Tulips are so beautiful and a sign of brighter days ahead after the doldrums of winter. I tried to plant tulips once and grew weary of planting the bulbs. I like to consider myself a hospice nurse for growing vegetation because if they can’t live on their own, they will be provided a nice place to transition to their death at my home and on my watch.
One reason I did not like planting tulips is the fact that only one tulip grows from one bulb. How exhausting is that when you must buy a tulip bulb planter apparatus, dig it down the right depth, blah blah blah. As a hospice nurse for plants, I find this to be way too much effort for a plant to die. I can leave the bulbs in the bag on a table and they will die there without all that effort.
I am so glad that God made the effort to plant me where I belong. He did not shy away from the work involved in the exact placement of me where I would bloom best. Even though he knew that only one me would grow in His placement, He still planted me there knowing I would be beautiful there. He also planted others around me so that together, we could bloom and produce an impactful display that we couldn’t do if we bloomed alone.
As time passes, tulips will sometimes multiply and make side bulbs that will bloom another tulip. We can do that same thing as we grow and mature in knowledge, wisdom and love of God and man. We can multiply and make an even better display than we could do alone.
I get frustrated planting bulbs because they are expensive and sometimes a bag of bulbs will include three to five rhizomes. We, like tulips are expensive. We were bought with the blood of Jesus. We were worthless until He appeared and the soul felt it’s worth.
I think we all struggle with feeling important and full of purpose from time to time. In this spring, the time of renewal, may we reestablish our sense of value in this world and know that we are expensive-the Louis Vuitton of humans. The tulips in the spring are we. May we remember that if we bloom where we are planted, we will multiply and create a bigger impact. One person makes a difference. YOU make a difference. Even on your worst day, you are enough.
Best Days are Made
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The search for happiness most likely is discovered in our early youth. It can be found on the playground during a perfectly timed recess on a test day in elementary school. It can be sighted at the middle school dance when boy meets girl. As we become young adults, happiness can be found when you receive your first paycheck from your first job and you go out with friends to celebrate. Happiness is wonderful. It is a zealous emotion that is dependent upon outside sources for it to be present. To be happy, we must wait for an external catalyst to evoke that emotion.
As we grow older and more wise (hopefully), we find ourselves less able to do the things we used to and surely not as fast as we used to complete them. We do less working and increase our enjoyment of life and our surroundings. We become settled. One fine day, we sit in our recliners wondering how we became our parents and where the time has gone. As the winds of change blow in our lives, we find a joy in our heart. A glimmer of contentment begins to flicker into a fire. It is truly a good place to be and one that, in our youth, the recipe contentment alludes us as we pursue our slice of the American dream.
Joy is a feeling that does not depend upon circumstances. We can be full of joy when things are not going our way. Joy can be seen in a child who spins her dress in the bright sunshine. It can be found in a toddler who found mommy’s shoes to wear with a feather scarf. Joy can be seen again in a middle aged empty nester watching her adult son throw a ball with his dog. It can be experienced while watching your daughter become a mother. It can also be witnessed as a husband cares for his ailing wife of 54 years. Even when life throws us curveballs, we still can be joyful.
Joy seems to disappear in the larger scope of things during our teen and early adult years. We seem to lose sight of an inner peace as we chase our dreams, create our family, join the proverbial rat race and build a life for ourselves outside of our family of origin. Then, in the fall and winter of our lives, we learn what true contentment is, joy, that was revealed simply by living life. It isn’t something that can be taught as much as something that is discovered internally, realized if you will. We see it in toddlerhood and early childhood as our emotions are not clouded by the cruelty of the world. Then we uncover it again in our hearts as we age.
Happiness is circumstantial. Joy is not contingent. May we embrace our aging bodies because it is through the creation of every wrinkle that we found joy.
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Confession: I have been asleep since Wednesday. I woke up for a hot minute to update my cousins and check on my mom but for 48 hours I have been asleep. It’s been a rough 2021 for me. It started out fighting for my life against Covid-19 and now I am looking at the mortality of my mother, the woman who is my everything, my cheerleader, the woman who taught me to live. I believe I have slept for 48 hours because of worry. I am not a worrier. I choose faith over fear and eternally optimistic that things will be fine. But-this year I have worried more than I have in the rest of my life combined. I’m not proud of it because I should trust God more. I am admitting weakness. My weakness-living without my parents. They are such an ever present part of my life, the joy in my heart, the life within me, the memories I smile at, the ones responsible for anything I am today.
My momma is in afib. They would shock her heart and she would be remarkably better immediately. It wasn’t so. And my worry negan. Is this our new normal? Am I going to lose my mother and be faced with how to live without her? I’m not ready. Will I ever be? Probably not. But I surely am not today. We have shopping to do, cheesecake to eat, and discussions to have. She has to see the children get married and have children. She needs to see what Ben makes of himself. She needs to see what the girls make of themselves. I beg she be restored to health so we have years to go.
ive been worrying. Momma had a second shock this week and was having issues again. Worry. Sleep. Worry some more. Worrying is a lack of trust in God. Lack of trust that God will do what is best. It’s a shame. I’m being selfish. Maybe what is best is not in line with my wants. Maybe it is. Today, symptoms are subsiding and hope is at the forefront again. I am so grateful. Through this, I have learned a lesson or two. I’ve learned that admitting guilt and repenting is very freeing.
What are you worrying about? What do you need to trust God about? He loves us so much that our picture is on his refrigerator. Is that someone that He would do harm to? Would you harm your children? God won’t either. So join me in trusting God. And let’s skip the worry.
Best Days Are Made
When my husband and I got married 30 years ago, we married for life, better or worse. In our own youthful way we knew what forever meant, but we never know what the future will hold. Will our spouse get a debilitating disease? Will their health be such that we will be taking care of them in our elder years rather than enjoying our time for retirement? All these variables are unknown and for good reason. I think I would be overwhelmed if I could know the future and what it holds for my husband and me. Will I be a caregiver for my husband or him for me?
Having worked in senior care, I have seen some phenomenal caregivers. They are the unsung heroes of aging. Many have no choice but to become a assistant for their loved one. They take care of finances, incidental items, senior care placement, dressing, food prep and serve, general hygiene and emotional as well as spiritual care. That is not even mentioning transportation to doctor’s appointments and prescriptions. It is exhausting work for the one who is responsible for the wellbeing of their aging loved one. Many end up spending their entire retirement savings and time in elder safe keeping.
Common signs of stress in caregivers are loss of interest in things they would normally enjoy, decline in their own health, fatigue, isolation and worry. To combat this stress, accept help. People want to help but many times pride gets in our way and disallows us from letting others assist. Depression and anxiety can also be a result of caregiving, but most common is isolation. Going to caregiver support groups is a helpful tool to remind you that you are not alone. That form of encouragement is priceless when you are in the trenches.
My hat is off to the caregivers in the world. They spend their days in service to others. They sacrifice some of the best years of their life working in ways they never labored in the mainstream career market. Many times they are thrown into the service role suddenly and thanklessly with little assistance from siblings, children or other family members. They certainly have no training. Much like our children who are born with no manual, caregivers also are not given a manual. Yet, they are out in the world doing the best they can every single day to care for their loved one. Caregivers, we see you, we hear you, we salute you. Your sacrifices are seen and appreciated. You may not have known in your youth that this would be the charge handed to you, but you are out there doing it every day. You are appreciated.
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Go forth and be fabulous, Friends!
Being a cheerful giver is easy. It is fun to come upon a treasure in a store that looks like something a loved one would like, then purchase it and wrap it in paper and bows with its recipient in mind. It makes us feel good. We get excited in anticipation of the moment we can give our gifts. Even our guidebook for life, the Bible, states that God loves a cheerful giver.
I have several gifts that I am very excited to give this year. I am eagerly awaiting the reaction of the recipient. I KNOW they will love the gifts I picked out specially for them. What if I gave my gifts and those who received them did not like them? What if they opened the gift and said, “I don’t want this. I don’t need this.” Or-what if they didn’t even smile when they opened the gift? What a disappointment that would be to me, the giver. You see, it’s easy to be a cheerful giver, but the one thing we leave out of Christmas is being a gracious recipient. If we aren’t gracious recipients, we steal the joy away from the cheerful giver.
For some reason, we fall short of educating our children and ourselves to be good receivers. Receiving makes many feel uncomfortable. I talked to several people about receiving gifts and some of the things they said were “I don’t want that attention called to myself when I get a gift. “. “I buy most of what I want or need for myself so I don’t know what to do or say when someone does something for me.” “I don’t want to take charity. “. If you are a person who has trouble accepting gifts, tweak your thinking a bit. Think about the giver and the thought they put into your gift. Don’t steal their joy away. Smile when you open the gift. Accept it with thanksgiving knowing that someone wanted to do something nice for you. Take the focus off your own feelings of receiving and think of the giver. Joy is something that can be rarely given, but at Christmas, we can take the focus off of ourselves and put it on the giver. Then and only then, can we gift Joy right back.
Joy is a remarkable gift. May we give it freely this Christmas as we learn to be better receivers. Go forth and be fabulous, Friends, as we bring this gut wrenching year to an end.
Best Days are Made,
I have been on just about every diet that has ever been presented since I have been in the up and down closet my entire life. I think back to younger years when I seemed to always be looking for the next "easy" or "miracle" solution to being overweight. I would not go back to that time in my life for anything. I also would love to be as "fat" as I thought I was back then because life and babies has added extra skin and fat where I never thought I would have it and I realize that when I thought I was fat, I actually was skinny and fit. Wow. Perceptions change through the years, don't they?
A perfect stranger walked up to me yesterday and said, "OH I LOVE your glasses. I wish I could wear round glasses but everyone told me that my face was too fat for that shape." WHAT?! Was she even serious? She let the thought of someone else tell her that she did not need something that she wanted. The fact is, round glasses don't look that great on me either. But I wanted them so I got them. I wear them because they are cool. That is a look I am going for. I call mine Where's Waldo glasses. I love them. That lady that spoke to me should get some too.
When dieting the one key we miss is to lose the opinions of others. We try so hard to lose weight in our belly but what about losing weight from our minds? The weight of expectations and opinions of others is overwhelming at times. Most times, actually. And opinions fly around like dust in the wind on a daily basis. Today, on this Motivational Monday, let us try not to lose weight in our hips, but in our minds. May we counteract negative self talk with positive self talk and may we never let what someone else thinks cloud our own likes and dislikes. If you would like to read more about body image, click here.
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Join me in our hyper focused group on self love here. Go forth and be fabulous, friends!
Best Days are Made,
Of the top things that people are scared of, public speaking is the number one thing. Interesting to me, because I have always been a public speaker. It never bothered me to get up in front of a crowd to say something. I suppose I just trust my ability to communicate in a way that people can relate and understand.
Finding our purpose in life seems to be an ever evolving journey throughout the seasons of our lives. Having had the privilege of serving so many seniors in our community, the verbiage I hear the most is “I feel useless”. Compared to the days of our youth when our main objective of the day was to keep the children alive, service to others was our purpose. Once we pass the hypothetical halfway mark of life, we often lose that sense of ambition and even question why we are still here. If you are afraid of dying, try the strategies outlined here.
The first half of our lives is spent working toward graduating high school, learning a trade or getting a degree, getting married, having children, and then raising them. Our goals at that time reach forward into the future and serving others is what we do every single day. It’s easy to find objective when we stay busy.
Once we get over the hill, those we once cared for no longer need as much attention and we make a shift toward only taking care of ourselves. Our children bring our grandchildren over and although we are glad to see the headlights, we are equally glad to see the taillights because raising kids is for the young. This is an enjoyable time in life because we still have the majority of our health and can enjoy our spouse more since they got less attention while we raised the children.
Retirement comes and our intentions become less about working and more about enjoying. Often, this phase of life is the most planned for and requires the most financial preparation. Our purpose is to play golf or to travel or be active at the country club-things we didn’t have time or money for in our youth.
As the process of aging creeps up and our health fails more, purpose becomes something we long for in life. It becomes a fleeting memory of days gone by. Perhaps our purpose in the winter of our lives is to give the younger generation someone to serve as we did in our youth. What are servants without people to serve? Aging is a gift that some never have the opportunity to experience. Instead of questioning our remaining purpose here on earth, why not put our efforts into giving solid advice to the young as well as giving them the opportunity to serve.
As young people, let us enjoy the opportunities to serve, for as we grow older, we will become the served. If you would like to discuss adding positivity into your life with life coaching, contact me by clicking here
Best Days Are Made,
Since quarantinement, (yes that is a new word I created), I have watched Tiger King twice, but Bohemian Rhapsody has become a movie I can watch over and over. It has made me more of a Queen fan than I ever was before and I do believe my enamorment with Freddie Mercury is the reason. What a guy! I mean, he is the epitome of #flawesome on the Streets.
If you know me at all, you have heard me say that if I had money to either send my kids to college or fix their teeth, I would fix their teeth. As a huge advocate and speaker on the subject of self esteem, teeth are key to feeling good about yourself. People whose teeth are nice smile more. It is a fact. It helps you self confidence. That is my opinion, you should make it yours. lol. Poor Freddie Mercury. If he had been born Freddie Anglin, he would have had his teeth fixed faster than he discovered his love of performance. OH-stop right there. HAD he been born an Anglin, he would never have been the Freddie Mercury, Queen of Queens. Why? Well, because I would have had his teeth fixed. Fact is, his teeth are what gave his incredible sound. The way the air went through the overbite and extended front teeth is what made him one of the greatest vocal performers of all time in my opinion. American Idol always looks for the different sound. Freddie was that because of his teeth among natural talent.
You go forth and be fabulous with your flawesome self, Freddie! I am glad you were not born an Anglin so that I can enjoy your music while I clean and paint my house during quarantine.
We all have a version of "Freddie's teeth". Maybe it is double chins. Maybe it is large hips. Maybe it is severe shyness. Freddie gives us the real life example that we can embrace our flaws and be awesome!
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Best Days are Made,
I am truly a worshipper of the sun. From lApril to October you can find me at the pool every single day. I am sure a lot of it is just a general enjoyment of water and the sun and warm weather, but I really miss it in the winter. I have read a lot about loving the water so much and I believe that empaths love water. An empath is a person who feels the emotions and issues of other so deeply that it affects them. Empaths will take issues upon themselves as though that problem is theirs. Some people can just listen to others and move on. Empaths don't. We take this into ourselves and adopt it as our own.
This year has been worse than others with seasonal depression in the winter. Some days I have trouble getting out of bed. Some days when I make it out of the bed I transfer to the couch. It is not good. It is not fun. I have no motivation to do anything at all. Sometimes it is at the point that I won't even leave the house to get something that is important that we are out of. I have been able to hide it well just because I have grown children living at home and if I need something, they will pick it up and not think anything about it.
I went into a state of mourning in October knowing that pool season is over. Thank goodness that my community leaves the pool open until October. Most places close the pool at Labor Day. I am blessed to have an extra month. My strategy for this year was to soak in the bathtub each day. It helps some but not enough that I was not having issues. I started researching light therapy. There is enough research out there that I was willing to try it. I also researched types of lamps. I ordered mine from Amazon and they have them on sale right now.
I sit by my lamp every day while I drink my coffee and it makes a big difference for me. I notice that I am more motivated, get up on time, am energized for my day, and am generally in a more upbeat mood than normal for winter for me. I waited several weeks to recommend light therapy just to see if it really makes a difference for me. Well it does. I leave mine on for about 20 minutes. Sometimes I even wear my sunglasses because they make me happy. I have my lamp sitting. on the end table next to my couch. It is about the size of an iPad mini. Does not have a large footprint in my decor either. The light has three settings of light brightness. The directions say to start small and work up. I was so depressed that I just started on the high setting and noticed a difference right away in my motivation. Now, I look forward to my light time in the same way that I looked forward to going to the pool in the summer. Get you a light. If my symptoms sound like you, then get one. Here is the link to the one I recommend and bought myself. This is an active link and you can order straight from there. Let me know what you think!
Make Today the Best Day Ever!
Jennifer Anglin is a motivational speaker, life coach and author who shares personal stories of triumphs and tragedies to give hope to a dying world.