I find the simplest of truths to be the most useful, so I shall share a few with you that I have discovered or been told in my life so far...
#1 Retain your integrity.
My Father, the wise man he is, always gives me good advice. Above all that he has taught me there is one thing that I am reminded of when stuck in a situation not knowing what to do. He told me no matter what I do, retain my integrity and not much can go wrong. That means that if I am blameless - don't retaliate, don't gossip, don't stir the peace, don't talk back, don't lie - then anything I do do should be OK.
#2 Don't find someone you can live with, find someone you can't live without.
My Mother had always compared me to her Aunty Ann, mannerisms wise, and I hadn't even met her until Easter 2010. Sitting in my 2nd cousin's flat (Nina) with the two of them, my Mum and Aunty, Ann thought it would be a good idea to go round the circle and give me a bit of womanly wisdom - from their years of experience. Ann told me to never settle in love, to find that person I can't live without and hold onto them forever. My Mum told me:
#3 Follow your heart but lead with your head.
<3 She was a passionate woman, so strong, so kind and so generous. She followed her heart when she married my Dad and moved to England, and with Christ in her heart she continued His works above and beyond what many are capable of. She followed her heart, but never forgot to be smart about it.
#4 Stop wishing for more when you already have enough.
It frustrates me when people complain that they can't do this because they don't have this. Or they want to do this but need this first. I understand the importance of planning, but there is a greater importance in being resourceful, creative and learning to be content. Life may have it that you never get what you think you need - then what? Learning to 'make do' can be a humbling task but it is sometimes necessary to make your bigger dreams come true.
#5 Count your blessings.
It also frustrates me when people feel sorry for themselves because things aren't going their way. This may sound heartless, but hear me out. If anyone says 'no one loves me' or 'no one wants to talk to me' then they are clearly not looking very far. If no one else is willing - then I am. I love you. And I don't even necessarily know you. I know what it feels like to be lonely and feel as though you're alone - they are different - I don't wish it on anyone, so if a bigger heart is what it takes then I'm willing to accommodate. Also, if things aren't going your way - welcome to the club. Before you start listing things that have gone wrong be thankful that you have so many good things that can go wrong, be thankful that you have the time in the day to reflect, be thankful that you have a sane mind to consider your short comings, be thankful you have friends willing to listen, be thankful you have life left to waste it complaining. (I realise my irony, and I am thankful.)
There are many more which don't come to mind but be sure I'll add them in as the come back. Until then here are a few more encouraging pictures and sentiments which will hopefully make you think, smile and maybe even chuckle a little...
For the girls...