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I hardly know where to begin. For those of you who are used to my writing or that know me personally realize that once I get going it can be challenging at times to stay with me. My thoughts are many. My words are superfluous. And my spirit is animated. However, it’s always entertaining and something beautiful is always set free. So, speaking of FREEDOM . . .

I just got home from the hospital last night after having emergency surgery Monday night. I had a serious complication from my hysterectomy surgery that was 10 weeks ago. It is not typical for this to happen that far out from surgery, but the doctor said I was one of the “unlucky” ones. I will spare you the gory details but if I had waited any longer, I may not be here today.

(With a lack of better verbiage) for a very long time now – I have been weighed down, fatigued and overloaded with negativity but somehow, I kept getting back up – finding it increasingly grueling each time though. There have been definite moments that I didn’t know how or if I would get back up. But I did and kept going trying one way or another to see at least some good . . . except there was always the lingering black cloud. When I say 2020 is not just a new year but a new decade – you can’t even begin to imagine what I mean . . . or just maybe you can.

Something has switched in my soul. The only answer is The Lord. I don’t push my beliefs on you and don’t condemn you if you don’t believe the same. My hope is for you to feel the Peace & Love I feel. It transcends beyond all understanding. I can’t explain it. It’s a gift. I am thankful for it. While I have never been super religious or ritualistic, I have always had a deep faith in The Lord. I have cried out to Him what seems like an infinite amount of times. Then it happened . . . what is “it” you may ask? My ability to be thankful. My ability to “let go”. My ability to open my mind, heart and spirit not to those around me but to myself. I LOVE ME! Do you know why I love me? Because The Lord created me. Being a preacher’s daughter my entire life that one declaration is nothing new . . . in words. However, believing it and actually living it out is entirely different, exciting, scary and new for me. Despite all my heartaches I have been given a gift of PEACE & LOVE that rains down on me daily now. I find myself numerous times every single day saying, “Thank you, Lord, for _____!” The more I practice it the more I experience it. I have lost trust in just about everything in this world but again somehow and I cannot explain it – I continue, daily, to say to Him “Please, Lord, help me trust YOU today.”

There are so many things I want to say to you right now but as I often write . . . if I don’t stop here this blogpost would turn into a novel. So for today here is the good . . . I have been given a GIFT of PEACE & LOVE. It has been freely given to me and I have been chosen to freely give it away. It’s like a river. It runs into my heart, through my soul, and out of my spirit to YOU. Thank you for being on this journey with me. Thank you for riding this roller coaster of a life with me. I am forever grateful. Much Peace & Love Y’all! Namaste

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Writing Wednesday . . . Positive Purposeful Post

Last week I had Grayson pull a positive saying out of our very own LFTG jar and this week I asked Kloie to. She reached in and when she pulled it out, she just laughed, pointed at me and said “YOU!” I took it from her, read it and agreed “AMEN! Yep, that’s me.” Then I turned around in the kitchen and read it out loud to Grayson and our nurse, Grace. Here it is . . .

“I can’t tell you the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”

Well, if that isn’t me, I don’t know what is – trying to please everyone. And nope, I’m not trying to be some sort of saint here because believe me this isn’t good for anyone! This is NOT being a winner. Most of my life I have been trying to please others in every way possible. So much so it has almost cost me my life. I am very slowly learning to put myself first – like at a snail’s pace. But not just any ol’ snail. This one has a camper on it’s back that is attached to a Ford F-450 with a family of five and two dogs packed in it with a couple of bikes racked on the back all while pulling a 4-wheeler. That’s a lot! Now you get why I’m so slow???

I think part of it is my anxiety in wondering “what will other people think?” which is what I heard so much growing up . . . “What will the church people think?” That was a standard comment from my daddy since he is a retired Southern Baptist preacher. That explains a lot doesn’t it? Ha, ha, ha. Guess what? I don’t care what “the church people” think and I’m learning that more people are out there in this world hurting rather than not because they are SO WORRIED about what other people think. I am nowhere near not caring at all about what some people have in their mind about me, but I have put a stop to the madness! I will not let it steal my life anymore. Have you thought about that? Have you thought that you are precisely letting someone, or multiple humans STEAL your life? Are you so frightened or uptight that it is making you sick? Maybe you don’t realize the hold other people have on you. Do you feel selfish when you take care of yourself? I used to about everything and now it is becoming less over time. But it takes daily practice. If I told you one day it could actually in real life physically KILL you? Would you keep doing it? Would you keep putting everyone else first? Maybe you aren’t even on your own list of priorities! I wasn’t and it will weigh you down until you break. You think it won’t happen to you. I thought the same thing. I have been through more than most people and thought I was so obviously strong enough to handle anything. Not true at all! It can and will happen to anyone! It’s a cruel joke so stop all the absurdity NOW!

For today, here is the good . . . you really can be yourself and those that love you the way you are just so happen to be the people you want to surround yourself with. If you are not causing any harm to anyone or anything, just trying to live your life and someone still brings you negativity then cut them out! And if you can’t completely do that then please distance yourself from them. They don’t care if you are damaged from it because they will move on and continue living. I urge you to live your life and if you have the courage then I wish for you the FREEDOM to LIVE OUT LOUD! I am now being blessed over and over because I choose to love myself now. I implore you to do the same. I’m always here if you need a little encouragement or reassurance. You’ve got this and so do I! Much Peace and Love Y’all! Namaste

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Big Will

I thought it would be the perfect time to write about my nephew, Big Will, seeing as it is between Memorial Day and Father’s Day – two things that meant a lot to him. First of all, I always called him “Big Will” because I have another nephew that is much younger named Will and this is how I distinguished between the two. Maybe it was a sign from above years ago that I nicknamed him that because his life was bigger and had more of an impact than we could ever know.

It was Friday afternoon, October 23rd, 2016. I had just gotten home from school where I had spent the day with my kindergarteners – sweet but lively because they are mostly 5 year olds ‘ya know. They really keep you on your toes. I took the dogs out and as I was going back in the house, for whatever reason, I checked my phone. Missed call from Marg? (Marg is my oldest sister. Margaret is her full name.) I didn’t hear it ring. Why would she be calling? We always text. My stupid phone had not been working right for weeks. Or maybe it’s the operator. Who knows? Iphones can probably fly but I wouldn’t know it. I felt a panic as I called her back. She answered, “Jane? Jane?” “Yes. What is it? I’m freaking out?” “Jane, it’s Will.” “What?” “Will. He was killed at work today!” And then I felt as if I couldn’t breathe. Stunned. Shocked. Almost Speechless. “Okay what can I do? Where’s Morgan?” Marg told me my sister-in-law, Cindy, called her and said get to Morgan and please be with her until they could get home. Morgan is my niece who was married to Will. Chet is my brother, Morgan’s daddy, married to Cindy. Chet and Cindy were hours away in another state for a wedding that weekend. One of my other nieces, Layne, Morgan’s sister, was in the wedding so she was with them. Again – HOURS AWAY! Marg wanted me to call our other sister, Amey, let her know and get to Morgan as soon as possible. Marg said she was going to need us all. I did just that – called Amey, told my family, and off I went. As I was driving on I85, talking on speaker phone to Amey I just kept repeating “Why? How? I don’t understand! How is there anything good in this?” Well as I always promise to help you look for the good . . . here it is –

Two days later at Will’s mama’s house I looked into Chet’s red eyes and felt his broken heart when he shared this with us – “The owner of Will’s company has security cameras installed throughout the facility and he always checks the cameras at night from home to ensure everything is ok. He said that at night the only thing you can normally see on the below camera is the security light in the upper part of this picture, everything else is black. The night of the accident, when he checked the cameras, he saw this… the skid steer where the accident occurred (it had not been moved due to the ongoing investigation) and a light highlighting it.”

And there it was! The good! There is no other explanation except The Lord’s light was shining down where Will died. This was so odd that the owner felt it necessary to let my brother know about it. I don’t personally know the owner or anyone that worked with Will and I don’t know their beliefs. But I do know this – even in Will’s death, as a 28-year-old young man, The Lord used him as a light to bring others to know Him.

So in honor and memory of Big Will I wear my Look for the good . . .  t-shirt proudly. I know he was always looking for the good.

*Will was a father to sweet Baylor who was 6 months old when he went to Heaven and he was a Marine who proudly fought for our freedom!

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