Monthly Archives: July 2016

Chapter 14 maybe? Smile Again…


I’m not real sure what number this chapter will be, but I’m guessing it will be near the middle. My next book, Smile Again is a letter to myself. Within those pages I will have some very, very  low moments and some very, very high moments. One thing y’all know by now is that it will be raw, real, and honest. Hold on to your hats…this chapter is about to be as real as it gets…

“I’ve found a number of truths over the past ten months. I’ve searched them out and I’ve dug for answers when digging wasn’t easy. I’ve found myself standing still, mouth dropped open, staring at people who had just said something so hurtful and outrageous more times than I can count. I’ve gotten mad, cussed a lot, and thrown quite a few hissy fits. I’ve written things on my computer screen that burned my own eyes and I erased it before it could burn out someone else’s!

I’ve felt sorry for other people who have gone out of their way to run me down and talk about me behind my back. I’ve prayed fire and brimstone on several people’s heads and then kicked myself and crawled to God asking Him for forgiveness. I’ve failed miserably in my daily walk through this life and I’ve cried more tears in ten months than in all of the rest of my life combined.

My hurt, fear, anger, and disappointment with God, Greg, and life in general threatened to consume me at one point. And, I almost let it. Thankfully, I have a Mama and a God who love me despite my awful self. Without them holding me accountable, I don’t know what I might have done to more than one person in my life. I don’t back down easily, especially when I’m angry. However, it literally makes me sick to have to engage in arguments. I don’t handle those situations well at all. I don’t handle disappointing people or letting them down in any way easily either. I truly hate it. I prefer sunshine and rainbows…don’t you?

Too bad that’s not how life works. Man, I wish it were though!! Wouldn’t it be nice to just be able to sail smoothly through life with no worries, problems, losses, or tears? I blame Eve for all of this…a little self-control would have helped us all out girlfriend! Just a little smidge of SELF-CONTROL. Ugh!

Instead, she had to give in and eat that piece of forbidden fruit and the rest of us have to live with her extremely bad decision. It’s so not fair. Deep down inside of me is that really mean Emily that just wants to slap Eve until she turns blue. Ya know? I mean how selfish could she possibly be? One bite and every person ever to be created after her has to suffer. Seriously?!

I look around me today and I see so many people hurting. I have friends and family who are watching their loved ones loose their fight against cancer. I have people who share the pain and agony they are feeling with me now because they lost their spouse also. I am witnessing children who can’t figure out how to move forward without their parent and it breaks my heart. All because one woman didn’t exercise a tiny  bit of self-control.

Does that make anyone else mad? Or is it just me? Maybe I’m just MAD. Sometimes, I truly believe it helps to get rip roaring, guns blazing, sword swinging, chair throwing MAD. Jesus did. He got mad and he cleaned some plows. I believe I know exactly how he felt when he cleaned out that courtyard right about now.

I don’t know for sure, but I’d be willing to bet that those poor souls’ lack of self-control was the final straw for Jesus that day. We already know it was the final straw for Eve. Today, I’m saying it’s the final straw for me, too.

People who do not exercise self-control when it comes to running their mouths about things they know nothing about DRIVE ME INSANE. And, more than that….People who call themselves Christians and tilt their heads like they are holier than thou and talk about other Christians behind their backs make me want to throat punch them. Too bad I know how to exercise self-control in times like these…

I realized today that I truly am feeling emotions again. I haven’t “felt” anything for ten months. I’ve reacted to feelings by smiling, laughing, crying, and listening; but I haven’t FELT them. It’s just so weird. It’s also sad to me that the first thing I truly felt was anger. Why couldn’t it have been happiness? Why did my first feeling have to be anger? Dang you, Eve!

Hump. Well, I guess I have a choice to make. I can either stay MAD and find some tables to throw around…or I can take a deep breath and calm down. Which one will I choose? Probably the one that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg! Haha!

Seriously, I guess I just have to do like God does and forgive the ignorance and the lack of self-control some people have. I guess I’ll just pray for them and ask God to forgive my very, very bad thoughts about them as well. I guess I’ll just let all of the negativity roll off of my back like water off of a duck’s back. I refuse to be bitter. I refuse to be hateful, hurtful, or mean spirited. I refuse to let Satan win. I will run to my Savior and I will beg for him to protect me.

I’m not fighting this battle alone. Thank goodness!! It makes me sad to realize how awful this life can be, but it also makes me happy to know that this isn’t all there is! I’m gonna focus on the end goal. I’m gonna seek out happiness. I’m gonna do whatever it takes to not give in to my sinful self. And, I’m not gonna throw any tables around just yet.  I hope you see me trying, God. It’s so hard, but I am trying.” ~ excerpt from Smile Again, ©2017 by Emily Hubbert


Kindred Spirits

Kindred Spirits

A few weeks ago I was asked to speak at a ladies club meeting to be held at the public library in a local town. I was honored to be asked and excitedly marked the date on my calendar. The lady who contacted me was a very sweet woman with a wonderful Southern accent. We had several telephone conversations and I must say that I was more than a little bit excited to meet her in person.

When I walked into that library today, I honestly felt like I was on the set of Steel Magnolias. Mrs. Pat is one of the most vivacious, happy, outgoing women I have ever had the privilege to meet. She scooped me into a warm hug and introduced me to everyone in the room within minutes of my arrival. She spoke to both of the my girls; asked their names and ages; and then proceeded to introduce them to everyone in the room as well. All three of us were just kind of in awe for a few minutes. Kindness radiated from her very core and it didn’t take long to realize that everyone…young and old absolutely adored her.

Mrs. Pat introduced me to the crowd of about twenty ladies who were all a good bit ummmm…more mature than me. They had all gathered to hear my story and to talk about my book. Local authors, it seems tends to draw quite a crowd and each person wanted to hear about my book. I did not know before I started speaking that every lady seated around the room was a widow…except three or maybe four.

As I began to speak and share my story with the group I could feel God leading me to say some things that I haven’t said before. Now, I understand why. These ladies were kindred spirits. They had all walked the same road I am walking…and each one of them had a story that was just as raw and real as my own.

I talked for about thirty minutes and then the crowd lined up for me to sign their books. I was amazed as each lady told me snippets of her story as she passed through the line. The all had good Southern names like Barbara, Frankie, Joyce, Mary, Chloe, Dorothy, and Sarah. Most of them had children and grandchildren. Some had owned business. Some had been stay-at-home moms before there was such a thing. Some had been married for over 50 years…and one sweet lady had been widowed three times.

Listening to these ladies share their stories and seeing their faces as they talked opened my eyes to the truth of where we are: we are survivors. We are women who have dug deep into ourselves and our Bibles in order to keep on living. We have faced death and we made the decision to keep on going despite it. We face the same struggles, the same fears, the same sadness.

Frankie, who lost her husband just before Christmas kind of laughed through her tears when I quietly asked her if she was sleeping. She responded, “What’s that?”. “Oh, sweet lady,” I said, ” how I understand!”

And, Dorothy who drove from another county just to meet me. She told me our stories were very similar and she just wanted to meet me in person when she saw my article in the newspaper. The handwritten letter she slipped into my hand for me to read later proved that yes, yes our stories are very similar. I hope my eyes shine like hers when I am in my mid-eighties. I hope I seek out opportunities to be a blessing to others like she did for me today.

And, Joyce who was diagnosed with breast cancer on June 6 and lost her husband of over 40 years on June 10. She didn’t get to stop and grieve…she had to keep on going and she did. She’s doing great now. The smile on her face and the squaring of her shoulders proved it.

After each book was signed, Mrs. Pat invited everyone to go over to the local café for lunch. She had already reserved the side room and they were expecting us to be there…so we went. Maggie, Linnie, and I sat in the middle of a long table eating fried chicken, green beans, and chugging sweet tea as these wonderful ladies continued to share more of their lives with us.

We sat mesmerized as Mrs. Pat shared her kayaking adventure this past weekend…and we eagerly shared our own. We listened as tales were told of travels in the years past and plans for more in the future. We sat in awe of the colorful conversation about 3:00 a.m. games of Words with Friends. We listened as they talked about knowing each other was ok if they were up playing that “21st century game” in the wee hours of the morning. We laughed as Frankie smartly said, “I don’t CARE to be involved in the 21st century!” as Mrs. Pat teased her about her lack of knowledge in this area.

I also noticed that each lady had a piece of pie or caramel cake for dessert. I laughed when Linnie saw one lady eating more pie than chicken…Mrs. Pat noticed it too and made a comment about saving dessert for AFTER lunch. The lady smartly replied, “Why? It’s good and I always eat my dessert with my food. It makes everything else taste better”. Linnie shot me a look that clearly said, “SEE…she does it so why can’t I?”. The fact that the lady in trim, healthy, and in her mid-seventies kind of ruled out any reasons as to “why not”.

Maggie watched the ladies with a quietness that I often see her study things around her. She was soaking up everything each woman said and she was committing it to memory. We smiled at each other at one point because we both knew this was a day to remember.

Truvy I will forever treasure this day. Meeting these ladies. Seeing their smiles and hearing their laughter. I will remember them on the days I don’t think I can keep on going…and I will force myself to live each day to the fullest, because I saw them do it. I will continue to seek out the good times and I will let myself be sad over the old times. I will pick myself up and dust off my britches…and I will square my shoulders and keep on going. I believe my girls will also.

Thank you, God for today. Thank you for showing me what it looks like down the road. Thank you for showing me love and for the assurance that one day I will feel that emotion way down deep inside my heart again. I won’t be in survival mode forever…one day I’ll really be living again. I know that now, because of today. And, I am so thankful.


Prepare to be Amazed…

Prepare to be Amazed…

Do you keep a journal? I admit, I am not the most consistent journal keeper…but I have kept one (or more like seven!) over the past few years. This morning I decided to go back and read some of them.

Y’all…I am AMAZED at what I wrote! AMAZED I tell ya!

See, 2005 through 2012 were some really difficult years for me. I was desperate for change in my life and no matter how hard I tried it just seemed to get harder and harder. I wanted OUT of my stress filled life. I was sick of my life in general. I had put myself on auto pilot and was just kind of drifting through life with no real purpose. I guess you could say I was just going through the motions. I wasn’t really living.

On October 10, 2009 (My birthday!) I went to a Beth Moore conference in Memphis, TN with the ladies from my church. Here is what I wrote in my journal when I got home: “What a wonderful weekend! I enjoyed it [conference] so much! God has so much to say and I am trying to learn how I should listen. I tend to get in my own way too often.” Then, I listed my prayer concerns and numbered them.

Here is number 7:

     My dreams:

  1. Get my house back if it is God’s will
  2. Write a book in Your name (God’s name)
  3. Travel far and wide with my family
  4. The dreams You have for me ~ that they will be revealed in Your Time!

On June 23, 2011 I wrote:

 “Today is the first day of the rest of my life! Three years of emotional healing are complete ~ now the physical healing begins. We are moving back home soon. Being back on our land will be very exciting. God says, ‘I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper and heal you~ I believe that! The hard work is about to start, however I know that God has my back! I CAN do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me! My list of long term goals and my bucket list follows. These are the things I want and pray that God allows me to do one day.’

Number One? TRAVEL!!!!

Number Seven? Hike as many mountain trails as possible!

Number Nine? Write a Book!

Number Eleven? Go Ziplining!!!

Do you have goosebumps yet? I know I do!!! As I kept reading I saw several exercises that I did that aligned with some books I was reading at the time. One such exercise came from The Path by Laurie Beth Jones. Here is what I wrote:

“My mission is to Appreciate, Motivate, and Write about Life for my family and other families. I want to travel near and far to reach out to those families. My dream life would look like this: I would be traveling often. I would be talking to many people and enjoying the small things more. I would be making people laugh and I would enjoy working. My kids would travel with me and we would try every new adventure we could find. I would write several books and put a fun spin on the everyday ordinary life – and get paid to write instead of writing for free. People would seek me out and ask me to speak. God, my savior would be glorified through me always”.

Andy Andrews said yesterday (on the CD I was listening to in my car…we are buds…he just hasn’t realized it yet! Ha!!) that we are in control of the path our lives take. We get to choose what happens and we set those things in motion when we write them down and persist without exception. I think he may be on to something there!! LOL

I am sharing this with y’all today because I KNOW that some of you are living on autopilot just like I was in 2009. I know that you are desperate for change and for things to get better. I know how lonely, desperate, and yep…jealous I was during that time in my life. I thought the grass was greener everywhere, but where I was and I wanted an easy way out of my misery….but I was WRONG!

Andy reminded me yesterday that the mountain tops are bare…and cold…and it’s hard to breathe. But, we find trees and flowers and living things in the valleys! Reaching the mountain top is a good goal…but we can’t stay there once we reach the top. We have to go back down and walk through the valleys again to gain the strength we need to climb the next mountain and reach the next goal. Reading my old journals reminded me that I have been walking towards a new mountain for a while now.

I never saw my life being like it is today. I didn’t see the devastating blow that would send me into a tail spin. I didn’t calculate that particular detail into my master plan…but you know what? I’m still moving towards my mountain top. I still have the same core goals that I have always had…I still have dreams of doing great things for God’s kingdom. I didn’t loose those dreams when my world imploded…they grew!

I hope this post encourages someone today. I hope that you see HOPE in your own future. I hope you are not nearly as miserable as I was (and still am some days). I hope you will set your life in motion and start walking towards your life mission. The only person that can start that process is YOU. Best of luck to ya…and remember you are not alone on your journey.


Does It Ever End or Get Better?

Does It Ever End or Get Better?

So, I need to vent for a minute. One year ago today I lost my grandmother. Today, I lost my great-uncle. I am in a never-ending war with my emotions. My anniversary was last weekend. Linnie’s birthday is this coming weekend. My house is not finished. I managed to hurt my back working on the house Saturday. I have four upcoming speaking engagements and YES, I am going back to work at WES in August. My grandfather is not doing well at all (he started radiation today).  I have to move into the house without Greg’s things: which means that I have to actually go through his closet and drawers soon. I have a list of people who need to grow up and get over themselves because their childishness is affecting my children and I won’t play nice much longer where my girls are involved. Basically, I am teetering on the edge of a massive nervous breakdown and all I want to do is go to sleep and forget about all of it. I have been so ill and plain out hateful to some of the kindest people in my life lately…and I could literally chew through nails at the moment. The only question circling through my mind over and over is: Does It Ever End or Get Better?

As I drove home from yet another trip to Lowes this afternoon, I was listening to Andy Andrews on my CD player. I have read The Noticer, The Noticer Returns, and now I am listening to Becoming a Noticer.  I realized in November 2012 that I needed to change some things in my life. A friend suggested that I start reading Andy’s books…and my life literally changed from that point forward. I did not realize how much it had changed until this afternoon!

It hit me as I drove home that I had written down a list of goals in 2012. I had that list tucked away in a cabinet…and I swiftly pulled that baby out as soon as I got home. I had written 122 things that I wanted to “acquire, become, see, get, and do in the next 10 years”. Do you know how many of those things I was able to check off the list today?


Seventy things like: Travel, Granite Countertops, Write a Book, Public Speaking, Smile Often, Meet New People, Have More Friends, Laugh A Lot, Help People, Study My Bible More, Share My Successes, Lead-Not Follow, Go See My Friends in Iowa, Take My Whole Extended Family on a Trip, Buy myself a Red/White Checkered Hand-Made Quilt, See My Girls Saved and Baptized, Love Unconditionally, Take 2 to 3 Week Vacations, Buy a Good Camera, Be Happy, Publish a Book, and Enjoy Everyday…

As I looked over that list of things I deemed important for myself and my family way back in 2012, I realized that on this particular day…I had dropped the ball. I gave in to my hurt…my anger…my pain. I longed for the days that used to be. I grieved for the passing of my loved ones. I got mad about the things I truly cannot do anything about…And, I asked myself over and over again if it will ever end or get better. July 11th  will always be a sad day for me and my family, but so will a whole lot of other days if I CHOOSE to allow them to stay sad.

Did you catch that? Sadness…just like happiness…is a choice. I can choose to stay sad…or I can choose to remember things about my loved ones that make me happy. Emotionally, it is good that I am sad for the losses me and my family have suffered so overwhelmingly lately, because it means that we truly LOVED. Having loved is a gift.

I sit here tonight and I realize that my stinkin’ thinkin’ was in overload today…but I will try again tomorrow.

I am sad…and being sad is OK.

Choosing to stay sad is not OK.

I have to choose to keep on going. Keep on living. Keep on doing the things that make me happy. Keep on fighting for my girls’ happiness. Part of me is really jealous that Me-Maw, Greg, Aunt Martha, and now Uncle Gene are already in Heaven. They don’t have to fight these emotional battles anymore…and that must be very nice. One day…that will be me.

Until then, I guess I’ll just stay here and stay real. Life is no bed of roses. It is HARD. Some days I’m sure you wonder if it will ever end too…right? I’m willing to bet you do!

Even with all of the horrible, tragic, unnecessary things going on in the world today we can all do one thing: We can choose to LOVE one another! We can choose not to give up or give in. We can make the decision every moment of every day to just love the people in our lives…and by doing so we won’t have to worry about when or if life’s misery will ever end. Misery is never going to end in this world, but take heart…Jesus has overcome the world and HE is coming back for His children soon. I, personally can not wait!

Choose to love each other…and yourselves while we are here y’all. Choose it…chase it…express it…and never, ever give up on it. Love until it hurts…and then love some more. Together, we can make it to the finish line!