The One Word That Changed My Life

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With Mother's Day in sight, I partnered with Hefty® to celebrate strong moms who tackle strong messes on a daily basis and I wanted to share one lesson, in particular, that has literally shaped my life and it's something I use on an almost daily basis for myself.  I've told my sons this story, many times, and today, I want to share this lesson, action, and word with you so that it can hopefully have a positive effect on your life.  This one word will empower you and give you strength in ways you can't imagine. It's a wonderful word for strong moms just like you!


Moms. They are pretty wonderful but sometimes we don't realize how awesome they are or how strong they are until we're a bit older.

My mother passed away when I was a young mother. My oldest son was only 2 at the time and it was devastating and even though I still miss her more than words can express I remember so many things I learned from her. We didn't have enough time for mom lessons or child-rearing phone calls but her life and her words were the lessons and memories that are my teacher.


When I was a teenager both of my parents were in the hospital at the same time. Not only were they both in the hospital, but they were both in the same hospital, on the same floor, and they both had the same first initial, which was a recipe for confusion regarding the staff.

I was visiting them one night, first my dad's room, then my mom's room.

While in my mother's room, a nurse came in to give her some medication. My mother asked what the medication was and the nurse wasn't sure. My mother asked to see the meds (they were in a small generic white cup) and after looking at them, my mother said, "Refused".

Now, at that very moment, I felt my face getting red, I was getting hotter by the second, and I wanted to be anywhere else but in that room. I was so embarrassed.  You see, at that point in my life, if I were in a similar situation, I would have just listened to the nurse and taken the pills.

Fast forward a little bit later, perhaps within an hour of the original event, and as it turned out, those pills were intended for my father. If my mother had taken them they quite literally could have caused her demise.

Mama was smart and strong enough to say refused.

And that is the word that has changed my life.

Formal dining room chair with letterboard on it - The One Word That Changed My Life


It wasn't at that moment, but instead years later that I had the courage to start taking charge of my life and saying “refused”.

My most recent experience with using this word (A LOT) has been while doing a DIY kitchen remodel/makeover.

Picture of messy dining room table and the one word that changed my life

I don't handle clutter or change well and I have dealt in the past with anxiety and fear and this situation has caused those emotions to start to spring up but when they do, I refuse them.

China cabinet with drawers open and items out - the one word that changed my life

Right now, my house is in a state of chaos. I have NO experience with major home DIY's and yet, I found myself taking on the tasks involved with a DIY of this magnitude including tearing out cabinets and countertops.  It's not the smartest choice to get rid of limited storage but things needed to change around here so my husband and I tore out the cabinets, pulled out the trim (baseboards, molding), and are installing a new floor.

Almost everything that was in the kitchen and dining room has been pushed into the living room and the rooms of my two oldest sons. There are boxes with dishes, pots, pans, and pantry items packed in the living room.

Letterboard with Words Refuse Fear - the one word that changed my life

It has been a mess but I Refuse Fear (the fear of have I made a mistake? Should I just have left well enough alone?),

Letterboard with Words Refuse Fear and Doubt - the one word that changed my life

Doubt (the doubt of will I be able to get this done and done right?),

Letterboard with Words Refuse Fear, Doubt, and Limits - the one word that changed my life

and Limits (thinking this is beyond me and my abilities).

The Life Lesson

While fear, doubt, and limits, can at times make sense, for the most part, they stop us from being strong, and so, we need to simply REFUSE them!

New dining room floors with formal chair, farmhouse flooring planks on floor, green plant stand and box of Hefty Trash Bags

Part of finding calm in the midst of this mess has been tidying up when I can. My husband and sons think it's funny but to me, it's important. Just yesterday, I was feeling overwhelmed by the boxes....empty flooring boxes, boxes for the new heat registers, and other building item trash starting to pile up.

Forma dining room chair, farmhouse style wood plank flooring, green iron plant stand and copper terra cotta plant with large faux succulent

I cleared a space so that I could enjoy the warm air, the beautiful floors, and my newly white walls.  I put a chair by the window, prettied up that area, and started to clean up.

Box of Hefty trash bags on green iron plant stand

Hefty Trash bag being filled with remodeling trash - strong enough to handle it

I chose Hefty® Ultra Strong™ trash bags because I needed something strong and reliable.

Hefty trash bag box on formal dining room chair with filled Hefty Trash Bag in front of chair on farmhouse plank flooring during kitchen remodel

I jammed the bag full of some of the remodeling remnants and didn't need to worry about poke-through.  Hefty® Ultra Strong™ trash bags Triple Action Technology resists tears, punctures, and leaks so I could stuff that bag full. Another plus, my room had a lovely light scent of Lavender & Sweet Vanilla™.  There are other scents available but this is just the calming scent I needed.

And, the next time I forget the package of chicken breasts in the refrigerator, I don't need to worry about the nasty odor when I toss it out because Hefty® Ultra Strong™ trash bags use ARM & HAMMER™ patented odor neutralizer and I know from experience, it works. 😉

Farmhouse plank flooring kitchen makeover with letterboard and words Refuse Fear Doubt Limits, Box of Hefty Trash Bags and copper terra cotta plant pot with faux succulent - the one word that changed my life

Now that I've shared one of my best Mom Memories I'd love to hear one (or more) of yours. You are a wonderful encouragement to me!

Here's to Ultra Strong Moms everywhere.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Hefty®.


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  1. This is such a GREAT story! Your mom was so very wise and left you with an important lesson.
    To answer your question, my mom taught me how to make a pie crust, sew, and knit. The first two I'm okay at... knitting... maybe someday. But, I seriously do not have a wonderful teaching memory to share. Thanks for sharing YOURS!!

  2. Heather Luckhurst says:

    That is so amazing! It gave me chills to read that your Mom refused those pills and they turned out to be your Dad's!!! Love your perspective here friend to refuse fear and doubt!! We love Hefty! They are so strong!

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thank you, Heather, and yes to Hefty! We learned the hard way that they are the best for containing all the messes we make.

  3. Love it!!! Yes - refuse! PS... love Hefty!

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thank you, Maryann!

  4. linda smith says:

    Oh wow! Love this!