Happiness Doesn’t Happen

Do you ever wonder what it takes to just be happy?  Some days it can feel like such a struggle.

My friend Jenn Baxter asked me to write a guest post for her site, and it’s a topic I felt led to cover when sharing my story with her readers.  I hope you follow the story to her site to read the article and look around to see how Jenn is touching lives through her journey and online home.

Thank you for allowing me to share with you and for being a part of our online family here!
❤ Heather

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Heather, what more could make you happy?

It was a desperate question my mom asked as we sat on my bed looking in to a closet full of clothes, shoes and accessories.  “Not stuff, Mom.  Stuff can’t bring happiness.

I was only sixteen, but I had already concluded that trips to the mall, a brand new car and hosting parties with friends couldn’t fill the emptiness inside.  The void was far too vast for material, superficial things.  Happiness was a state I was battling to attain.

The battle began nine years earlier, when my world tragically changed on a country dirt road.

……….Read The Rest of The Story at LiveAFastLife.com

Healing Words in the Emptiness of Tragedy

I’m deeply grateful for the open doors to share our story and the hope and healing I pray readers receive through it. Over the last couple of months I’ve been given the honor of being a guest on a few different sites. I’m looking forward to sharing them with you.

Here is one of them—a piece I wrote for Susan Greenwood’s site, Not of Myself. I met Susan attending a speaker/writer conference last year. I hope you hop on over to her site to read the article and peak around to see all the wonderful contributions Susan is making through her online home.

Thank you for allowing me to share with you and for being a part of our online family here!  ❤ Heather

“Don’t talk to Schultz like that,” my bossy three-year old self snapped at my six foot four inch three hundred pound father after he scolded our beagle dog for causing a near fall.  Granted, when tall people fall, they have a long way to go, which understandably, could have been bad.  But Dad’s response seemed completely unjust to me and I didn’t have any hesitation expressing it.

While that very early encounter of expressing myself so naturally may appear as a simple scenario in needing to correct a child, it was actually much more.  The minor incident was an indication of how well I connected with my feelings and how effective I was in being able to communicate them.  This was a critical component in the days that lie ahead.

……….Read The Rest of The Story at NotofMyself.com

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FakeBooking: Living Real in a Social Media World

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Mom, Aunt Donna and I all went to get pedicures last week. It was a special occasion. Actually, after pulling off my socks it appeared one could conclude it as a rare occasion! The only attention I had given my toes since October was a trimming. The French pedicure had nearly grown off—off, off and away! What remained on the quarter top portion on my great toe was chipped, somewhat discolored and left a residual white color even after the polish had been removed. Talk about embarrassing—when the pedicurist is filing the top of the toe in efforts to buff out that funky look.

I would certainly have never snapped a “before” pic of my little piggies to share with my social media friends and family. I do imagine the image along with the typical getting-a-pedicure caption would have acquired some comments. Like, “it’s about time,” or “how long has it been?” or “should you see a doctor for that?

Oh, honestly, it may not have received the comments, because my social media people aren’t social media trolls, but it would have at the least, created some similar thoughts. I know it seems unheard of, especially after the political social media funnels of the last couple weeks. Actually, I’ve been tempted to chime in a time or two, even wrote a blog post, but had to trash it. I call it a “funnel” because it appears to take social media’s intention of connecting people in one direction. Down. And down really, really fast. People unfollow or defriend or step away from participating altogether. I’m not sure some “friends” would even acknowledge one another if they saw each other in the store after some of the exchanges I’ve read. But moving on….

Overall, people really do know how to keep negativity to themselves. We haven’t forgotten Disney’s classic film, Bambi and that sweet little rabbit who was working on keeping thoughts to himself. Yes, God bless Thumper! We all know the feeling, “if ya can’t say somethin’ nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.”

Nevertheless, we tend to only share what we think would be well-received. Or what we’re proud of. Those not-so-stellar realities in our life don’t need to be showcased. I mean, how many times have we cropped dirty dishes out of the pic or tried to eliminate our kitchen’s cracked grout from making the photo? I could go on. The pile of laundry, the busted fence pickets and falling braces—I know, sounds crazy but it happens around here. Ya know what else happens around here? Shattered light fixtures from soccer balls and basketballs. From the patio to the playroom we’ve got a few that have bit the dust. Then there’s the challenge of avoiding the ongoing sheetrock repair! At the moment, and I figure it may not be a very extended one, but at the moment we have every area of sheetrock repaired and painted! Did you hear the angels sing?! It’s a glorious thing!

Life is just life. And sharing it with others doesn’t require perfection. I mean, you’re probably gonna notice when The Meadows need to mow under the trampoline in a few of our backyard pool pictures. We just don’t like moving that thing every time we mow. So it gets to looking a bit shabby. Or creepy. Like potential snake-home creepy. Now I’ve gone too far. Shared too much. Let me get back on track.

My approach to sharing socially is to follow Thumper’s approach—only share, or say, what is nice. If I don’t have anything nice, I just don’t share. Which explains why there are occasional periods of no participation.

Even here on this blog, we’ve shared some un-pleasantries, but not until we have something to offer from it. A difficult season isn’t for our misery, it’s for our development. Seeking the Lord and gaining insight through the season creates a gift in us to share with others in the right time. Please Note: in the right time.

It’s my heartbeat every reader who visits our online home will receive a little dose of inspiration, strength, joy and encouragement. Personally, some of life’s moments drain those qualities from me. Like the challenging season with our daughter or the unexpected job loss with my husband. I couldn’t write about those when they were unfolding. I had nothing good to give from it. But in time, the Lord turned those into trophies for His Kingdom and tokens of encouragement for us on earth. *check out Living in a Layoff or The Other Side of Failing

When we’re scrolling Facebook, or Twitter or Instagram, or hanging out on LinkedIn, or browsing Pinterest, and any other social media site (cause I just can’t account for or even know them all), let’s remember that those are the highlight reels. We aren’t sharing the behind-the-scenes. Not because someone is faking it, but because they may be in the waiting period—waiting for something good to come from it.

In honor of this post, I’m sharing my toes. Recently pedicured! I chose to go bare. No polish. First of all, I’m so grateful I have my feet, but I’m not a fan of the look. My yucky bone sticks out on my right ankle and my toes curl under. But nevertheless, here is something I wouldn’t typically share—my little piggies. Overgrown-grass-under-the-trampoline pics coming soon (summer will be here before we know it)!

Ephesians 4:29 ESV
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

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The Burns That Revealed My Beauty

A highlight for 2016 was writing a guest post called “The Burns That Revealed My Beauty” for Lightmakers, a website featuring stories to connect, heal and inspire.  

Before the year was over, I wanted to share the piece with you.

Thank you for being a part of our online family.  

All the best to you & yours in 2017- 

As a child I used to stand in front of the full-length antique mirror in my room and study myself.  After much evaluation I would ask, “Mom, am I pretty?” Deep down I wanted her to answer with a simple, “yes,” but instead I always got, “Heather, beauty comes from the inside.”

I gathered my earliest opinions of beauty as many young girls do; from Miss America pageants, beautiful women showcasing game show prizes, and grocery store checkout line exposure to the covers of numerous magazines featuring flawless bodies.

Beauty was all surface, merely skin deep. This philosophy is typical of a child who only has the capacity to think concretely, to only know what can be seen, felt or touched. But beauty, I learned, is much more obscure. Beauty must be discovered.

……….Read The Rest of The Story at Lightmakers.org

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