I don't do New Year's resolutions anymore. I mean, in all my years of pledging to get my pre-baby body back /cut back on the pork and chocolate/stop dropping f-bombs/insert-Denene's-terrible-vices here, I've never, ever stuck to the promises I made to myself just before the dawn of the New Year. I don't know maybe I'm weak-willed. Or a rebel. Or maybe I realize about a month in that if I do stop dining on swine and Godiva and become the goodie two-shoe church girl my mama raised me to be, I would be a lot less fun and nowhere near as juicy.

I like being fun and juicy.

Still, I do recognize that there's tremendous value in starting the New Year committed to being a better person. Not necessarily skinnier. Not necessarily perfect. Just better. To myself. To others. Because it feels good and it's natural and organic not because I've threatened myself into submission. And this year, I'm inspired to walk this path thanks to the book, Aunt Sarah's Recipes for a Long & Spirit-Filled Life, a beautiful work that chronicles the life and times of Sarah Frances Carter Perry Brown, a 106-year-old matriarch. Penned by writer, life coach and inspirational speaker Caryl Lucas, Aunt Sarah's great niece, the book documents the pivotal events that helped shape Aunt Sarah's life over the past century her deep southern roots, personal struggles, spiritual principles, life lessons, insurmountable faith, and, of course, recipes.

But it's not her how to's for cooking up fresh biscuits, peach preserves and chitterlings that got my attention (come on now, don't front you can't just scare up a good chitterlings recipe these days!); what I love most about Aunt Sarah's book is the recipes she offers up for living a spirit-filled life. All at once sweet, simple, and beautiful, they remind me that being better takes little effort, but leads to rich reward. Witness her recipe for…

Letting Your Light Shine

¢ Do something good for someone else.
¢ Volunteer at a local school or community-based organization.
¢ Share your gifts with others.
¢ Display godly character by walking in love.
¢ Do not hold grudges.
¢ Spend valuable time in the word and apply it.
¢ Put God first in all that you do!
¢ Remember to smile every now and then and hum, This Little Light of Mine.

And I love this one, too…

Aunt Sarah's Recipe for Phenomenal Women

¢ Love yourself!
¢ Be harmonious & kind-hearted.
¢ Know your self-worth is not measured by your wardrobe.
¢ Embrace your size and body.
¢ Believe in yourself!

Now these are resolutions I can get behind and co-sign 100 percent. Thank you, Aunt Sarah, for your wisdom and encouraging us all to let our lights shine!

Want some of Aunt Sarah's inspiration for your very own? CLICK HERE to visit CarylLucas.com, where you can purchase Aunt Sarah's Recipes For A Long And spirit-Filled Life: Wisdom and Soulful Lessons From a 105-Year-Old Matriarch, and read more about her phenomenal life.

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  1. I love the thought of you are not your wardrobe. That's good cause I have 2 pairs of ripped jeans. The only thing we have in common is that we are both trying to be good and holy! ;o)

    My best, Lynn
    *swing on by this week, I'm hosting an all natural mega giveaway!

  2. MBB Founder and Editor Denene Millner

    @Lynn: You're a nut!!! LOL!!!

  3. Sounds like a great book. Oh, and you are "fun and juicy!" Tee hee hee.

    Winks & Smiles,

  4. Wow, 106. What a beautiful number.

    "I like being fun and juicy." Thanks Denene. I love it!

  5. Happy New Year!

    I'm with you. A good pork chop every now and then never hurt nobody 😉

    This book sounds great. I will definitely put it on the top of my must-read list for 2010.

  6. That news piece was great. I am sure she has a lot share with everyone.

  7. "Fun and juicy" is where it's at! I don't make new year's resolutions either. I make new day resolutions…sometimes within the same day. That's right, if I wake up less than sparkly, I'll go back to bed and try again. How's the old adage go, "If at first you don't succeed…go back to bed and try again"! Happy new year, Denene!

  8. MBB Founder and Editor Denene Millner

    @T.Allen-Mercado: I. Love. It. That's officially my new favorite adage—and I'm going to put it to use, too!!! LOL!

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