Wednesday, January 11, 2012


It isn't something we held our glasses high & clinked to at the strike of midnight on New Year's, but it is something that Jared & resolved to do many months ago. And being that it's worked out quite beautifully for us, & that we're not too far into the new year, I figured January 11th would be as good a day as any to share our little secret of happiness with the rest of you. When I find a way to overcome obstacles in my life, I like to spread the wealth with you all in hopes that just maybe, you too might benefit one day down the road.

I like to think I'm generally a glass half full kind of gal. I have slowly learned over the years to ease up on my expectations of others, to let my skin thicken up a bit, & to let unimportant things kind of roll of my back. I try to make the most of what I've got, find the positive amidst the negative & find pleasure in the regular, simple moments. I certainly cannot say I've perfected this art or that I've become some laid back, easy going, nothing bothers me kind of person, but I am learning it's a much happier way of life to simply let go of some stuff & try & live life to the fullest.

And even though I know it makes for a healthier, happier me to not get caught up in all the junk of life, you know what I still find myself doing from time to time? Stewing, griping, complaining, festering, judging, & letting my heart be sown with seeds of bitterness.  I let my thoughts become infiltrated with negativity, I let my heart be robbed of the joy it should be filled with, & I become consumed with bitterness, nastiness & flat out ugliness. And I don't really like myself much when that happens.

It's so easy to do, isn't it? To overlook our blessings & become solely focused on the things in our life which we feel aren't perfect. And don't just go taking my word for it... just check out facebook if you don't believe me. You'll quickly be slammed with status update after status update of things like--I hate my job, I can't stand this person, my life is so horrible, blah, blah, blah. I don't mean to be insensitive here, really I don't. I realize that there are individuals going through more than I will ever understand, people who have real things to grieve about, friends who are facing giants in their lives, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the garbage that people think is real reason to be unhappy. The very same garbage I allow myself to be consumed with much more often than I'd like to admit. And just because I don't go smearing it all over my facebook statuses doesn't mean I don't do the exact same things within the walls of my own mind & heart. I become that facebook status that I simply can't stand--the one I cringe at--the one I want to shake the owner of & say, "Get over it! Where is your joy?!"

It was definitely time for a gut check in my life & I won't ever forget the day that my little "ah-ha moment" took place.

Jared & I were driving home together, Jett snoozing away in the back seat, & let me tell ya, we were on a roll. We'd just left a less than desirable situation & we were pissing & moaning about every single detail of it. I bet we'd spent a good half hour griping about this individual & that individual & how awful, terrible & disgusting we found the whole scenario to be when finally, one of us put the conversation to rest {I can't actually remember who brought the self wallowing to a screeching halt, but I'm gonna go with my husband on this one. He's pretty good at finding the silver lining while I'm still frantically running around in the thunder storm}. We took a step back, analyzed, & came to the conclusion that, you know what? In the great big grand scheme of things, our lives are pretty darn great. We are healthy, we are loved, we are raising one heck of a beautiful family. Why in the world are we allowing a select few people or a select few situations to take the light off of all that we have to be grateful for? It just didn't make any sense. And right there in that moment is when we adopted our little family motto--something we call The 90/10 Rule. We made the decision to start taking the 90 percent of our lives that rocks our socks off & focus, focus, focus on it. To treasure it, to meditate on it, to become completely consumed with joy & thankfulness for all that we have been given in this quickly fleeting life. And that last little 10 percent that ain't so pretty--to let it go. It's simple, really. An "accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative" way of life. Easier said than done, right? I know, I know... it takes some practice.

For me personally, this 90/10 Rule of ours means spending my time focused on being a present momma, being the kind of wife that my husband needs, & becoming the woman of God that Jesus Christ so desires for me to be. When I have my eyes fixated on the things that make my joy full, like my Lord & Savior & the blessing of family he has given me, I radiate that same joy. I radiate light. I radiate a life that others want to be a part of. I don't have time to huff & puff about people or things in my life that I'm not overly fond of. But when I focus on that teeny, tiny ten percent of life in which I cannot change & that I wish were different, I become a bogged down, discontent, ungrateful person that even I can't stand to be around. I never want to look back on this life with regret that I missed out on the big picture of beautiful, meaningful events because I stood staring for too long at all the crap that truly doesn't matter.

"Whatever you feed grows & whatever you starve dies." True dat.

Something else that has helped me in my journey to have a joy filled life is to surround myself with people who bless my life & keep the ones who don't at bay. I have finally given myself permission to cut loose individuals who are toxic to me. Individuals that once I leave their presence, I feel disheartened, discouraged, & less myself than I did when I walked into our encounter. This isn't always the easiest thing to do. It often comes along with heartbreak & tears, but in the end I have found that it reaps peace in my life.  It most certainly doesn't mean that I don't love these people anymore, it simply means that I can't have them in my day to day life. Now, I'm not suggesting to go & eliminate every person out of your life that you don't see eye to eye with. Some of my most valued relationships are the ones that have taken years to work through & numerous obstacles to overcome in order to salvage. Some of those relationships have been worth every bit of the fight & I would fight that fight ten times over. What I'm saying is that some relationships & some people are just draining. Sometimes they continually hurt, sting, & burn & once in awhile the decision has to be made to love those individuals from an arms length away. I know in the depths of my heart who genuinely has my best interest at heart & I keep those very precious people close to me. I lean on them, I learn from them, I grow from them & all the while they help me along in this journey of becoming my most genuine self. They accept me, they build me, they encourage me, & yes, sometimes they even fail me. But it's all good & dandy because I know their motives are pure. But I also know that not everyone set in my path truly has that level of care or interest in my life. I know there are pot stirrers, joy stealers, people who desire to tear others down & I have no place for that in my life. My joy can only be sucked, my pot can only be stirred, & my sense of self only torn down if I allow it to be. And I won't allow that. Nobody should walk away from somebody else feeling beat up. I cannot change the behavior of others. I cannot force them to live up to my expectations. What I can do is love, pray, be my genuine self & try to have a pure heart & motives at all times. Not always easy, I'll admit. But in the end, I am responsible for me & the actions that I exude. Giving myself the go ahead to set healthy boundaries in my life as far as who has access to my life & who doesn't has been one of the biggest burdens lifted from my shoulders. I'm lighter, happier, more free, more me. 

Our 90/10 Rule is simply a reminder to get over it & get on with it. To accept that life isn't ever going to go exactly as we'd always wish, but that it doesn't mean our lives can't be full. To stop ourselves mid sentence when we begin to fuss & bellyache about bumps in our road & to turn our eyes upon the good stuff. Ultimately, I want our children to see our 90/10 Rule as a way we lived our lives. I want our rule to become something that is natural for them. I want them to take the good with the bad & realize that in the grand scheme of things, life will throw nasty weather, nasty circumstances, even nasty people their way, but when weighed in the balances, their blessings will always outweigh their curses if that's the reality they choose to cling to.

I whole heartedly believe that everybody has their own 90 percent to be thankful for--no matter what they're going through in this messy life. Everyone has a part of life where joy, blessings & a fullness of life can be found. Sometimes it just means to stop dead in your tracks & let go of the things you cannot change. Sometimes it means to set free some of the individuals that bring constant hurts, & sometimes it means to just buck up & repeat to yourself over & over "90/10, 90/10, 90/10". I can't promise it'll work for you, but I can say it has sure worked nicely for our little family.

My wish for you this year is that you're able to find your 90 & kick your pesky 10 to the curb!

Happy Wednesday, my friends. Be filled with joy.


  1. I agree totally..We have a Glorify Our Savior..and in order to do that we must live a Joyful life..We Love you guys and thank you so much for being so transparent in sharing..

  2. Yes! What a great mindset. When we realize we CAN'T change other people's actions/words but we CAN change ours - it is such freedom. Instead of complaining - there is acceptance. Then it is much easier to move on. I have to remind myself of this when I feel my adrenaline start to surge from something someone else does/says - but usually I can just as quickly calm down and CHOOSE my reaction. CHOOSE appreciation for the 90...move on from the 10.