For the last few months, I have been in (what feels like) the fight of my life. My strength, sanity and even my faith has been tested. I found myself literally at a breaking point, so I did what I always do when life happens...
I hit the highway.
As the mile marker numbers decreased, so did my stress level. Literally, the past was in my rearview mirror and I found myself looking forward with anticipation and laughter.
Of course, I never do road trips by myself. My partners in crime, Shayla and Jeanette, held it down with me as we passed through most of northeast Texas. Along the way, we learned some things.
1. "No one knows me like you do."
Lately, I've been suffering in silence, too embarrassed to share my struggles with anyone, even my sisters. Nevertheless, there's something about the open road that just made me feel free to lay down my burdens.
Surprise--there was no judgement or discouragement; only empathy, support and love. Sometimes, you have to encourage yourself. But sometimes, God sends people to encourage you when you need it the most.
2. The little things.
Have y'all ever been to Ruby Tuesdays? It is my secret love. Any time I am within a 50-mile radius, I am drawn there like a moth to a flame. They make the most fantastic turkey burgers I have EVER tasted, including the ones I make at home. I don't even need to see the menu at this point--just give me the turkey burger and add the salad bar.
I'm telling y'all, that meat will lift up a bowed down head!
(Honorable mention: Lofthouse sugar cookies, snack bags by Jeanette, and the lobster buffet at Boomtown. Needless to say, I'll be eating celery all this week.)
3. Laughter heals.
I wish I could share with you, my dear FBRs, all of the jokes we shared this weekend. Some of them would make you laugh until you cried; some of them would be hard to understand (if you don't know us); some of them would make you think we are complete idiots.
We are, but I digress.
In life, everything just cannot be serious. Even when you are in the midst of a storm, take some time to laugh--not chuckle, grin or give a half-smile, but REALLY laugh. Laughter truly puts things in perspective....
Nothing is as bad as it seems when you LOL.
4. Southern Hospitality
Maybe I'm biased, but I love Texas people. They don't know how to be anything but friendly, sweet and kind.
(This excludes all my exes who live in Texas, thank you very much.)
Once again, God nudged me and I was convicted all over again. Instead of worrying about this or that, I just need to keep showing kindness to those around me. Not just any kindness, but sacrificial kindness. There is a difference.
Sacrificial kindness costs you something--time, money, etc. Nevertheless, it is truly a sound investment. Whatever you spend will be returned to you. Luke 6:38 says it like this:
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
In a time where the stock market can drop 500 points in a single day, I would much rather invest in the kingdom of God.
5. There's no place like home.
My girl Dorothy was right. Even though I love getting away from Oklahoma City whenever I can, my heart rejoices whenever I see the sign that says "Oklahoma City Limits." If I'm not in the driver's seat, I'm already collecting trash and getting my stuff together so I can be in my house as soon as possible.
And here I am. Home.
Now more than ever, I am grateful for this--not the material things or even the house itself, but that feeling of peace in my heart. To me, that's home.
So, maybe you are going through something right now. This situation--this storm, trial or whatever you choose to call it--has a hold of you and it seems like it is never going to end. The way I see it, you have two choices:
-A road trip. Even if you don't have the time or the finances to cross state lines, do it in your mind. Put the past in the rearview mirror and floor it.
-Go home. Find your peace....'nuff said.
Be Encouraged, y'all.