(Picture courtesy of http://www.noupe.com)
Well, I just had another birthday and as customary, I took the time to reflect on this past year. Of course, I have to share what I have learned and experienced over this past year with my readers. 🙂
I finally understand the meaning, the purpose and the “How To” of forgiveness. I understand now that you cannot be at peace with others until you are at peace with yourself (Joyce Meyer). I have learned that if I were to maintain the mentality of cutting off anyone that displeases me, sooner or later there would no one left for me to cut off. Yet, I also know that there are just some individuals that require my forgiveness from a distance.
The Value of Friendship
I hate to admit that up until recently, I did not truly value my friendships as I should. I recently took a trip with my girlfriends and even though there was some discord, I realized that I still love these ladies tremendously. In the past, I would have stopped talking to these individuals and placed blame. I know now that we may bicker, argue, fuss and fight but at the end of the day we will all get over it and come back together. I am grateful that I now understand that we all have different personalities and that I need to accept my girls the same way they accept who I am. However, I still maintain the requirement that each friend of mine understand and accept who I am just as I promise to do for each one of them. Give and take is a must!!
My family remains a high priority with me. Nothing and no one is allowed to disturb the peace between me and mine. The hubby and I are in a much better place. We have put a lot of work into our marriage and we are even in preparations for renewing our vows. This past year we have made it through a lot of storms and come out stronger at the end. My little ones still bring me immense joy and we do everything together!! I keep in touch with my extended family and I find myself really embracing the need to keep in touch on a regular basis. Life is good!
Now in this area, I have come a very long way. I pray over my family every morning before I leave the house. I listen to sermons on my way into the office. I have even found a culturally diverse church that we all love to attend. God is good! I know for a fact that my spiritual growth is the main reason that my priorities are more in line. I wake up daily with a grateful heart and do not feel I am lacking in anything. I had a close friend ask me what it felt like to be married to your heart school sweetheart at 22, buy your first house at 23, have your first child at 24 and the second at 26, all the while maintaining a successful career in the oil and gas field that would eventually lead to a successful endeavor with your spouse. I can honestly say that I never really thought about it in this perspective, nor have I ever really truly appreciated all that God has blessed me with. This is why I wake up daily with a sincere sense of gratitude because He never ceases to amaze me and I do not want to take anything for granted ever again.
So all in all, I have learned to take each day as it comes. I have learned to see the bigger picture and I understand it is not all about me. I no longer feel myself racing through life, trying to achieve the next milestone, achievement, or amusement. These days I find myself focusing and desiring nothing but simplicity. I know how to simply remove myself from hostile situations that add no value to me. I remember the days of being obsessed with my weight, my age, my looks, and even my hair!! LOL!! Nowadays, I am more comfortable in my skin. I no longer compare myself to others because I am happy with me, ALL OF ME. I also remember the days of having to prove a point, reflect a certain image and make sure people knew that I was not one to be messed with. Thank goodness that is all behind me now. What is the point of all that when all that counts is that I know who I am and what I am about.
So my message remains the same, stay true to yourself but it comes with a lot of maturity to back up the message. I hope everyone comes to the realization that life is not a race and everything happens in its own time.
Until next time,
~ Mara Prose