Tag Archives: relationships

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

 

 

 

Seeing God in Mothers & Daughters

12118588_10154383995664569_7030507514304283909_n

I took a break from my write 31 for a few days. I know you’re really not supposed to, but I’ve been planning a major retreat and I was gone from Friday through Sunday. I brought my laptop with me, but honestly, just wanted to give these ladies 100% and not be distracted by trying to figure out what to write. So, I gave myself grace and let it go for a few days.

And I’m back this Monday morning. Re-entry is hard. It’s hard when you’ve spent months planning for something, and then it finally happens. Your eyes are tired and you’re trying to get back to ‘normal’ life again, with routines and rhythms and schedules. And all those things I’ve been putting off because I’ve been working on this event is starring at me today. But with early morning coffee in hand and God’s Word on my heart, we can tackle this new day!

I am amazed and overjoyed at what God did this weekend. He blessed me with the most amazing team to help put everything together and run this special mother daughter weekend. And I was also able to spend some much needed time with my daughter who is 15. And even in the busyness, it was really good to be able to see her and play games with her and just to hear her on some things. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves to be intentional or it just won’t happen. Making time together, even if it’s a special date once a month, is so important. I know for me, I want to start putting once a month dates on the calendar with my kids. Time rushes through life like a thief in the night, and if you’re not careful or intentional, you miss it. But today is a new day, and I don’t want to miss it.

This weekend was so special for so many reasons. It gave me such joy to serve these ladies and their daughters and to watch them have fun together. We had games, we had a silly skit, we had late night hang-outs, a fun photo booth with a selfie-stick, we had awesome praise and worship, we have four different messages with questions for the moms and daughters to answer together after each session. It was awesome to see these moms look up scriptures with their girls. The topics were Brave Identity, Brave Strength, Brave Purity, and Brave Devotions. And to have so many different churches represented…. I loved that! To lay aside our differences and come together to grow closer to our daughters and grow closer to God. It was beautiful!!! I think one of my favorite parts was the cards. During the day we had moms writing cards for their daughters and daughters writing cards for their moms. Then at our really nice dinner, at the Isla Grand Restaurant we had them exchange their cards. There were definitely some tears in the room. It was a beautiful moment.

And throughout the entire weekend we saw God- saw Him moving and healing and setting people free of some things. And we felt His smile as these moms and daughters reconnected and enjoyed each other. The best present you could ever give your kid is your presence.They are hungry for it and even though they sometimes don’t know how to express it, they want it so much.

 

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.