They’re Always Better Together

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Courage. A word typically reserved for a person who noticeably goes out of her way to do something brave on behalf of others.

Compassion. A word generally attached to a person who selflessly helps others without even being seen or known.

To me, these two words go hand in hand. Like bread and butter, courage and compassion add something significant to one another.

The sweet spot of life is found in a combination of the two through private acts of kindness and public displays of bravery. Both are essential to making an impact on the world.

Now, before all the haters get up in my grill about my viewpoint on these two beautiful terms, let me be the first to say that each characteristic is important all by itself. But, like so many other things, when put together, they bring out the best parts of each other.

Let’s look at it this way: I can be the kindest person in the world to MY family in the comfort of MY own home. Behind closed doors. But when I go out and mingle with humanity, I keep to myself and never go out of my way to help someone else. To do that requires a different level of compassion. It requires some nerve. A willingness to be noticed if need be in order to lift someone else out of a pit that they may not be able to get out of on their own.

Our time here on earth is short as many of us know (including myself.) While good people die every single day, bad people keep on living. We can’t just sit by and watch it happen anymore. We need more good men and women to grow a pair, leave their comfortable existence of my family of four and no more, and love the heck out of people. (Yeah, I said it.) All people. Everywhere. Despite differences and opinions and cultures and baggage. This is where compassion and courage collide. An intersection of guts and glory if you will.

It’s so very necessary, don’t you think? The people who died too young would tell us to live each day with wild and crazy abandon sold out to a cause greater than ourselves. Can you imagine them saying that we should live a safe existence that only benefits us personally? Surely not. It’s in the giving away that we get so much given back to us.

How can you be daring in your efforts to help others on both the hidden back roads and in the bright lights of the city? It can be done. There are people waiting for you to overcome your fear of being seen so they can be seen. Being noticed for a courageous act doesn’t make you proud or egotistical. Humility is a trait easily noticed and hardly forgotten. When someone sees your hand outstretched towards another,they consider doing the same thing in their own magnificent way.

We can honor the ones who have gone before us by honoring the ones who are still here with us. Be kind to your families. Be gracious with your coworkers. Be fearless in your pursuit of the downcast, overlooked, and forgotten.

Then love them when noone is watching AND when everyone is looking. Let’s gloriously practice courage and compassion.

People over Plans

Adventurers

Friendship is something we all crave. From playing on the playground in kindergarten to checking out the hot new club at age 22, we want a friend to tag along with us. Life’s just not as enjoyable alone.

Deep friendship takes time and investment. Time with eachother one-on-one and in social settings. Investment in activities and resources that encourage interaction on a regular basis.

In lasting friendships, prioritizing our relationship with the other person is so important. When we put someone at the top of our list, they feel valued and we feel connected. Without this kind of purposeful drive, our friendships will end up falling short.

It is never a waste of time to choose a person over a plan. Some of my greatest friendships have been forged on spontaneous trips and off the cuff remarks. We can’t overthink it. We have to embrace different opportunities as they come our way…even if they don’t fit into our neat little box of comfort.

Comfort is a

Doing new things with our friends allows us to see life differently. Sacrificing our plan for the sake of a friend’s idea of fun isn’t selling out. It’s giving ourselves a big ol’ fat chance to grow up a bit. Last I checked, growth is good.

When I make the decision to step out of my comfort zone and do something that I’ve never done before because my friend wants to, I learn something about myself. I can embrace a new level of boldness and challenge or I can sit back and watch my friends grow without me.

That’s what happens, by the way. New environments bring new perspectives. If we skip out on hanging with our friends because they do something we’ve never done before, they will eventually grow beyond where we are. They will be enlarged by the experience in some way, whether it was great or just so-so, because they chose to think beyond their norm.

Do you have a friend that challenges you to climb higher and reach farther? If not, get one (or be one!) A whole new level of relationship is waiting for you beyond your familiar routine.

The Grey Sweater

photomemories

Hey gang!

I’m over on Her View From Home today talking about the very personal topic of losing my Dad. I have been on a journey in and out of grief for the past five years. People say that time heals and, on some level, I agree. I also believe, however, that allowing the memories to linger even it causes pain is okay, too. I’ve learned how to trust in the goodness of God despite life getting more and more unpredictable. I’ve gone through anxiety and depression due to the very uneven terrain of my life.

But, there is one thing I know. I am stronger because of the pain. I am able to help others in their grief because I know what it feels like to endure hardship. I can be a voice for those who don’t know how to speak about their loss. And I will press through the feelings to get to the deep truth of security in Christ.

I will write until I can’t write anymore if it helps YOU. So, I invite you to participate in my journey of growth through grief and read my piece HERE. 

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The Grey Sweater

The Process of Becoming

photo credit: Spring Thaw via photopin (license)

Today I was reminded of the faithfulness of God through the seasons of waiting in my life. And a light bulb went off in my brain: All this time, I thought I was waiting on God but really God was waiting on me.

A wise friend once told me, “God is more interested in your heart than He is in your comfort.” Those words came back to me today as I realized that the past few years of my life have been SO DARN UNCOMFORTABLE. But the heart changes in me have been supernatural to say the least.

Sacrificing my comfort for a larger heart, a greater sense of purpose, and a closer walk with God has not been easy. But I can now see some beautiful embers aflame inside of me where there once was a mess of cold, dark coal. And when my flesh cringes and tries to turn away from a trying situation, I can now see that I am being invited into another opportunity for fiery heart change.

Why? More training in the uncomfortableness of life. We try so hard to avoid the messy and the nervous and the strange and the unfamiliar but God hasn’t called us to sit back and let life pass us by. He’s called us to move to the sound of His voice allowing the wind of the Holy Spirit to blow on our flickering heart flame when we’re not so sure. It’s called trust.

And I can honestly say that I’ve never felt so weightless and free in all my life. I don’t have to know how I’m gonna get from A to B or from this period of waiting to the time of doing. I just have to believe.

And the result?

Becoming who I am meant to be. 

 

 

Sunday Rest #1

photo credit: Hole in the Heart via photopin (license)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On this wind-chilled Sunday, this day of rest, I invite you to shift your focus from your pain to His presence. To Pause. To ask for help.

Sometimes, the only way to get back up is to grab someone’s hand that has been where you are. Maybe reach out and give a friend a call today? She just might say the right thing.

Proverbs 15:23- “Everyone enjoys a fitting reply; it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time!”

I am giving you permission to get up off the floor, to take care of you. One word from the right person could be just the push you need. Ask God who He has placed in your life for you to go to in moments of sadness.

Proverbs 27:17- “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”

Asking for help is never easy but is always a good idea. Not one of us can do this life thing on our own. In fact, we are only made strong through the grace of Christ, not by our own striving.

2 Corinthians 12:9- But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”

Working your fingers to the bone to live up to some expectation that you have put on yourself is never fruitful. In fact, it’s just plain draining. And you’re left wanting more…love, life, peace, etc…

But if you just acknowledge that your Father God knew what He was doing when He created you, that your pain doesn’t mean He isn’t good, that your sin is covered by His blood, and that He wants to fellowship with you, then your life becomes joy-filled even in the midst of suffering.

So, invite a friend over for tea. Go to church and be around the family that God has called you to. Ask for prayer. It’s all gonna be ok.

Proverbs 27:9- “The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.”

NaBloPoMo November 2015