missing out on life's moments

Living Like Danny

I think about Danny every day.

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Sometimes, well most of time, I feel like my mind is going a hundred miles per hour. I am a planner in all aspects of life. It's easy for my mind to wander off into creating a workout for tomorrow or planning an outfit for an event this weekend. I don't do it out of worry or anxiety, I like thinking about the future. It sounds innocent to dream about the days to come, but what I've found is that it can become tempting to to remove myself from present moments and become fixated on what's next.

Matthew 6:27 says, "Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" I used to hear this passage and think, "I'm not worried! I'm planning out of excitement!" So I dismissed the warning. I didn't realize that this verse meant so much more. Even though I wasn't necessarily anxious about my future, I wasn't really participating in the present. I started calling this "checking out".

I checked out a lot. I'm a little embarrassed to admit this, but there was a long period of time where I couldn't even sit through a church sermon and not check out. It's not that I didn't want to be there. I'm a 23 year old woman. If I don't want to go to church, I don't have to. I simply had the hardest time sitting still when I could be mentally planning out the next few days.

To reference Matthew 6:27, I wasn't adding to my life any time at all. In fact, I was subtracting time from my life because I was spending it checked out. Who knows what someone could have said in those moments that I never heard because I was too busy living life unavailable.

On August 16, 2017 my kind, compassionate and hilarious Uncle Danny passed away very unexpectedly. I think about Danny every day. I miss him very much and my heart hurts for my family. Danny was the athletics director at Harris County High School. He intentionally invested in so many people, and it showed in the lives of his students, coworkers, friends and family. He was the kind of man who truly lived every day, ready to serve others.

I would give anything to bring my Uncle Danny back. I wish I could hear him cut up with my daddy again. But until I get to hear his laugh again when we're together in Heaven, I want to live every day like Danny did. I want to be available to others, ready to serve and excited about the present moment. I want to be alert and awake to what is happening right now. I don't want to lose one more minute because I'm living in the future. I want to live like Danny in every moment.

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10 Pieces Of Advice From My Parents That Have Helped Me Survive This Thing Called Life

I don't like admitting that they're right, but they've helped me through more than they'll ever know.

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As I've entered my 20s and have made it halfway through college, I've learned that life can be hard and challenging at times. Like many kids, when I was growing up, I could care less about what my parent's advice or opinions were. Nine times out of ten, I would do the complete opposite of what they said. Once I got older and actually started listening to their advice and put it into perceptive, I learned that they're right more often than I'd like to admit.

1. Don't take things for granted

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I've learned to cherish what I have because I might not always have it. It's easy to take life itself and many things it involves for granted. They've taught me to take a step back from this crazy life sometimes and be grateful for all that I have.

2. Don't be afraid to put your heart on your sleeve

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My parents have taught me that if you feel something, don't be afraid to say it or embrace it. If you love someone, then tell them. Don't be afraid to put your heart out there just because you might get hurt.

3. Be vulnerable

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In life, in relationships, in your work. Take risks, get shot down, and then try again. Being vulnerable is scary yet so powerful.

4. You can never have too many shoes

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Otherwise known as it's okay to treat yourself. Life is hard, so take care of you. If that means going on a shopping spree every once in a while, then so be it.

5. You're going to be okay

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Whatever it is you're going through, you're going through it and you're going to come out on the other side. It may seem horrible now, but you'll learn from it and be okay in the end.

6. You have to have friends in life

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It's important to have people to lean on, especially on your bad days, and to celebrate with on your good ones. You can't just have you or a significant other to rely on.

7. Never be afraid to share your opinion

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Don't be afraid to put your thoughts and opinions out there because they might be wrong. They could have a huge impact on someone or something.

8. Don't stress over things you have no control over

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Everyone is on their own path, which means everything will work out the way it's supposed to, even if it doesn't make sense right now. Again, you're going to be okay.

9. Happy, healthy, wealthy, wise

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My dad always says if you tell yourself every day that you're happy with yourself or your life, you're healthy and strong, you're wealthy in love and surrounded by great people, and you're knowledgable or wise, then you can achieve anything in life.

10.  S*** or get off the pot

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My all-time favorite piece of advice. Making decisions can be hard and scary, especially if the outcome could be getting hurt in the end. So, you either make a decision and roll with it no matter the outcome or you walk away.

Thanks, mom and dad for always being a phone call away when I need it! Just know that your advice and words of wisdom don't go unnoticed. For others, your parents have been on this planet much longer than you have and most likely experienced the same situations that you're dealing with. They don't have all the answers, but they are there to help.

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