Monthly Archives: March 2016

The beauty I learned from addiction

Every story is made up of beauty and tragedy and is intertwined with the beauty and tragedy of others. There are disappointments, heartaches, and lots of bad stuff but there is also so much good.  Watching my mother slowly and tragically lose herself to addiction taught me a lot of bad but it allowed me to also learn there is so much good in people.  Going to 15 schools in 9 years grade (some multiple times), having neither parent (not as parents – and I mean no disrespect to them- they have their own tragedies), seeing so much ugly, being raised by grandparents and an aunt, losing my grandparents, having a life tragically affected by drugs, alcohol and junk and having a parent who spent time in the penitentiary has taught me more good than bad.

It taught me about love, compassion, forgiveness, empathy, hope and faith.

  • There are sweet loving beautiful people in this world who do great things.
  • Love, hope and faith can get you through some of the toughest times of your life.
  • God is good.
  • Boring (or uneventful) really can be a good thing.
  • People who know you…I mean really know you and love you unconditionally are a gift.
  • Having roots is important.
  • People are more important than things.
  • Family and friends are a blessing.
  • There are people who can love you like you are their own.
  • There are many different perspectives – spend time seeing those.
  • Perception is individual.
  • You always have a choice.
  • You are not defined by your past.
  • You are not destined to become the troubled part of your parents. You can choose their good and carry it forward.
  • You can change history.
  • Your kids teach you so much and are such a gift.
  • Don’t judge others until you walk in their shoes (which is impossible by they way- so don’t judge).
  • Seek first to understand.
  • People who are the hardest to love need it the most.
  • Having someone for the last 25 plus years who sees you at your worst, loves you through it and always tells you how beautiful you are even at your worst is a blessing.
  • Sometimes you will never know another’s pain. Show love.
  • You could be the only joy a person experiences in their day.
  • Never let yourself be a victim.
  • What you look for is what you’ll find so always look for the good.
  • The seasons of life are always changing – nothing stays the same.
  • Savor the sweet moments.
  • When one door closes another opens.
  • Receiving unconditional love is a blessing but being able to give unconditional love with no expectations is a blessing that is freeing and full of joy.

I would never wish addiction on anyone.  It robs us of so much including innocence.  But I believe there is always good and we can find it when we look.  Sometimes we can’t change our circumstances but we can change our thoughts.

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” -Norman Vincent Peale

Sometimes we spend way to much time focusing on the bad and we become paralyzed by it.  Don’t let life’s tragedies harden you or turn you into something ugly.  Allow them to soften your sweet heart so you have more compassion and empathy.  When we offer Mercy and Grace to others we sprinkle the world with a little more sweetness.

With love,


Simple things

Some of the hardest days of my life were also the sweetest.

It’s the simple things I crave. Life is so busy with so many distractions. We have the world at our fingertips. With the touch of a button we can connect to people all over the world. We go-go-go and don’t have time to stop and enjoy the beautiful free things God created. We are always looking for more. For better. And to be forever entertained.

We forget to stop….and smell the roses…or to stop and breathe. We hurry past those we love explaining we have to be somewhere in five minutes. We are a busy world. Too busy.

When I was a young girl the world moved at a much slower pace. The days I spent with my Papa where some of my greatest memories. My world revolved around him. He taught me so much about life. I’d crawl out of bed early to the sweet smell of Papa’s biscuits and gravy with a side of bacon or sausage.  Papa was fun and a hard worker. There was no place on earth I’d rather have been besides standing right next to my Papa in his little Datsun or Toyota truck with my hand on his shoulder as we drove all over God’s creation. Seat belts weren’t required and we traveled at much slower rates of speed.   I loved spending my days with him…working in the garden, crawdad fishing, gathering pecans, eating banana taffy, pouring peanuts in our cokes that we drank from the old fashioned bottles, feeding the baby calves, going to the sale barn, playing with the goats and endless sweetness.  He was forever entertained by us grandkids…trying to catch the chickens or being chased by a rooster or the geese. The goats were named after people – ex family members. He was a mess. A fun and great mess. He loved the electric fence and watching us kids get constantly shocked by it. He would sit and laugh and watch as we accidently grabbed the electrical wire and got the shock of our lives. We would squeal and carry on. He’d have the biggest grin. He once filled a bucket with frogs and flipped off the electricity to the house so all of us kids would run out of the house. As we ran out of the house screaming and carrying on, he was calmly sitting in a chair acting like he had no clue what was going on. We all gathered around Papa and took any seat we could find. One of us, I can’t remember who – sat on that bucket of frogs. The frogs started jumping and hitting someone’s rump. They squealed. We all squealed and ran around in craziness. Papa just sat grinning with his beautiful joyful grin. His kids – our parents were forever saying “Daddy!!!!” His pranks were endless…the mongoose cages, pulling a quarter or bubble gum from our ears, dressing up and hiding in old abandoned houses and waiting for us kids so he could scare us. We all adored him. He would give us twenty five cents to rub his feet or his head. He wasn’t a perfect man but in my eyes – he was one of the greatest. I slept between him and my Nanny most of my childhood. I loved my Nanny too. I was safe. It was my favorite place on earth. He was the light in my dark world.

papa toyota0002

Papa and my uncle Skip


me as a young girl

Ironically, those were also some of the most difficult times for me as a young girl. We spent some of our days/nights dealing with mother’s addiction. Those were the days when Papa woke me up early because Mother was in jail and we had go bail her out. Or she hadn’t come home all night and we drove around to all the known hangouts and drug houses searching for her. Papa had been a police chief before he retired. I know the tragedy of mother’s addiction had to be so hard for him as well. My Papa was a brightness in those dark days. His brightness and joy overshadowed the ugly. If it hadn’t been for him and his sweet ways during those early years – I might have had a much different future. He made life fun in the most simple things and ways.

I didn’t have my mother or father…so God gave me Nanny and Papa and so many others who loved me, prayed for me and showed me better.

God strategically places people and things in our lives. Sometimes we are so busy or so focused on what we don’t have that we miss the sweetness he sends our way. God is good all the time and all the time God is good. Focus on the simple joys.

Those days are gone. My boys didn’t know the world like I did…good and bad. My boys never got a chance to know my Papa. He died when I was 13. They would have loved him and he would have loved them. I would give anything for my boys and husband to spend a day with my Papa.  I would love to spend just one more day with him.

My favorite days are the simple ones. The ones that most remind me of my Papa and his sweet simple loving ways and when the world moved at a much slower pace. My favorites are the days where we cook a big breakfast, spend time together as a family, windows open with a cool breeze, enjoying the beautiful outdoors, laughing at really dumb stuff, never wasting those precious minutes….being totally free from schedules, from makeup and worldly demands. The days we are free to just laugh, spend time together and enjoy the most precious commodity of all – time – are my favorite. The best things in life are free. Jesus paid the ultimate price for all of us. God created the greatest beauty in the world.

Enjoy the sweetness and the simple things. Slow down. Breathe. Don’t miss the beauty because you are so busy being distracted. Time passes way too quickly and it’s the greatest commodity of all.

You have the power to be the light in someone’s darkness, to be a blessing and change someone’s world…will you?

Much love!