Be a voice, not an echo.
Today, simply be. Stick with the first outfit you put on and rock it.
Don’t feel like life is just a checklist and if you have fewer than 3 bullets your day was wasted. I’m writing this as much to myself as I am to you.
Those two things you wrote down could be
- love well
- make someone else happy today
Or they could be
- Eat ice cream
And you know what. Even if those bullets you wrote down today were too ambitious and you feel like a failure for not managing to check even two things off your list, please know this.
There’s always tomorrow. And you’re gonna wake up tomorrow morning refreshed and loved by Creator God who doesn’t care if your handwriting looks like everybody else and who really doesn’t mind that for some reason you can’t get those lines straight in your Bible or any other book you choose to write in. And that’s the most beautiful part.
Chip Gaines, one half of the Fixer Upper duo on HGTV blogged this recently and it struck a chord in my heart. he said:
If there is any hope for all of us to move forward, to heal and to grow – we have got to learn to engage people who are different from us with dignity and with love. Joanna and I have personal convictions. One of them is this: we care about you for the simple fact that you are a person, our neighbor on planet earth. It’s not about what color your skin is, how much money you have in the bank, your political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender, nationality or faith. That’s all fascinating, but it cannot add or take away from the reality that we’re already pulling for you. We are not about to get in the nasty business of throwing stones at each other, don’t ask us to cause we won’t play that way.
When’s the last time I jumped to a conclusion about somebody else? Probably today. Was I wrong? Probably. Am I trying to get better? Every day.
I want to be able to look at myself in the mirror every day and be able to say, without breaking eye contact “you did the best you could today, and you are infinitely loved. and tomorrow you get to love someone else all over again.”
I added Chip’s quote because I want to challenge myself. If I’m all about not throwing stones at others, why would I throw them at myself? Why would I want to play that way?
Yes I want to love others. I want to love others so well that I can’t live without loving someone on a daily basis. I want to walk through the city where I live and feel so much love for everyone living there that I don’t dare hold it all in because the more I love, the more love I have to give and if that isn’t a wonderful thing then I’m doing something terribly wrong.
I want to be present. I want to be a participant. I want to reach out even if no one is grabbing my hand.
I want to be honest with others and with myself. And I can’t imagine not being honest with God.
I pray that every day from here on out would be 24 hours of intentional living. That you would break out your pens and write yourself a love letter that doesn’t hold back. I pray that if you’re on the edge of giving up on your New Year’s Resolution or your goal for twenty seventeen, you would make yourself a promise. If it’s completely unreachable, give it up. If it’s a dream, reward yourself and work tirelessly towards that goal. For me it’s traveling. Traveling is my greatest reward and I found that out through trial and error.
Pour yourself a cup of tea, and do something old-fashioned. Talk to someone in person. Balance your checkbook. Drive to the store and buy those Amazon Pantry items yourself. Pay cash for something. And remember how good it feels to live. Or honestly, don’t do any of those things.
Don’t let me tell you what I think will make you feel productive or powerful or lazy or encouraged or challenged or in control of things.
Do whatever YOU know will make you feel those things.
It’s time to listen to your own voice.