My comfort. My conscience. My Mama.

I believe in love.

I believe in it because my Mama gives of it so freely to me. Every day I have had breath in my lungs I have felt love because Mama has made sure of it.

As I’ve aged, she’s become one of my best friends.

She’s my comfort. She’s my partner.

She’s still my guidance. But she’s foremost my Mama.

One of my favorite things is when people meet Mama for the first time. Almost always, they tell me afterward how sweet and kind and cute she is.

Mama is all of those things and so much more. If her giggle could be bought and sold, the world would be even lovelier. She’s a force to be reckoned with, but she still has the laugh and demeanor of a sweet little girl.

I was blessed with a Mama who comes from a long line of incredible Mamas. They all showed me how to be a lady. They also showed me that being a lady is many things. They engrained within me that compassion and strength can co-exist — that a lady can be both soft and smart, both silly and serious, both vulnerable and independent — all at the same time.

“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. -Proverbs 31:26″

I also have a Daddy whose Mama raised him to be the man needed to raise a challenge like me. The lessons she passed down to him as a mother live on in him as a father. His work ethic, his honesty, his unfailing love for his children – that’s him, but it’s helped along by her example. It’s an example he furthered by choosing the perfect woman to be my Mama.

All of those mothers in my family taught me a woman’s mind and heart and soul should be the most beautiful things about her.

Pretty is as pretty does. Exercise your brain. Guard your heart. Share your soul.

That’s what they taught me.

Home is where Mama is, and Mama always is with me, where it counts. Along with Jesus, she’s my conscience.

No matter how old I grow to be, I know Mama will be right there offering the same unstoppable love.

I’m 38 years old, but she still holds me tightly when I am hurting. She lifts me up when I feel weak. She praises me when I am successful. She supports me when I am doubtful. She prays for me. She never stops teaching me how to navigate this crazy life.

No one knows about love more than a mother.

Mama sent handwritten note cards to me while I was in college, a confused girl with emotions abound. Years and years later, her sage words remain some of my prized possessions. She explained what love is and what it is not. She reminded me that love – actual love – is the purest form of God. Her words… written by her hand… formed by her heart… straight to mine.

Good looking out, Mama.

Thank you for always being the one who guides me.

There’s an age-old question people ask all the time: Who would you be if you could be someone else?

I could quote an eloquent wordsmith or poet, but in the spirit of “pretty is as pretty does,” maybe simple lines from a rough-around-the-edges Red Dirt band say it all:

“I guess what they say is true, all you need is one good friend. And in the next life, we’ll wanna be ourselves again.”

My friend. My Mama.

I’d always pick to be me. Because then I’d have her.

 

From Mama to me, years ago. The best advice I’ve ever been given…

Untitled-3

Untitled-4

 

IMG_0127

 

IMG_0201

IMG_0200

FullSizeRender(30)

IMG_0190

IMG_0191

 

 

Birthday Presence: 37 things I tell myself about life


This week marks the passing of 37 years that I have been blessed with breath in my lungs.

I am not one for wanting a big to-do on my birthday. Kind words and thoughtful best wishes are gifts enough. That’s not because I am scared of growing older, nor am I someone who declares to be forever 29.

To me, the value in marking one more year is powerful in a quiet way. I have seen lives end much too young. Becoming wiser, maturing through mistakes and celebrating milestones is not a destiny afforded to all.

So we have to take it. Run with it. Love it. Live it.
Continue reading

Fighter. Champion. Ironman.

Dear Baby Brother,

You have trained for this moment for seven years. We all have loved you and believed in you for the nearly 25 years since you took your first little breath.

As you prepare this morning for the biggest challenge of your life and to reach a level only the most elite of athletes attain, know these things and meditate on them.

The nervous moments ahead of competition are normal, even for Olympians. It’s OK to have them, just don’t allow them to win over precious space your head. Nervous moments mean you understand the adversities. They mean you not only want to slay the beast, but also that you respect it.

As our man Rocky said: “That’s how winning is done.”

Because you are ready. You are prepared. Say that to yourself as you walk to check in.

“I am ready. My body is ready. My mind is ready. I am prepared. My body is prepared. My mind is prepared.”

Continue reading