I remember how exhausted I felt when my kids were younger. There was always something to do and even when we were home it was laundry, homework, projects, chaos. The one thing missing from our lives was quiet and downtime. Life was like a merry go round that just kept spinning and I wanted to jump off. Day after day it was the same thing until we fell into bed exhausted preparing to do it again.
For me and I imagine for others, this time at home has brought a sense of peace I haven’t known for a long time. I see it in my kids and my husband. The freedom that comes with taking a pause from the demands of the grind are more valuable than what we have left behind. It has taken us back to simpler times before everything and everyone became too busy for the things that matter.
I hope that you are in a place of peace despite this pandemic. I pray you are being transformed back to your true self before the world told you who you had to be. We don’t have to keep up with the Jones. We don’t have to put our kids in every year round sport. We don’t have to work so many hours that not one is left to even fit in a deep breath. This is a time of change and transformation like we have never known. Fall into in. Embrace it. Things will get back to normal but in this house our new normal will be redefined. We are never going back to that…
I remember when we put our daughter on the plane on January 6th. She was flying to Rome by herself to study abroad. My mamas heart was torn as she walked through security and disappeared from our sight. We told her to expect the unexpected and stay calm through the things that didn’t go the way we meticulously planned.
We had no idea that those words would lead to her coming home early and unexpectedly due to a virus no-one thought would reap so much havoc.
I find myself repeating those same words to myself today. Flow with the unexpected and navigate through the murky waters. It may seem dark and scary and certainly may not look the path I started on a few days ago but I will keep walking one step at a time into the unknown until my feet feel grounded. This is a new norm and I will approach it boldly. I love this particular verse and it seems so fitting for the times we face…
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
I do not know what tomorrow may bring but I do have enough to focus on today. I will count my blessings as each day comes and keep moving forward in whatever way that requires. This too shall pass but for now it is a time to be still and wait for the storm to pass.
The older I get, the more I realize that life isn’t just a serious of coincidences. There has been a plan all along. Even when I couldn’t see it, there was a path lit before my feet guiding the way in which I should go. A long the way were lessons, people, relationships, joy and pain. Not a single person or situation was wasted. There was a purpose in every detail that not only prepared me for the upcoming season in my life but also kept me on a timely course.
I look back in awe as I replay how it all went down. There were so many blessings I missed because I had emotional ties to things, time and people. When it looked like my life was in total chaos, the only thing in chaos was my mind. We have to trust that there is a reason for every season. A time to grow, and a time to go. A time to laugh and a time to mourn. It will all make sense in the end so we have to surrender our need to control every outcome and trust that there is a gentle hand guiding us on the path we are on. The destination is bigger than we could ever imagine. Life is more that a single frame or a snapshot a long the way. When all the pictures are before us, the vision will be clear. Keep going and trust that the path you are on is the place you are meant to be. Look for the blessings a long the way. They are there, waiting to be revealed.
You will never be enough for some.
Your words will be wrong.
Your actions will be wrong.
They will always see you as wrong.
Remember that some people find fault like they get paid for it.
Some people can see everyone else’s transgressions but can never see their own.
The problem is not who you are. The problem is they are so consumed with self that their view of others is constantly distorted.
Walk away. Move on and never lose a single minute of peace over the opinions of sheep.
Surround yourself with people who value your worth and build you up. You deserve better and they don’t deserve your time or loyalty.
Rise up! The time is now. Refuse to shrink to the size someone tries to cut you down to. Be bigger than the smallness around you.
I woke up thinking about some of the hardest situations we have to push through. It can feel unbearable in the moment and often times cruel and unfair. We cry out asking why and begging for a fast forward button that never seems to come. We must find the courage and strength to stand up and take a single step at a time. There are some days we can only breathe because the thought of doing anything more overwhelms us to the point of despair. Sometimes we must be so completely broken so that there will be no path left to the old self we are forced to leave behind. We have to remind ourselves that the picture we can see is so limited but there is so much more to the story that is beautifully transforming us than we imagine is destroying is. There is always hope even on the darkest and most difficult days. I challenge myself and you to look for it no matter how small it may seem. You never know what tomorrow holds. You just have to hang on in faith until the sun comes up and that new day is here.
Sometime I look at people and I see their shame. They wear it like a coat that blinds them to the truth of the very things that make them unique and amazing. I see the cloak of guilt that follows them around relentlessly whispering you are less than, you will never be enough. We learn to hide behind the lies that we come into agreement with. We start to believe that we do not even deserve a seat at somebody’s table.
Sometimes I look into the hearts and eyes of people that I love and I can feel their heaviness. Sometimes I wish people could see themselves through my eyes instead of their own. Sometimes I wish there were more hands available willing to lift people up than there are pointing fingers knocking people down. There’s a heaviness on people that we put on one another. It’s not supposed to be this way. We are not meant to live in pain. We are supposed to lay it down. We are not meant to judge and criticize and force our way on somebody else. We are meant to support, encourage and lift up. I pray that eyes are opened. I pray that the truth comes to light. Why can’t people see the angst they cause? Why can’t they see they are the problem when they think they are being the solution?
You are NOT less than. You are more beautiful than you could ever imagine, far more beautiful than a single, flawed human eye could ever see. You are more than. More than who people say you are. More than your choices. More than your regrets. More than your mistakes. You are so much more than you think. I pray someday you discover your worth and no one ever holds the power to define you again. You were made in the perfect image of God and He doesn’t make mistakes. Step into who you are and hold your head up high. You are beautiful and you are loved and there IS a place for you at the table. Just sit down and claim it.
It has been 7 months since one of the hardest seasons of my life. Looking back, I know it was no accident that God strategically placed me in the middle of a beautiful group of ladies who would mentor me in ways that would forever change my life. I didn’t realize that the words I allowed out of my mouth would literally bring death or life to every situation and relationship I would ever walk through. I was unaware of the poisonous negativity that was oozing from my own lips. When I sat in a class that taught me about using my words to breathe life into everyone and everything, my life dramatically changed. At first they were just empty words but eventually those words led to new thoughts and an amazing new confidence regardless of what situation life threw my way. I knew as soon as heard this amazing concept that this was exactly the key that was missing in having a life free of fear and worry. My dream is to pay this information forward and to coach people into recognizing how their words affect every outcome. Awareness is the first step and I am so excited to pass on what I have learned. My heart is so full as I think of the dramatic changes I feel in my heart and mind. I never could have imagined that I could sit here feeling so much joy, gratitude and excitement about my future. But God right? He is so good!
So not long ago, I found myself in the office of a school administrator lecturing my son about character and integrity. I guess it’s easy when you sit in the seat of the accuser looking down on the accused. Life has a funny way of disrupting things so that occasionally the accuser ends up in the hot seat of being accused. How in the world can our kids not be confused and screwed up when the very people who are supposed to be role models and leaders end up being total hypocrites. I’m not judging, really I’m not but it wasn’t easy sitting quietly and listening to my son being judged. Time has a way of fixing wrongs but our words never go away. We must choose them wisely and be very careful if we are to cast the first stone that we walk the walk and never find ourselves behaving in a way we once demeaned someone else for. Encourage. Practice what you preach and always make sure your actions are consistent with your words. That is what makes you relevant.
I read the stories on social media of objects, signs, people and differences of opinion that send some people straight to crazy. I can’t help but wonder how they would withstand some real trauma up against them in real life. Now is the best time to ask yourself, what is your foundation? Have you built your house on rock or sand and are you ready to face the consequence when real trouble threatens to tear you down? If you crumble at the idea of things what in the world will you do when a real threat stares you in the face? It’s time to get real about who we’ve become as a nation, as a family, as individuals. Will you sink or stand? Time to decide.
There are days I question what many around me believe. We seem to live in a society that wants to catch people doing something wrong and then inflict and see through some type of punishment. I come from a different mind frame and it’s hard for me to understand how easily people get caught up in this web and eventually become obsessed. I do not feel that I have the right to point a finger at other people. I have done plenty of things that I am not proud of and just because I didn’t get caught does not make me any different than the guy on the breaking news who did. I do not think there is a single person living right now who has not broken a law, disrespected rules or done something that most would agree deserves some type of consequence. Everyday I drive, people are flying by me disregarding the speed limit. I have accidentally run a red light but when it comes to the law, does intent ever really matter? I think the mistake we make is this. We categorize things by how severe we think they are. We convince ourselves that some things we do wrong are not a big deal while we blow other things out of proportion. I believe that wrong is wrong period. I believe we all make bad decisions and choose to do things we know are wrong so why when it comes to someone else, are we so willing to set a different standard? If people would get honest about their own choices in their own lives and work on themselves maybe we wouldn’t have so much time to throw so many stones at others. We claim to know what’s right for someone else yet we ignore to do right in our own lives. I’m just saying, imagine if we became obsessed with our own lives instead of being obsessed with and trying to destroy someone else’s. Can you even imagine how different the world would be? Put your stone down and stop being part of a mob who is making the wrong kind of difference. Become obsessed with something good and you will contribute exactly what we need to make this world a better place.