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Challenge, Growth, and Staying the Course This New Year

I had four parents growing up. However, this was not due to a broken family that blossomed into seperate family trees. Around the age of three or four, my life was enhanced when my mother’s mom and dad came to live with us. My mother was the visionary. My dad, the doctor, was the logic. My papaw, the minister, was the faith. And mamaw . . . she was the ornery spice and fashionista. My sister and I were literally raised by four parents under the same roof. Each one of them has heavily influenced my personality and habits over the years. However, what happens when one of them passes? What happens when we grow up and no one’s telling us what to do?

I find it important to be balanced (mentally, physically, and spiritually). And trust me, I have A LOT of work to do. Since opening up my business, I have had a hard time finding balance in my life. I think this happens to a lot of business owners, especially in the first few years. However, I don’t want this excuse to become a crutch. When there’s a problem, I need to “nip it in the bud,” as my mom would say, so things don’t spiral out of control. One of the issues that I faced this past year was finding enough spiritual time for myself. Growing up, it was a given that I would be in church every Sunday morning since my papaw was the one preaching. Given that I am 26 and papaw has passed away, I have come to the conclusion if I don’t do something myself, no one’s going to make me. Oh what freedom, but oh what a burden as well! Self-discipline may be the worst kind!

Being that I grew up with a good dose of spiritual activity, I started to notice a lack of church time due to shooting many weddings out of town. Simply put, I was allowing work to interfere with some other areas of my life.

I have the worst case of “capitivity by activity.” Fortunately, I was informed of an opportunity for a morning women’s bible study during one of the Sundays I made it to church this year. At first I thought of some excuses not to do it, many of which were work-related. Then, I thought how uncomfortable it might feel to talk about my spirituality, or perhaps lack thereof at this point, to strangers. In the midst of all these thoughts, I suddenly heard my papaw’s voice in my head saying, “Staaay the course.” He would always say it as though I was a horse in some race when I was younger. “Whoooa, just staaay the course.” My papaw was not one to lecture. He simply tried to help guide, tame, and explain what the best plan of action would be. Believing that I was, indeed, a horse that needed to be tamed, I signed up for morning Bible study. “I am going to challenge myself,” I thought.

For the next ten to twelve weeks, I was going to give up several work hours every Wednesday to feed myself spiritually and make up for some lost time. Although I was not a perfect student, I walked away from the study knowing more than when I came and even met some new people. Overall, I think it was a win and will hopefully participate in another Bible study in the near future. The purpose of this blog post is not to be a “come to Jesus” lecture or to inform my readers that I am, indeed, a Christian. The purpose of this post is merely to give those riding on the fence a push to “staaay the course” this new year in whatever area of their lives that needs improvement. Create a challenge for yourself and grow from its success or failure. Find a way when all doors seem closed. Fight until your very last breath for all that’s good in this life and thereafter. Godspeed, pretty horses. I’ll be in the stands, rooting for you in a wide-brimmed hat!

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