A little encouragement:

Some days are hard.

You might feel the tension of wanting to get past a certain obstacle, once-and-for-all.

You might feel like you just don’t have the energy.

You might feel like you’re.just.done.

You keep pressing forward, and put one foot in front of the other.

Then, the tides turn.

You realize that the things you have prayed, wished, hoped, and longed for- they are beginning to unfold.

All the things that didn’t make sense before are beginning to make sense, now.

Y’all know that I’m BIG on sharing what I’m going through in the hopes that it helps someone. That if someone else relates, or gets hope from it- than it’s important to share!

Today, I realized, that so many things I’ve prayed for over the last 10 years have begun to come to tuition- even if they didn’t look the way I intended- or according to my plan.

Today, I want to encourage you- if you are there, in the deep of it all.

If you can barely see what’s ahead of you.

If you are barely surviving- and holding on. . . Keep on keeping on.

Keep fighting.

Keep pushing forward- because- if you pursue the things that are on your heart.

Man, things will look different.

I can promise you the timeline. That’ll look different for each and every person. It’ll depend on how much of the work you put in- but, man. . .

Where you see darkness, now- you’ll see the light and beauty, later!

Keep holding on! Keep fighting. Keep making changes!

Dear America, It’s time.

This has been weighing heavily on my heart.

My goal in writing this, is not to diminish any one side’s voice.

Rather, to bring to the table that there is a time and a season for everything.

I feel like I’m pretty middle of the road- and even so, I know I’m still at fault, at times.

I’ve spent the better part of the past year trying my best to listen, and I still felt like there were times my voice wasn’t heard.

On one end, I’m tired of being a punching bag, on other, I need to stop throwing the punches, on the other, it’s time I make amends, and use my voice to help build bridges.

The point of this is, cycles happen- and they don’t break until there is change.

And, there needs to be more people standing up in the gap, building bridges to make change.

This is not to say that this is necessarily “your time” for any specific area- rather, whatever you are ready for, and on your time table- I’ll hope that you’ll remember and be open to what changes you are personally ready to take.

Politics aside, this is not to say don’t stand up for what you believe in.

Rather, stand up for what you believe in and be loving to your neighbor. Hear when you have wronged others, and when you’re ready- because we are all on different time tables- break the cycle.

We all have a responsibility to the parts we play in our circles, in our society, and in the world.

In different aspects of our lives, we may be in different parts of the cycle. We may be breaking cycles in one area, and still needing a lot of work in another. And in some- man, do we really need to just stop talking, and start listening and doing!

If I’m way off base, or you feel like any part of this was hurtful- please feel free to open up to conversation with me!

My goal is to keep a space that allows for honest, open communication that works towards coming together.

21 Days of Christmas: Day 7

You know that neighbor that gets under your skin? Their yard needs mowing. They leave the trash can at the end of their driveway too long. The list could go on and on.

Is it possible that they have a lot on their plate right now? Maybe they’re dealing with anxiety or depression. Maybe they have a newborn. Maybe a loved one is in the hospital. Maybe they are a single parent. Who knows what they are going through!

So, for Day 7- kindly reach out to them. Get to know them, sincerely. You’ll learn their story, and about who they are. Offer a helping hand, show up and let them know you care. Maybe help them by bringing in their trash can for them. Maybe mow their front yard for them. Do something to show you care. It could be a surprise, if you already know them well enough to know they’d appreciate the gesture. Or you could offer a helping hand, before doing so, if you don’t know them all that well.

Acts of service are a great way to show kindness this season!

21 Days of Christmas: Day 6

During this next week, sometimes people get so focused on the things we “need” to do to get ready for the Holidays that we often forget to think of others. Instead of rushing through your to-do list. Slow down and smile.

Today, smile at that person next to you in line at the store. Smile at the person who cut you off. Smile at the person who huffed at you. Smile at the person who is flustered. Smile at the person whose kids are acting crazy in the store.

And no- don’t be sarcastic with it. Give ‘em a genuine smile. Let them know that you see them. Extend that grace! Just smile.

21 Days of Christmas: Day 4

Our acts of kindness and compassion can bring hope to other people, chipping away at the anger and hardness in their hearts.

People go through so much. Often times, people need just a little bit of grace and love.

All too often, we are reallly hard on people on social media. Hiding behind the screen, it’s easy to call people trolls and snowflakes.

But, what if, we just kept on scrolling. People spend hours a day arguing with strangers on the internet. And I truly don’t understand why. I can guarantee that arguing with each other on social media isn’t going to change anyone’s mind.

So, for Day 4- let’s bypass that strangers comment. Just keep on scrolling if we disagree- or at least be kind in our conversations with strangers on the internet.

After all, we don’t know what other people are going or have been through. They just may need an extra dose of kindness today!

21 Days of Christmas: Day 3

I don’t know about you, 9x out of 10, if I’m in a hurry- my hands are full with kids in tow.

Most places I go, now, have automatic doors, curbside, or drive through. That’s because I tend to frequent places that help make life a little easier.

However, there was a time that I had: my large bag, a baby bag, and 1, 2, or 3 kids.

And, I don’t know if you’ve ever had your hands full, when a stranger holds a door open for you. . . But it’s small things, like holding a door open where people find hope in humanity.

So, for Day 3- Let’s do it. Hold open that door, wish them a great day, and smile!

21 Days of Christmas: Day 2

Kindness is like a warm hug.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been blown away by the kindness of strangers.

And the best part, is that it doesn’t cost a single thing.

There have been many instances when a friend or family member sent me an encouraging text, or called me at just the right time.

So, today send someone an encouraging note. Let them know how awesome you think they are. If you know the struggles they have going on in their life, speak life into those situations.

21 Days of Christmas: Day 1

The theme of 21 Days of Christmas is kindness. I believe at the root of kindness is hope and love. We will start with showing ourselves kindness!!

This weekend, my kids have been with my in-laws. Today, I was going to take a day to get it all done. Did that happen? No.

I didn’t change out of my pajamas today. I lounged around, watched Christmas movies, and my husband slept. All.day. We both needed a day of complete rest.

To be honest, with traveling and COVID, we haven’t had many days without any of our kids. I didn’t realize just how worn out we were.

When you are that worn out. It is super hard to pour into others. It’s hard to show love and kindness, when you are running on empty.

So, for day 1: Take time for yourself. Get rejuvenated and refreshed, as best you can with the resources you have.

Take a nap. Read a book. Go on a walk. Do nothing. Whatever it is for you. Do it. Because, you can’t show others love and kindness well, unless you are doing it for yourself first.

21 Days of Christmas

This year has been hard, there’s no doubt about that. There’s been hardship for practically everyone this year. Fighting a world pandemic. An intense election. Much needed fight for social justice.

So much division.

I feel like this year was inevitable.

Over the past 10 years, it has seemed that each passing year there’s been more anger, more division in the US and across the world. It feels as though this year was the eruption point. The lava has been building for years, and now it’s seems everyone is shouting and not many are listening and doing, and frankly showing love to others.

What if we took the next 21 days, and created a new habit to love others when we disagree, even if we don’t want to.

Ya’ll. This is hard. Yet, I know that if we dig deep, find it within ourselves to say “enough is enough”, we can make a greater change and impact in our social circles. When we do that, I know it’ll make a big difference.

Now, I know I’m writing and sharing this later than I planned. The beauty is. . .we can take 21 days of Christmas and extend that into 2021 when most people feel the hope of Christmas leading up to Christmas Day, and the “magic” fades away. Let’s take that “magic” and keep spreading into the new year and beyond.