This Is What I Have For You

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Y’all know I love me some Chip & Joanna Gaines (like most people). I’m currently reading The Magnolia Story as part of my Yearly Bucket List for this year, and while I think the woman is an incredible designer, I’m am the most in awe of her wisdom & her faith.

I’ll admit, I tend to have a hard time with the listening part of prayer. Maybe it’s my perfectionism or my stubbornness, I don’t know, but there’s just something that I struggle with when it comes time to just be still & listen to what He is speaking over my life.

But I keep trying. I keep working hard for the things I think He’s led me to, and I try to continue to listen for the whispers of His heart. And I think the trying (even if it feels like just one more thing I’ve failed at) is probably one of the things He has for me. The learning through the process, and growing into a deeper form of prayer.

So let’s just encourage one another to try to let go of the lies, the expectations (the ones we have of ourselves & those we think others have of us), and the pressure, and just let Him guide us to walk in the truth.

Love

Yes, it’s Valentine’s Day today.

Yes, today’s supposed to be about love.

 

But I hope today you focus on more than just romantic love. Celebrate love of family. Love of friends. Love of nature. Love of God.

Go past the Hallmark phrases or conversation hearts, and actually share phrases from YOUR HEART.

Kingwood photographer morning engagement session in arboretum & downtown Nacogdoches

Not everyone feels like they write well, or speak eloquently. We don’t all sound like that perfect line from a movie. But that’s not what matters anyway – the real, honest, true-life stuff is what matters, regardless of how messy it may seem.

 

So today, take a minute to share love. Give a hug. Give a high five. Compliment someone’s shoes (as long as you genuinely like them). Write a love note. Call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while. Look in the mirror & say out loud to yourself at least one reason why you love you…. & then believe it.

 

If you’re into grand gestures, by all means go big with your displays of love & affection. But if you’re more a sticky-note on the dash of the car kinda person – go with that. Just share your love today… there are people in your life who need to hear it & feel it.

Stillness

For a lot of us, stillness isn’t an option. We are constantly running from one thing to the next, and hardly have time to just be still.

I think that’s true, but I also think it’s a lie too.

I think stillness is uncomfortable for us. Scary even. It’s not easy to just be still with yourself, because then you don’t have the hustle in the way to block out your thoughts.

We fill our lives with so many things: volunteering, to-do lists, meetings, lunch or dinner or coffee dates.

And in the moments we have to be still, to be quiet, to really notice what is going on around us, we instantly and reflexively reach for our phones. We fill the quiet with tweets, snaps, posts & photos. Because it’s easier to check out than to check in to what’s going on with us & what’s happening around us.

Kingwood family photographer fall family portrait session in open field with mini John Deere tractor

When is the last time you actually sat in the sun & just felt its warmth on your skin, noticing it there is a breeze, or if the birds are singing, or if there’s the smell of fresh cut grass or sea-salted air. When is the last time you walked down the street & actually noticed the other people walking by you.

I am guilty of this too – the filling of every second of my day. And I am going to try my best to carve out time to be still.

Keeping the radio off in the car periodically.

Keeping my phone off or in another room or deep in my purse.

Keeping at least 3 minutes of my day purposefully empty to slow down & be still.

I’m going to try to be more comfortable with letting the thoughts from down deep actually surface and then challenging myself to recognize & respond to them. Because maybe, just maybe, there’s a gem buried somewhere in that endless pile of busy & hustle. And maybe, just maybe, it’s time to let it out into the sunlight.