Hi Shenanigan Enthusiasts!
What a difference a week makes! Our amazing Fall came to an abrupt end last weekend when foot of snow dumped overnight. When I opened up the barn door the next morning the Funny Farm had a serious case of WTF (what-the-fill in the blank). Betty and June, who are usually the first to bumble out took a step back. June proceeded but Betty made a hard turn back inside! Rowdy and Merle hesitantly followed June. Slowly but surely the whole gang meandered out appearing to be in awe of all the white stuff. Meanwhile Lucy dove through it all as though mother nature threw a party for her! Waylon and Moose love looking for poopsicles in the snow too! So many treasures to find underneath it all!!! The snow continued to fall all day. Other than the sh*t in the barn, there wasn’t much to shovel because it was all buried in the knee-deep snow. After I finished my chores and loving on all my pals the power was out when I got back to the house. Hello winter! Jeff left early for a football meeting and everyone else was still asleep, so I welcomed the beautiful, quiet, magic of our first winter morning snuggled by a cozy fire, feeling grateful and thanking God for blessings that included flip flops and snow boots in the same week.
Grit & Grace
Snow is so beautiful. It peacefully falls with such beauty and grace yet requires a fair amount of grit to navigate it daily. GRIT & GRACE, words I aspire to live by. I fall short in both at times, but I keep learning, growing and getting better. Life is a dance we learn as we go after all. Grit, Grace, and also Gratitude, are all steps to include in the dance of life if we want to dance our best dance.
GRIT - a positive, trait based on an individual's perseverance of effort combined with the passion for a particular long-term goal or vision.
Having grit may come more naturally to some than others but we can all grow our grit muscles if we choose to. When I think of Grit, I reflect on so many examples in my life, here at the funny farm I think of Moo finding his way when he was the odd goat out. He never gave up. The other goats would knock him down, literally off of his pedestal, but he always came back for more until they had no choice but to embrace and respect him. In my life there are too many badass, gritty people to list them all, but at the top of my list is my husband, Jeff for overcoming so much and kicking butt in this crazy, tragic, almost magic, awful, beautiful life (sorry, I can’t not rattle those lyrics off when they pop into my head). It turns out I am kinda badassie too, I found that the hardest season of my life was also one of the best because I discovered strength, I didn't know I had. I found the magic in the messy. Though not everything that happens in life is good, I wholeheartedly, believe we can take something from every situation and use it for good. Seeking the magic in the messy has definitely served me well in persevering through hard seasons. I hope you look for the magic too. If you don't, try it! Miracles will happen when you do.
Life has taught me, that the hard things, falling, failing, sucking, and breaking can be the BEST things to help us find our purpose, our strength, our GRIT. When the boys were little, the best "parenting" book I read was Confessions of a Slacker Mom, written by Muffy Mead-Ferro. I love, love, love this book (click here for your copy)! She shares about how she is a slacker mom and shares funny relatable stories (to me anyway) about how she is slacker mom. She had been taking a few minutes for herself to read the last few pages of a book she was dying to finish when she hears her toddler wake from a nap, so she keeps reading. Pretty soon she hears him tootle down the stairs, and then a kitchen stool being scooted across the floor, she doesn't look up, hoping she can squeeze in the last few paragraphs before mom duty officially calls. Out of the corner of her eye, she sees her toddler climb up on that stool, onto the counter and reach for the cookie jar. What's one cookie??? Anyway, I was cracking up as I read this book. After sharing all her funny slacker stories, she brings it full circle by recognizing her kids are awesomely capable young humans because the world didn't revolve around them, and she gave them some freedom to find their way. Of course, she was there to guide them, love them and if needed, pick them when they fell but she gave them room to figure it out. Cheers to the slacker moms, give yourself some slack. You are helping your kids grow some GRIT.
Grace - simple elegance or refinement of movement - SNOW, or Courteous Goodwill. There is so much power in the second definition - courteous goodwill.
Though my train of thought was inspired by the grace with which snow fell from the sky, it led me to reflect on living with Grace - courteous goodwill, both for myself and others. Grace is an essential component to living our BEST LIFE. We are all going to fall short, make mistakes, fail, and let ourselves and others down sometimes. Though not always an easy task we must allow room for GRACE. Grace is the "so what, now what, of life". We may not be able to change what happened, but we can choose to respond with grace, which allows room for learning, healing, growth, forgiveness, and love. Without grace we may give up our power and find ourselves stuck at the mercy of what is wrong. Grace is a gift, a blessing, an opportunity to give what is heavy up and move forward with faith. AMAZING GRACE - sings in my heart as I reflect, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see. (Click here to enjoy one of my favorite versions by Joey Feek)
Gratitude - the quality of being thankful
There is always something to be thankful for. Sometimes when we are wading through the sh*t creeks of life we can understandably lose sight of all we have to be thankful for. Gratitude is another key element to persevering through the dance that is life. I have found that when I take time each day to recognize all of the things, I have to be grateful for the list is long even on my hardest days. During one the hardest seasons of my life there were days my heart was so heavy, tears fell like rain, often I couldn't eat or sleep, especially on these days, when I stopped to write in my gratitude journal, a sense of peace found me. In those moments I found myself truly grateful the hard season I found myself in because I was discovering so much to be thankful for through it all. It's true what we focus on expands, so when we focus on all we have to be grateful for more will follow. My favorite journal is The Five Minute Journal because we all have five minutes! Click here to check it out. If there was one thing, I could encourage anyone to do it would be to reflect on all we have to be grateful each day. Miracles happen when we focus on our blessings.
GRIT, GRACE & GRATITUDE
My wish for you is to embrace each day with GRIT, GRACE and GRATITUDE. Having grit doesn’t mean you can carry the weight of the world alone. It does mean choosing to persevere despite the challenges and setbacks. It means taking full responsibility for ourselves and our lives no matter what our circumstances may be. We aren't responsible for everything that happens to us on our journey, but we are one hundred percent responsible for how we move forward. Responsibility is where our power lies. GRIT - is doing whatever it takes. Sometimes what is takes is giving ourselves GRACE and being ok with asking for help when we need it. GRATITUDE is the glue that holds it all together, keeping us going on the hard days and celebrating on the good ones.
Today I am grateful you are reading this. I hope it makes you smile. I am grateful for my family, my tribe of badass friends, forever love, endless possibilities, good tunes, good sip's, miracles, the funny farm and all it inspires, feeling great - thanks to GutPersonal and moving my body every day, my podcast launching next week and so much more!!! What are you grateful for? Share in the comments!
I am so excited for the launch my new V-S-T Podcast next Tuesday November 1st! The first episode is short, sweet, and imperfect, sharing the heart behind it. My hope is to offer HOPE, insight and resources to our Tribe. Together we can laugh, cry, grow, be inspired, inspire, and find magic in the messy so that we can all THRIVE. Click here Tuesday to listen in!
Until we connect again, may you laugh ‘til you snort, take the bull by the horns, give yourself and others some GRACE, live a good story, climb your mountain, dream, do hard things, live like someone left the gate open, make it a good one, strive to thrive, love like crazy, enjoy the little things, always look for the magic to celebrate, be grateful, embrace the messy, turn it into your magic, notice the miracles, dance in the kitchen, keep learning, growing and getting better and chose to live your BEST LIFE.
Check out the Love & Shenanigan Inspirations for Grit & Grace, Sh*t Creek Survivor and more!
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