Who Cares What Anyone Thinks?

In all honesty, most of us do care what others think of us. Even when we say we don’t. I do try to convince myself. My lips are moving, I hear the words. I want to believe me. Rats. I do care.

It still hurts when someone finds fault with me or something I’ve done.

Looks like they’ve got “being yourself” covered.

If I can pass anything along to my grandchildren, it would be this: Be yourself. Love yourself. If you don’t love yourself, you can’t truly love others. And this too: It really doesn’t matter what others think of you. Really.

Too thin, too fat, too slow, too fast, too pimply, lips too fat, nose too big. Talk too much, don’t talk enough, too smart, too dumb, wrong skin color, wrong clothes. I suffered anxiety over all these things in my adolescence. I just knew I was ugly and dumb and fat. I said those things to my reflection in the mirror. My older brother confirmed it. I was convinced that everyone saw what I saw.

It wasn’t true.

I look at the pictures of my younger self and I’m amazed. Why could I not enjoy those years? There was nothing wrong with the way I looked. Everyone looked like that. We were all in the throes of adolescence. Sure, some endured it better than others. One of my friends seemed completely infatuated with himself and he had a lot of others convinced too. I thought he was handsome, but I wasn’t so fond of his ego.

We all know, because we’ve seen it happen––beauty fades. Hair turns gray or falls out. Skin sags and wrinkles. The pounds pile on and refuse to budge. It happens to almost everyone. All of those beautiful young people are now entering their sixties, right alongside me. It doesn’t seem to matter as much what we look like. We laugh it off and deep inside, we’re just happy to be around to kid each other about it.

And as we grow older, we learn the truth. What others say, what they think of you, doesn’t matter. The one thing that really matters, is what you think of yourself. Who you are is important. What you’ve done with your life is important. What you’re doing now is important, along with where you’re headed. Whether your ten or sixty, you need a goal, a destination. That’s important, too. And if all these things are in place, you can feel pretty good about yourself.

Important Note: Loving yourself shows your children that it’s possible. If you constantly criticize yourself in front of your children and grandchildren, they’re going to learn to do the same thing. If you’re overly concerned about what others think of you, your children will do the same.

So here’s another opportunity to make a difference and pass a universal truth along to the next generations. God wants us to love ourselves. Love your neighbor as well as you do yourself (Luke 10:27 TMB). How can you love your neighbor if you don’t love yourself? How can you truly love God if you don’t love what He’s created in you?

I thank God for you. Now, look in your mirror and repeat that until you believe it.

My Grandma’s House by Teghan Owens

Teghan Simone Owens

While I take a break, my granddaughters have agreed to fill the void. I have four of them, so you may get a glimpse of each one as they share something dear to their hearts. Today, I welcome my youngest granddaughter, Teghan, to the blog.

She celebrated her tenth birthday a few days ago. Just to let you know, she spent the week with her other grandmother. So I am not the one who provided this best week ever. That would be the super fun Grandma Blaylock.

This summer I did something awesome.

I went to my Grandma’s house for a week. 
I had the best time ever. 
We did lots of fun things. 
For instance, on Friday, we went to the movies and saw Despicable Me 2. 
And we also went bowling. 
It was so much fun. 
That was the best week ever.

–Teghan Owens

The Things We Remember Most

My dad was a funny guy. He was the youngest child of four and his father died when he was only two, so he got away with a lot of stuff. Sometimes he would get this mischievous look in his eye and I’d know he had something up his sleeve. I especially loved to watch him interact with his sisters, when he’d tease them or startle them with a silly noise. They’d laugh and often launch into a quick dance. Yes, a dance––usually swing steps.

Dad’s been gone for nearly seven years, but I still see him occasionally, in the smiles and antics of my sons as they carry on the humor and mischief. They’re fully grown and two of them are dads now. I know for certain they cut up with their kids. Sometimes becoming a kid themselves for a brief moment, enjoying the luxury of a full-on belly laugh or just a knowing smile.

My husband was only twelve when he lost his father. He didn’t really know how to be a dad, but some things just come natural. He put forth his best effort and as all dads do, he has a few regrets about those years. He often wishes he’d spent more time with them or hadn’t taken everything so seriously. We’ve got three fine sons these days. All of them living good lives and serving God. No complaints here.

This Father’s Day, we plan to spend time together. I’m sure there’ll be those moments of reminiscing. One thing I know, there will be laughter. If you have a father in your life to celebrate, do it. Celebrate the good things, the shining moments, the best times. Those are the ones worth remembering. All the other stuff, well, you can set them out at the curb and let the trash pick them up. Time is precious––life is precious––don’t waste it on regrets.

There’s still time to drop me a note if you’re interested in a free ebook. Fay Lamb is giving away a copy of Stalking Willow. If you read romantic suspense, you’ll love this one. And it could be free! Comment here or find me on Facebook.
As always, thanks for reading!

A Few Important Things to Remember About Mothers

Some of our most precious memories revolve around our mothers. They are usually our biggest fans. Their love is unconditional. Unless you really screw up, they never give up on you. 

Some important facts about mothers: We all have one. No two are alike; they’re as individual as your fingerprint. They tend to be protective and territorial (frequently compared to momma bear). When there is no water available, they will clean your face with their own spit. Some of them really can’t cook. You love them anyway. 
Husbands, never say this to your wife: My mother always did that for me. My mother can teach you how to cook (after eating what your wife prepared). My mother (insert anything here).
Folks tend to be protective of their moms. Like a very beefy guy on a bus once said, “You can insult me, but don’t insult my mother––or you die.” 
I am thankful to be a mom. I love my sons. I have amazing daughters-in-law. And I love my precious grandchildren. I can be over-the-top silly where they are concerned. And I love Mothers Day, even though I suspect it was created to sell greeting cards, flowers, and whatnot. I love visiting my mom and wish I could spend more time with her. That’s her in the picture with me and my middle son, Matt. You can read a more poignant post about her here. Check out middle son Matt’s amazing website here.
In closing, may your Mother’s Day be blessed, whether you’re a mom or celebrating a mom. And thanks for taking a minute to read my post. 

Ten Reasons to Slow Down

Gusto enjoys the lake

I’m in a hurry. I eat too fast. I read books too fast. I skim the news on Yahoo. I half listen to my husband when he talks to me. I’m in a frenzy. My nerves are frazzled.

So I wrote a blogpost on slowing down. It sounded good, but could I really do it? Why slow down, anyway? In this world of microseconds and microwaves and instant everything, why take your time if you don’t have to?

If I slow down, perhaps my nerves will un-frazzle. Maybe my handwriting will improve. Maybe I’ll actually enjoy what I’m eating.

So what am I missing, anyway?

I’m a list-maker, so I came up with the following list (not necessarily ordered by importance):

  • Beautiful Sunrise
  • Wind blowing through the trees.
  • Birdsong
  • Waves crashing on the shore.
  • Breathing
  • Discovering the meaning of a story or novel.
  • Actually hearing all of my husband’s words. Not understanding; but hearing. 
  • Hearing and understanding God’s voice.
  • Grandchildren’s laughter
  • Taking time to show kindness to others, wherever I am.

These are all wonderful things. We miss many of them because we are in a hurry. We’re self-absorbed, always on the way to the next place or the next chore. Turn off the television and in so doing, we begin to de-structure our lives. There’s no longer any reason to put your book away, or come in from the front porch, or the back deck.

Put your feet up, sip your drink slowly and pretend the electricity is out.