Tag Archives: people

My Word- 2017

one-word-2017

Every year I get a word that is ‘my word’ for the year. It’s like having a theme-something specific you know the Lord wants you to focus on. It has helped me over the years to have a specific word because my word serves as a guide when life gets overwhelming and I’m struggling to figure out if this thing I ‘could’ do is lining up with my season and what I feel like God wants me to focus on.

Here’s some I found from the past few years:

2014- Authentic Faith

2015- Digging In & Dreaming

2016- Learn

And as I prayed about this year’s word I thought it was intimacy, but then after further study and prayer, I have my word for 2017….Drum roll please……

Relationships. That’s right, relationships. That’s the direction I feel like the Lord is leading me for 2017. Growing closer to God, with my spouse, and my kids. Growing in relationships with our Big Red family- so that we feel more like a family. Growing in relationships with my friends so that I learn how to walk out what it looks like to get closer- like being okay with no make-up days, when I’m overwhelmed days, and overall just being more true to who I am with others and not worrying about if I look tired (because maybe I am) or if I look put together or whatever it is. Authentic and transparent. I want that. Sometimes I stay safe and hidden because it feels easier and it’s less work (I said it)- but I crave closeness. I know that’s how God has wired us.

Hebrews 10:24-25- 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Here’s 3 ways I hope to put my word into action for 2017:

  1. Invest. I always say people before projects but I don’t always live it. People are the most important thing and I want my life to reflect that. I want to invest in the lives of others around me, because I know the investment is worth it. Investing in others produces a closeness with others, a bond, trust, and it just feels good. Sometimes we get so busy and distracted with ‘life’ we often find that we don’t have time for others… but what if we go into 2017 with the mindset that people are life? Same with my kids- I want to be intentional about investing in them this year, not putting everything else the world deems as important in front of them. And my daughter is going to be a senior next year! I won’t get this time back.
  2. Intentional. I want to be intentional about making the phone calls, stopping by for the visit, inviting others over for the coffee, or sitting down and doing something with my kids. I want to ask the Lord each morning, “How can I be intentional today and put others first?” I want to stop making excuses because I‘ve gotten stuck in my comfort zone and set out to connect with those around me.
  3. Initiate. Have you ever been scrolling through Facebook and saw pictures of ladies just having fun together and thought to yourself, “I wish I had a few girlfriends to go see a movie with or have coffee with”? If we want to have better relationships in the new year we need to learn to initiate. We need to stop sitting around waiting for someone to invite us and be the one doing the inviting. Initiate and ask someone to join you for a fun outing. I know it can feel awkward or it might be a stretch outside your comfort zone, but you’ll be so glad you did! You and I need to reach out and initiate that get-together or coffee night, friends game night, family outing, or date night. And if you’ve gotten in a rut at home, initiate a game or movie night or maybe have a night where the kids pick a meal and then they get to cook it. Initiate change!

I know I’m not going to get it right 100% of the time. I’m going to have my days where I just have to follow through on deadlines and get things done. But I also realize that any steps towards bettering the relationships in my life and making them a priority are far better than no steps at all. And I believe that God will honor that and meet me in that place.

I encourage you this year to invest in others, be intentional in putting others first (especially your time with God), and be the one to initiate some things instead of just waiting for things to happen. There will be no greater joy for me than to get to the end of 2017 and know that I have put first things first. When we get to the end of our lives, we don’t get to take any of our things or accolades with us. The most important things that I believe will last for eternity are our relationship with God and our relationships with each other.

Here’s to a brand New Year!

What about you? What’s your word for 2017? I would love to hear it!

At the end of your life you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child or a parent.” Barbara Bush, Reflections: Life After the White House

 

 

 

What I Learned from 2014

Happy team. On blue sky

Reflecting on the Past Year

Be honest, this year had some good, some great, some not so good, and some just outright really bad days- all in the same year. Beautiful days and bad days. Days of playing and enjoying your child’s belly laugh and days of intense brokenness. Interesting thing about beauty is that you will often find the messy in the same chapters that you found the beauty. That’s right, same book, just different stories spread through out. I can tell you of great testimonies of us doing our first summer camps with Big Red Ministries, and in the same breath let you know we’ve collected some debt this past year. I can tell you of several precious babies being born this past year, and in the same chapter let you know we are still waiting on a healing in our family. I can tell you of the incredible Thanksgiving that was spent with my family in Rockwall, TX, and in the next few weeks share how my husband lost his grandfather. And it’s all meshed together in the chapters of 2014.

As I reflect on the past year I feel thankfulness and sadness, joy and pain- all of it. I’ve read a few people on social media talking about what a hard year this was and that they’ll be glad to start over. And on the same feed I read others sharing that it’s been their best year yet. Is it because one has more faith than the other? Absolutely not. Does God love some of His children more than others? Last time I checked He was no respecter of persons.

But what I continue to learn through the years is that no matter what we go through, He can use that situation. And I don’t believe He is the one causing all the pain in our lives. There is still an enemy here on this earth whose sole purpose is to destroy our lives. (1 Peter 5:8- Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.) But the Lord does show himself, even in the hardest of times. He wants us to be completely dependent on Him and He wants to show us that even if we feel like we’re drowning, that He will immediately reach out His hand to pull us in. He is faithful to carry us to the other side. He doesn’t always move or work on our time frame, but I will assure you of this- He moves and works. I feel like we’re suppose to surrender 2014 to Him, the good and the not so good, and confess once again, “Not my will but Your will be done.”  Take it all Lord and show me how to learn and grow from this previous year. And show me all the places where you showed up this year and remind me that you will continue to be with me, no matter what.

One of the biggest lessons I personally take away from 2014 is this: God has placed people in our lives to rejoice with us and celebrate the good, and He has placed people in our lives to struggle and mourn with us when our heart is breaking. The Bible says in Romans 12:15 that we are to Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

I am convinced more than ever before that the best investment we can make in 2015 is in people. Relationships. With our spouse, our kids, our family members, our friends, and others who don’t know the Lord yet. Love greatly, let our guards down, and risk it all for love- that’s courageous love. John 15:12This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. Wow, He wants us to love each other in the same way He loves us. We can only do that by asking Him each morning, “Help me to love others like you love others.” It’s His strength and His power in us that will love others and love others well.

“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen” -Brene’ Brown, Daring Greatly.

In 2015 may we love and give of ourselves expecting nothing in return. Because really, when it comes down to it, that’s what we have, isn’t it? When we really boil our lives down, we have our relationship with our Abba daddy, our relationship with our family, and our relationship with each other.

I think that’s why I am a photo-oholic. I love memories and I love to make memories and I love to look at memories. I was just reminiscing today after my scrapbooks were in storage for over a year. I love the memories and when I’m gone my kids and their kids will have these memories to treasure. And it’s all because of the ‘people’ in my pictures. Oh sure, I enjoyed every second of scrapbooking, but that’s for another blog.

What are you taking with you when you leave? None of the things we spent hours searching for and buying and cleaning. Nope. Just the relationship with your Heavenly Father and with others. Seems like a pretty good investment, don’t you think? So that continues to be my mission going into 2015. To work on inviting people into my home and into my life, to be intentional about catching up with others when I haven’t heard from them in a while, and the one that’s the hardest for me, to call people more!!

I wish I could tell you I have the art of people and relationships perfected. Unfortunately, I can tell you of many times I chose the project or the thing before the person. I am still human and a work in progress. But it remains my heart goal. And my favorite part about a new year is that we all get a fresh start! Amen!

Here’s to being a work in progress and being okay with that. And here’s to authenticity, transparency, and keeping it real in 2015.

“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” –Brene’ Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

Praying January has started off well- give thanks to the Lord for all He has done and all that He is going to do. Enjoy those who are around you and thank the Lord for them. For each day is a gift from above and none of us are given any promises of tomorrow.  May we truly see people as the treasure that they are. Each one of them a gift from above.

I’m 40

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It’s not getting older that scares me. I’m actually okay with that. Do you want to know what really scares me? It’s getting to the end of my race and not making a difference in peoples lives. We were born to make a difference.

Had a light bulb moment today. My husband sent me off to Barnes & Noble for my 40th birthday (he is a good man). I’m driving along the freeway in my mini-van listening to the radio and an old familiar song came on. Just like certain foods can stir up a childhood memory, a familiar song can also bring about an emotion. ‘I don’t want to go through the motions’ by Matthew West. I was reminded of a few years back singing this song with such passion and conviction. And even as the years have passed, I hear it fresh all over again. I don’t want to go through the motions. I don’t want to get through another 5 years and ask myself if I’ve made a difference. Since it’s my 40th birthday today and I consider this a milestone, I have chosen to take some time to self-reflect.

I have been to my share of funerals and weddings over the past few years. I leave both feeling inspired- A celebration of the beginning together and a celebration of a life well lived. It’s the life well lived part that has been swirling around in my brain lately. And let’s just say (hypothetically) I live until around 80ish. Folks, I’m around the halfway mark. I want my life to matter. I want my life to make a difference. And what I’ve come to realize over the years is that we need to imagine how we see our lives in another 20, 25, 30 years down the line and envision what we hope people will say about us and begin to live it today.

Here’s my list that holds me accountable for how I ought to be living today. Some of these things I’m already doing and some of them I’m not. I encourage you to write your own list because if affects how you choose to live each day.

 These are words I hope will be spoken at the end of my race (or perhaps just a birthday party when I’m much older) from my kids, my husband, my friends, and my family:

She put God first.

She inspired me to live for God.

She would always talk about God- not her religion, but her relationship with Him.

She wasn’t perfect, and she showed me that it’s okay to not be perfect.

She showed unconditional love.

We always knew that we were loved.

She was always there for us. We knew we were important to her.

She didn’t take herself too seriously.

She made me laugh.

She enjoyed the journey.

She was real.

She did things even if they scared her.

She pursued God for herself and for her family.

She was so encouraging.

She lived an authentic, vulnerable life.

Her stories made it okay to tell my stories.

She would always steer me back to God’s Word.

Even when she didn’t know how things would turn out, she trusted God.

She always tried to be there for me.

She was a great listener.

She used the gifts God gave her for His glory.

I don’t want to go through the motions. As I was driving in the car, listening to my song, I said, “God, I just want to make a difference, whatever that looks like for me.” I want to push myself and do things I’m afraid of, so that others would be challenged and inspired to truly live this life to the fullest, being all that they were called to be. I want to leave a legacy. I want to be a lover of life. I want to stay amazed at the miracle of life and the miracles that are in our everyday.

We are called to be a light and make a difference. I don’t want to wake up in 20 years with regrets of what I wished I had done. I want to do it- even if it scares the snot out of me. Romans 8:31- What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

So what’s going to be my focus in the coming years? Well, spending time with the Lord of course, but after that? People. Because I believe that just like time with the Lord is never wasted time, time with people is also never wasted time. And honestly, people make my life rich. I love my husband, my kids, my family, and my friends so much. Every time I’m able to have a connection with someone, I feel refreshed. When I speak, I feel such love for God’s people. When I write, I write with people on my heart- to bring hope. When I think about my husband and I having a Ranch, a place of ministry, I think about the people and the lives that God’s going to change. You see, I have my own stories of people that have come into my life when I was a wild, rebellious young thing and the mark those people left on my life. I am forever changed because someone decided to invest into my life. Those stories are a part of who I am. And I hope at the end of my journey that people will stand and say the same thing. “Her story affected my story…”

At the end of this crazy life, I’m not going to wish I had more things to clutter up my house, more cute outfits, a big house or a super nice car. Nope. I’m going to hope that I have made a difference in the lives of others. I’m going to hope that I had valued my family more than all of my projects and made them feel important. It’s the relationships here on this earth that have eternal value, not the stuff, not the projects. Because really, what is the greatest of all commandments? Matthew 22:37-40 (MSG)-Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”

…..everything in God’s Law and Prophets hangs from them….

So here’s to the second half of this crazy, amazing, messy miracle called life. May we all love well.

Now get out there and live!

Oh, and don’t forget to enjoy the journey!

Psalms 90:12- Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.