Kat’s Words of Wisdom

This past weekend I celebrated my birthday!

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I am officially another year older and wiser.  So, what have I learned in my past 30 something years on this planet? (these are in no particular order, except the first one, that’s a solid #1)

1. Pray often. Never underestimate the power of prayer.

2. It is the PEOPLE that matter most!

And thankfully I got to spend my b-day with all my people. There wasn’t one moment that I was alone. It was beautiful. It started with donut breakfast with my kiddos. Then my dear friend Mary drove over in the snow with her baby in tow and surprised me with a cake that she had baked. I was awestruck! The company and the cake were amazing! Shortly after she left I had another friend stop by with her daughters and the girls all played while we moms finally had the opportunity to chat which was a gift in itself. She has 4 kiddos and I have 3 and between the 7 kiddos we hardly ever get a word in edgewise (this is when texting comes in handy). Then in the evening my in-laws came over to watch the kiddos so my true love (just to clarify I am talking about my husband, not coffee) and I could go out to dinner. Throughout the day I received birthday wishes from many friends via texts and Facebook (thank you everyone, you each mean so much to me and I great appreciate you taking the time to remember my b-day).

The next day (did I mention when your b-day is on a Thursday or Friday you can celebrate it all weekend…I am pretty sure it states that somewhere in the Bill of Rights. Lol!) I attended my BFF’s Bridal shower. Seeing your best friend absolutely glow with pure joy over finding the love of her life is such a magnificent gift…second only to life itself. After the Bridal Shower I hit the road and headed to Maumee Bay State Park for a fun filled family weekend!

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3. Love unconditionally.

4. Forgive unconditionally.

5. Joy often follows those who humble themselves.

Truth be told,I did tell my husband, on my birthday weekend that I was wrong, he was right, and I was sorry. Sometimes we need to simply admit our faults, own up to our mistakes, ask forgiveness, and move on. Do not dwell.

6. Focus your attention on the things that matter in life…there will always be laundry and dishes but we never know when someone’s lifetime is up.

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Here is a picture that expresses this sentiment. I had much more important things to do then to clean the room, like going sledding, going on a nature hike, and swimming!!!

7. Wisdom is a gift and you’d be a fool to trade it for youth.

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I went to Merle Norman on my birthday and I was told I could receive a gift package at a special rate. Guess what the gift package entailed? Wrinkle care! As if! I will wear my wrinkles proudly thank you very much!

8. Lower your expectations. Better yet, eliminate all expectations. That way you are never disappointed.

 

9. Turn off your phone! And enjoy the beautiful gifts around you, like nature and a sunset.

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10. Focus your attention on the right numbers. Not the numbers on the scale but rather your years of wisdom….it is also wise to know your cholesterol, triglyceride level, and blood pressure so that you can continue to grow in your wisdom.

11. Don’t sit on the sidelines  of life, or the chaise lounge at the pool watching everyone else have fun. Put on your bathingsuit and go swimming with your kiddos…make memories.

Moms, put on your bathing suits, no matter what size you are and enjoy making memories with your kids! Stop waiting to live your life until you are the perfect size. You are beautiful and perfect as you are and those who truly matter will know this about you…forget about the rest of them.

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12. Never be afraid to ask for help. When you do so not only do you get assistance but you allow someone else to feel needed. And who knows, maybe you asking for help from that person ends up dramatically changing their outlook on life.

I have to be honest; this getting older thing is pretty awesome! Each year I grow more comfortable in my own skin and my soul grows closer to God.

Have you found yourself growing older and wiser? What is the most significant thing you have learned at your age right now?

Time to extend an olive branch?

While watching the Real Housewives of New Jersey this season (comprehension of this post is not dependent upon viewership of the show) and observing the terrible grudge that has transpired, virtually separating a family, I find myself questioning my future interest in the show. While watching these two sides bicker I find myself becoming heated, furious at the fact that these adults are allowing this to occur, that they are allowing an entire family to become divided. The adults are causing the elders distress and separating cousins and future generations all because of a misunderstanding basically brought on by personal insecurities that resulted in a disagreement.

I couldn’t help but think of the RHNJ’s families as I sat on the steps at my Great Aunt and Uncle’s cottage on the 4th of July. An overwhelming sense of gratitude and appreciation came over me. These were the same steps that I sat on every 4th of July when I was a young child and my father when he was a child and my grandparents when they were young parents. How fascinating, right!? I mean to think that all the memories made and treasured by each generation could have been nil if my grandmother and her sister had let a grudge fester.  If that had happened none of us would even know each other now. I would not know that not only are our cousins beautiful on the outside but on the inside too. I am so grateful for the behavior the past generations in our family have exercised and modeled for the present generations.

 Lake

 

Now don’t get me wrong I understand that quarrels happen in families. Shoot, just the other day my sister and I got into a disagreement about the weather. After a few minutes we apologized and vowed to only discuss religion and politics from that moment on, lol! I realize this was just a small quarrel and sometimes an olive branch isn’t enough, sometimes you need to extend the entire tree. No matter how you start, with a leaf, branch, or tree it is important that you do it!

The health issues affiliated with holding a grudge should be reason enough to extinguish any animosity and practice forgiveness.

Research has shown that the stress that accompanies suppressed anger resulting from unforgiveness can lead to mental and physical health problems. Some studies have even suggested that trait anger directly increases a person’s risk for cardiovascular disease. Source    

But grudges are not limited to families.  They occur in friendships, with neighbors, community members, etc. too.  Ever come across someone you haven’t seen in years and they say the most peculiar thing to you? Like they have been holding onto something for quite some time? But when they explain it you have no recollection? Either they remembered it wrong or perhaps something did happen in the past but you didn’t realize it bothered them.  Either way it is in the past. How sad that they allowed it to build up and fester for all these years. It really is ashamed because the only person they harmed was themselves. Now imagine if they had simply confronted you years ago. Kindly acknowledge the issue and you could have had a discussion and settled all misunderstandings, apologized, and been forgiven. That individual could have then had moments, situations, events in life back…the ones in which they had allowed their own anger towards you to rob themselves from possible joys.

 

Like the Matthew West song lyric states….

It’ll clear the bitterness away

 It can even set a prisoner free

 There is no end to what it’s power can do

 So, let it go and be amazed

 By what you see through eyes of grace

 The prisoner that it really frees is you

 

 Forgiveness, Forgiveness

Do you know of a family that has been affected by a grudge? Have you ever held a grudge, how did it make you feel? Do you need to extend an olive branch? Or, maybe you wish someone would forgive you? Please share…this is a no judgment zone you words will be met with kindness and understanding.