankly it should be easy.
However, I don’t even like saying it but the world is a mean place now. It’s filled with racism which creates negative diversity. It is drowning in bullying, which can lead to multiple things such as adolescent suicide. Even adult suicide. Which leads me to things like depression, anxiety, fear, doubt, failed relationships, cheating, giving up amongst all the other roadblocks it has allowed us to believe. The hatred and the judging in the world have lead us to believe so many things. That is actually, simply as irrelevant as the need for things like fingernails or even a worse example could be having flavored water. Now I know you are probably like, what in the hell type of analogy is that?! Ha! I get it. Maybe it wasn’t the wittiest of analogies. But, I am sure you got my drift.
The mean and ugly is irrelevant.
Now, currently, the Hot book to read is, “Girl Wash your Face” By Rachel Hollis. She is an impeccable writer. Truth! So I have been reading this book for about a week in my free time I have or the multitasking that will allow me to read and do whatever else I am doing. In the book, she talks about Perspective and the relevance of it. How it can literally alter and change, basically everything. Which REALLY resonated with me. I love the idea of turning a negative into a positive. My husband is always so astounded with my comebacks and solutions. Almost like he wants me to join in sometimes on the grouch but I’m like, nope. Here is a better way to see that situation. I have no idea why its just how I am wired. Sometimes I know it can annoy people but, I like to believe that there are a lot of people that enjoy company like me. Even tho my husband loves spending his time with me I know that my overly positive attitude can sometimes be annoying. That’s okay. Because he knows who he married. ❤ Ha!
Back to Perspective! So when I was talking about all the bad the world has and how we easily get sucked into it. Why is it so much easier to be pissed or negative? Why is it so much easier to complain and bicker with people? Why don’t we just converse and let it end positively with different views? Benefit from it! Having perspective from other minds, the point of views and experiences is beautiful. I truly believe that type of interaction is a huge part of life. Sharing! Conversing! Breaking Bread for peat’s sake.
As much as the world is filled with Shit and more Shit. We shouldn’t sit around and Join the Shit wagon! If anything that thing stinks! Run the other way. Run so fast that the breeze from running on your face allows the fresh air to flow thru your senses and wake you the hell up! I mean thinking all the time that the World is filled with bad is like, having a really bad year and just grabbing a tent, pitching it up and hanging out in March forever. I mean, you get my drift right?
Start changing your perspective! You can be aware of the shit going on in the world and not let it run your life. Not let it be the topic of every conversation. Don’t let it stop you or be an excuse to not move forward or get further in whatever the hell you are wanting to do! I am a someone who suffers from Anxiety I know this is not an easy transition. But it is incredibly possible and that is something I can work with. Be intentional with what you want to see. What you want to be.
For example, if you are at the park and you are taking a walk alone enjoying the sights and the beauty of nature. When all of a sudden you step in a pile of dog shit. Yup! Now what? You are probably pissed, grossed out and asking why the fuck the owner didn’t clean this up. Stop complaining. Right now. That is when you remind yourself, dogs shit too. Now go brush your foot off in some of mother natures grass, move on and wash your kicks when you get home. Tomorrows a new day, watch where you are going. Ha!
Do you see tho? See how you can actually alter your perspective? If you want, you can see the good and just because something big or little bad happens or clouds your beautiful view. Does not mean you can’t just brush it off and move on. NOBODY made the rule that you HAVE to complain when things aren’t happening to perfection. So why do we? Why can’t we laugh things off? Why do we get so upset when things don’t go our way? Maybe after working really hard for a position at work or a part in the school play. Don’t blame frustration, because that is something we can manage. Whatever it is, I encourage you to just simply try to change your perspective when some sort of shitty thing happens.
Because like I said, as much as there is bad and ugly in the world. There is actually more undiscovered beauty in the world we haven’t even seen or experienced that exceeds the amount of ugly.
I encourage you to seek and find it. Whatever way it comes and share it with the world. We need more good added. Be the good. ❤
X O X O
If you have not heard the term. I need you to STOP right now and go Google search my title. Read and come back.
Now, here we are sitting or standing where ever you are reading this. Probably self-thinking either you have been that person or you hate those type of people. It is either or.
I personally would be the first to admit that I have absolutely more than a handful of times in my life tried to keep up. Whether that was in the bar buying the rounds, the take-out table at the restaurant with covering the tab or how about buying that super expensive top you bought while you were out with Debbie. I mean the list could go on forever with the things people do to Keep up.
When I actually put that into perspective and think about those two words, keep up. Like, what in the hell are we trying to keep up for and up to whos standard?! I mean we honestly care so much about having a fancy centerpiece all because you went to a neighborhood potluck and they had one?! Okay, that is a weird example but, what’s even weirder is that I bet somewhere that is a true story. Ha!
So, are you one of the people that make a good living or even an average living? Like most of us. But, maybe your friends you socialize with are of much higher pay per say. I mean, how is your credit card looking? Do they even care if whatever your buying is bought? I mean if you are friends, I would not think your stature of income would be the definition of your character or symbolize anything about your friendship. If so, you should tell them to kick rocks. ( Just a POA)
Now like I said before I am no angel to not trying too impress people or simply just keep up with the environment of what is going on and what is being spent etc. Sometimes trying to keep up isn’t even in your control. It seriously just happens.
Here is a great example of that. I was 21 years old and partying downtown on a Saturday night with my friends. I open a bar tab on my credit card because I am a regular there and told them to let my friends add what they would like to the tab thru the night. Mind you there were only 3 of us together that night.
Well, because I knew so many damn people they would just name drop and the bartender would stupidly add their drinks to my tab. We are not talking bud lights and well whiskey. We are talking Patron doubles and Coronas all night long for a good 15 or more people easily. I am only guessing because my bar tab was $525.87. Yeah, I remember the exact number because it was something that will never happen again. So my point is who gives a fuck what anyone thinks! You will go broke and be unhappy as shit if you never make choices based on YOUR outcome. I had to learn this the hard way. This example is far from the last it is just the only one I will share here today because they are not proud moments. ( I am giggling a tad)
So just take my advice for peat’s sake and worry about how you are going to further YOU towards where you want to be. At that moment, in the next week or even in the next year. Make choices and be intentional about them. Be sure they will POSITIVELY impact you now and later. Not just satisfy a moment. Let alone, a moment for someone else.
Now if you are the person that has never given two shits about what anyone thinks or ever tried to do any of the stupid crap you just read. I am air high fiving you RIGHT NOW. Go on with your bad self and keep the confidence high in you and your choices.
As for us, that is a W.I.P (Work in progress) You keep up with your bad self too. Because in the end, we are all badass mama jammas!
Stay cool cucumber.
X O X O
I am 32 years old. I am a Mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, and an aunt. I am sure there are other titles I could type in but, that really won’t matter. I am someone that struggles from Anxiety. I am on some days debilitated to leave my house. Some days I question when I leave my house will I come back or get hit by a car. I worry about a tree falling on my house, someone breaking in, getting raped, my daughter being taken, losing someone and even as far as getting anxiety when I gas up my vehicle. I lock all my doors while I pump because I fear someone going on the other side and trying to kidnap Gracie. These aren’t questions either, these are actual feelings I have. These are real things I imagine happening to me or my loved ones.
Anxiety uncovered itself when Gracie was 8 Months old. The Monster came out and has only intensified its presence over this last year and a half. Which let me be really honest with you. This last year of my life has been REALLY HARD. Not your everyday average stuff either. Just for instance we have HAD to move 3 times in less than 18 months. That is just ONE stressor. Thank god that is over!
I know they say, “You can’t be anxious and grateful at the same time.” Then, how am I?
I feel grateful. I feel like in between the chaos in my mind and the journeys it takes me on, I am grateful. I see things thru the clouds and I have good vision but, there are still clouds. I can’t see clear enough to actually convince myself that the person walking behind me at the store isn’t following me to capture or steal my kid. But simply to find the salsa down aisle 5…
You guys, Anxiety is my biggest weakness. I hate admitting weakness. If I don’t start owning it properly and communicating how I am feeling or what I think about. I fear that I will never get past it, get better or simply fully feel happy. Which I want SO bad. Which is also why I REFUSE to give up. Also, why I am writing this now.
With all the anxiousness inside of me, I feel like I could basically scream and never run out of breath.
I know a lot of people would simply tell me to go to therapy or talk to someone you trust. I tried that. Well, not the therapy part, which to be honest I am taking into consideration. Mostly based on a couple things. One being that having someone to listen to me that does not know me. Someone that will not have opinions but, will come with solutions. Second, I think therapy would be good for me because honestly, I might have people around that will sit and hear me. But, without eye contact, without proper engagement, you cant actually LISTEN. I need someone to not just hear me talking but to LISTEN to what I am saying and how I am feeling. To HELP me find solutions in managing or working thru the anxiety I struggle with. The fears I have when I try to simply just live my life like everyone else.
It doesn’t work that easily. Anxiety is not something you explain. Anxiety is NOT something that just anyone can understand or help with either. Sometimes getting help from people can end up being worse only because they aren’t the right people for that issue. Example being you don’t go to a hair salon to get your oil changed in your car. Make sense?
I guess being someone that quietly struggles severely alone with this monster inside of myself, I wonder who else? I wonder if anyone else is seeking at the same moment what I am seeking. Then it dawns on me! Of course! Of course, there are other people in the world that are feeling and thinking the same things. Because Anxiety doesn’t come in shapes and colors. It is simply one thing, Fear. At least in my paradigm.
I don’t know if my theory is on point or even real. But I know that when I replaced the word ANXIETY with the word FEAR. It really altered my thought process. It rattled the way I was thinking, the way I was allowing something like FEAR to create so much negative in my life.
Now please do not think I have mastered this or that I have achieved some great success with overcoming my anxiety. That is not the case at all. I struggle every day, it just happens to be a different sometimes.
Now my hopes are to train my thought process. In theory, to basically train my brain to BELIEVE that when ANXIETY kicks in, the thing I feel so helpless to correcting. If I change that word, that perspective, to the thing we call FEAR. Well, for some reason that allows me to feel more empowered. Like, I can totally squash that fear! I can completely control that fear aspect.
I have ZERO clue. But, It helps and I hope over time it can be the thing that helps alter my anxiety into fear. Too then turn the fear into a flourishing moment of perspective that, I CAN WIN. So can you.
If you are someone that struggles from Anxiety and you feel like you have no one to talk too. No one that will actually LISTEN to you. Please know I am only an email away and I can assure you. I am here for you. You do not HAVE to be alone. We just have to be sure we seek the right tribe to hear and help us out. ❤
“If today is tough, don’t allow it to dampen your day. Allow yourself to take that tough day and make YOU tougher.” Because YOU matter. ❤
X O X O
Start and Stop. Start and Stop. Start and Stop. On repeat my whole life.
You see I have this thing inside of me. No, not literally like some sort of Alien movie from the 80’s. But, I mean spiritually. I mean the type of thing that burns inside of your being and won’t go away no matter how hard you try.
Well, I tried being an employee my whole life. I suck at it. I mean in a sense I would do my job and care just enough to make me humane. But, I HATED it so much, that I would quit at any given time and start again somewhere else. It was AWFUL. The worst habit and seriously irresponsible. I just couldn’t bring myself to actually take orders from some stranger, some regular joe and quite frankly I just couldn’t conform. I am comfortable sharing with you that, I am not wired to do things normally. Trust me when I say, it wasn’t something that added spark to my habits.
I really am not sure where it all started or why the habit was created in the first place. I guess if I made a WILD accusation it would be that I simply was allowed. I was given the FREE WILL to make my own choices at a younger age than I probably should have. However, I am grateful it all is the way it is. Because I like to believe I turned out pretty good. Now I am not perfect. Still at 32 years young I am working on myself and being a better person every day.
Now, just because I can’t seem to narrow down the exacts on why I have continuously allowed myself even as a full grown adult. ( By the way, what really makes us “Grown Adults?”)
Either way, I may have allowed it over and over. Creating a monster in my life. I woke up one morning recently and just said, no. No more! No more will I allow myself to do the things that aren’t going to LAUNCH me into the direction I actually WANT to be.
I mean why in the world do we do this? Why would I do this to myself? Literally being my own roadblock to basically anything successful for myself. Every single time I have EVER started something that I was good at, when I would actually apply myself. We all know there are people in the world that can do things and just naturally do them well. The trick is sticking them out and becoming awesome at them! Which I have failed to do. This is not to be boastful or anything like that. But, I am one of those people. I do things well when I do them and do them right. I do things properly and organized when I apply myself and learn. I can accomplish almost any deadline when I am given one.
So, Why am I not successful in any of the things I started? We obviously know the answer to this. I QUIT. I STOPPED. I SIMPLY GAVE UP. When things got to be too much of an obstacle, to hard juggling mom life and learning life, the excuse that I was tired, the gross things I would come up with and tell myself blow my mind.
Things like, “No one reads it anyways Ashley. Why bother?” Or things like, “Don’t waste your time trying, you give up anyway.”
I mean you guys I have literally trained my own self-conscious thru bad habits that I am not worth finishing what I start. That just because I have started and stopped, it would not matter if I did it again. I mean no one would even care or question me or simply just call me out. Sometimes people just need a rude awakening. But, it’s not right to expect someone else to be that for you. So I thought if I couldn’t find it in myself and I couldn’t expect it then I would just give up. I mean that is really sad. It’s even sadder to type it and admit it. My self-worth has been lost but I haven’t.
I know that I carry value, I know that I can accomplish what I set out to do. I know that it is no one’s responsibility to push me in the direction of my goals and dreams. Only I can do that. Only I have the Launch button. Only I have my brain, my personality, and my feelings and thoughts. There is only one me that can start what I want to start. It is just up to me to not stop.
For some reason, the wake-up call I had recently was this.
It was a normal morning and Gracie and I had already had breakfast and we were ready for our day. No plans and no money. Living on one income isn’t impossible, just trying and sometimes can mundane. So, we pulled out some toys, watercolors and some of the kitchen utensils. Sat at the smaller kitchen table and we played. We painted and we laughed and danced to our absolute favorite Ed Sheeran Song, Sing. For a moment as the song was over and there was a transition in literally seconds to the next song. Gracie glanced at me deeply and I stared back at her and we smiled. That was it. That moment I made a choice. That glance, that dead eye stare of PURE LOVE. I almost was like this brain alteration and I had no control. I just changed.
The power of Love is Immense.
Its SO BIG, It helps Bad Habits Die a little Easier…
I love you. I wanted to open with that because they are 3 words I can never wear out. They are the strongest 3 words I share with you every single day, all day long. So let’s start with the familiar.
You are the light in my night and the day. You are the air that I breathe, the smile I carry and you are my heart. I love you.
You have brought me challenges I did not think I would ever actually win. You taught me what unconditional love is. You have shown me a world I never knew existed. I love you.
With trials comes triumphs but with a child, trials and triumphs lye. I have learned with being your mother that it’s okay to not win every single time. Because in trials through being your mommy there are many triumphs I am able to celebrate and most of the time I am able to share it with you. I love you.
The world is not once what it was when I was a child. When I was a little girl I did not need to have the worries that little girls in this day in age need to worry about. But don’t forget, I will protect you with my life. I love you.
My sweet child, when I say I will protect you. Of course, I’m a physical way if needed. But, I will also protect you by informing you with the truth. Always. Because I love you and the truth will always set us free.
I want you to know that you are smart, brave, capable, intelligent, beautiful, courageous, kind, giving, loving and so many other incredible things. Remember to always share the light of people with them. Because that is what allows even the ugliest stone to shine. I love you.
Never be judgmental, that is not our job.
Spread love. Because the world needs so much more of it.
Just be cautious of what is around you, we never know in this day in age. Which can make the world a little dim sometimes.
Remember how bright you shine and what you are capable of spreading. Just knowing what you can do is the first step to achieving it. You can do anything. I love you.
No matter what in this life, I will always be here for you. I will always have your back and I will forever be proud to call myself your Mommy. I love you.
My blessing, my baby girl, and my whole entire world. You are going to do amazing things and thru that you’ll grow into becoming an outstanding human. I can not wait to watch.
I love you Bug.
Dear old friend,
Do you remember the time we first met? Do you recall the moment we knew we were friends? I do.
I remember those days with a simple blink or close of my eyes. I remember us being young and so innocent to so many things.
Do you remember when we said, “No matter what, we will always stay close.”
The days we pretty much had no responsibility outside of waking up for school, doing homework and potentially some after-school activities as our parents cooked our meals for dinner.
Middle school and then High school. The days we truly enjoyed all our time being frivolous and carefree. Young and full of curiosity. The days.
I remember when we talked about growing up and having kids or what type of guy we would marry. Tall, dark and handsome of course. Oh and with the light eyes. Ha! How funny I can actually remember that. The common description of a dreamy guy. Haha!
The daydreaming in youth years were so much more believable.
We soon became adults or thought being 18 meant we were.
Tho we loved each other dearly we knew were growing apart. You went your way and I was going my way. It was really hard knowing the truth that we were growing apart with our interests.
My very best friend was slowly dwindling away from me. Even tho the odds of friends from start to end in life is, rare. But I felt something special with our friendship.
Lifestyle, guys and the type of fun we both wanted to have was slightly different.
As time went on, we would exchange words here and there over the years. You would check in or I would. Our friendship was like this bond that no matter what could not be broken. I just did not know that then. So the sadness always was there while we were distant.
I always worried about you. Wondering what you were doing or where you were. Hoping you were happy and healthy.
Years went on and you had children. Later in life, I had one of my own.
After more than 20 years knowing your heart, I am so grateful you are still present in my life. Even after all the distant years.
Distance or not, we are sisters. You are my very best friend and no matter the miles. Your heart is always thought of here back at home.
I love you my forever friend. I just want you to know your special and I’m thankful for our purposeful friendship.
BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH
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