The 5 People You NEED in Your Life

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I don’t know about you but as I’ve gotten older (rounding 40 in a few), I have come to realize that my life is much better with certain people in it. Of course, we can all relate to the opposite of this fact as well : Life is much better without certain people in it, too. 🙂

Here’s a list of the five types of people you need in your life right now. This very minute.

1. The Encourager 

This radiant girl is joyful and thoughtful. She doesn’t give in to negativity when the storms of life come her way. She doesn’t let you give in to negativity either. She blesses your life because of the thought she puts into what she says. She lives a life of purpose that is intentionally focused on lifting others up. It’s not fake happiness that she exhibits but rather true joy because of her glass half-full mentality.

2. The REAL DEAL

This gal knows how tough life can be. She’s been through the fire and the rain. She doesn’t sugar coat shi* but lets you know exactly what she thinks. She knows the value of authenticity and vulnerability causing her to be open about her struggles. This is not to bring you down but to help you from making her mistakes. She brings out the raw side of you and it makes you feel free. Her influence on you always prompts you to be your best self.

3. The Warrior 

I love this woman. She is strength and grace personified in a beauty so inspiring that the right words to describe her are hard to find. She fights her battles with wisdom and defends others that are losing theirs. No challenge is too great for her to war against because no matter what she has HOPE. Her passion for justice fuels your inner truth seeker. You can’t be around her and not want to take up a cause or help the hurting.

4. The Mentor  

This is usually someone who’s a bit older than you are and has seen more than you have. She is a walking testimony of God’s faithfulness and speaks of it often. She is also well-read and loves to share her knowledge with others in hopes of helping them navigate life well. She has a desire to nurture, teach and walk beside those that need a boost or just some accountability. Her choices represent strong leadership skills and you know you can go to her for advice on pretty much anything.

5. The Dreamer

This lovely lady has her head in the clouds for all the right reasons. She not only dreams BIG but she writes them down and puts her hand to the plow. Her determination to go all in causes you to  take a good hard look at your own dreaming ability. She does the things that most see as impossible and regards setbacks as set ups to greater opportunities. There’s no being around the dreamer without being motivated to set some serious goals. She believes in miracles and because of her, you do too.


So, I say, do an assessment of the women in your inner circle. Are they all benefiting your life in some way? Even more important to ask of yourself: Are you benefiting their life? How can you display qualities of the Encourager, the Real Deal, the Warrior, the Mentor and the Dreamer to those in your world? Who represents these descriptions to you? Sometimes, if you’re lucky like me, you can find one amazing sister that actually displays all of these attributes well. When you do, never let her go. ❤

#MondayMusings
I’m linking up with #mondaymusings from EverydayGyann.
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The Secret to Early Morning Exercise

Too many of us are snoozing through life when an opportunity to rise up and actively pursue something bigger than ourselves passes us by.Hi friends! I am honored to have a piece up on Her View From Home today called “The Secret to Early Morning Exercise.” I used a personal story to write about the importance of committing to a healthy routine for better productivity in life. I would love for you to click on this link and read what I had to say. Now, I’m no expert on this exercise thing but I have managed to maintain a pretty consistent exercise regime for a few years now. It might look different every few months but it’s always the same in that I stick with some kind of exercise. Mayo Clinic has this to say on the matter:

“Exercise and physical activity deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to go about your daily chores.”  

I challenge you to get started on a morning exercise routine today! Need some more motivation? Click HERE! ❤ Thanks!

The Sisterhood!

Sisterhood is worth the fight. .

Hey my beautiful friends! I am over on Flourish today with a post that is super important to me. I feel like God has given me a voice to encourage and motivate women towards unity. With all the ways that the entertainment community, big wig politicians, social media, and our male dominated society has undermined our value, I want to highlight our inherent worth in as many posts as possible. This is what I wrote about on Flourish: Unity, Friendship, and Strength in Numbers. 

“The days we are living in are brutal. Our minds, bodies, and souls are literally taking blows from a variety of sources on a regular basis. Can we choose to look beyond a woman’s mistakes or opinions long enough to realize that God never called her to figure this life thing out on her own? In fact, none of us were called to be alone. It’s time for the collective voice of women to rise up over the nagging insecurities and questionable choices that plague each of us behind closed doors.”

Read more here! Comments are always welcome as long as they are supportive and friendly. Thanks! ❤ 

Want to read my other Flourish posts? Check them out under the Flourish Posts category! 

The Stranger Who Saw My Sorrow

 

I have the awesome privilege of having Aimee Niebuhr of MamaCentric guest post on my blog today! This gal’s writing has blessed me so much in very personal ways. Her posts are so raw that you feel like she is writing from your diary. (At least that’s how I feel) and I couldn’t be more grateful for it because she motivates me to be brave with my truth. Her courageous writing will stir your heart to feel and your spirit to soar. You read her honest words and feel compelled to share love with someone else. She radiates love and truth in the most beautiful ways. Read on and be blessed, dear friends.

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I was twenty-one years old. The world before me should have been bright; a horizon of possibility spread out and shimmering like sunlight glinting off of the endless ocean. But life didn’t feel like the beauty of the horizon meeting the vast, blue sea at all. It felt like a torrent of crashing waves, hitting one after the other, intent on knocking me down.

My sister was at the end of her battle with leukemia. It came fast. It hit hard. Within six months, with the arrival of a bitterly cold November, we were preparing to let her go.

Somehow, I managed to work through my college classes during that fall semester, furtively writing papers and preparing for the exams I would take after returning from the weeklong Thanksgiving break. The Thanksgiving I would always remember as the last time I held my baby sister close, the time when I said goodbye.

Classes resumed on a Monday. My peers were full of cranberries and turkey and joy. The whole world seemed to be filled with a goodness that didn’t include my pain or me, at all. I was an outsider.

I stood before my favorite professor – the one who spoke loudly in front of our classroom and taught history in a way which made you want to rise up and be better because of it. “How is she doing?” he asked me. Tears filled my eyes, as I managed to whisper, “Not well.” He hung his head in sorrow, and I knew he understood.

And though I will always remember his gentle grief, the ways he mourned for a girl he did not really know, it is the moment that happened next, which has stayed imprinted upon my soul, all these years later. It was the girl who followed me out of the classroom and tapped my shoulder who made me feel as though I was not alone.

“My brother had leukemia. He died seven years ago.”

I searched her face, trying to remember. Had we ever spoken, this girl who had sat quietly beside me since September? Every Monday and Wednesday for months we had walked into the same little classroom, and I had never even asked her name. How did she know my agony? Was it because I had been wearing it for months, cumbersome like a heavy coat drenched in the soaking rain?

I had never said a word to her, and yet, in that moment, there wasn’t anyone else on the earth that could have known me better than she did.

“What should I do?” I managed to ask.

“You just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other. One foot, and then the other. One foot, and then the other.”

It was so simple, and yet profound.

My sobs erupted. Every ounce of heartache I had been carrying for months now spilled out into the space between a stranger and myself, into the void between my grief and her memories — our collective sorrow building a bridge neither of us knew we needed.

She opened her arms; I fell into her embrace. My tears dropped wildly onto her shoulder and into her hair. I didn’t even know her name, but she didn’t seem to care. Perhaps seven years ago, she had found her strength in a stranger’s arms, too.

One week later we would take our final exams. I never saw her again. I never even learned her name.

It has been ten years since a girl I had never met held me in a hallway and absorbed my grief. She saw me drowning under the weight of my sadness amidst the sea of goodness, and brought the goodness to me.

I’ve always wished that I could go back and tell her that I am so sorry that she lost her brother. That I am so grateful she chose to turn her pain into a beacon of light to help guide the weary home. That I whispered, “One foot, and then the other,” to myself hundreds of times in the days after my sister’s passing. I held tightly to it in the years I spent adjusting to my new normal without her, falling back upon the familiar comfort of the phrase when the days felt too difficult.

Most of all, I wish I could tell her that I have had my chance to be the stranger with the strength. I have held others the way that she held me and gently reassured, “one foot, and then the other,” as they have wept their own stories into my soul. Finally, I have understood what it means to draw forth from the well of sorrow, and find that there is still goodness to be shared.

Maya Angelou has told us that “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

This world will always house wounded people who are desperately trying to tread the waters of their grief. It is up to us to decide if we will answer the calling to be the compassion, the understanding, and the light of the Spirit.

I don’t remember anything else my classmate said to me that day. I can’t even really recall what she looked like through my blurry tears. But I will always remember her; her kindness will live on within my grateful heart, forever.

Aimee of MamaCentric Headshot

 

Aimee is freelance writer and homeschooling mama to three on a journey to get real with motherhood. Whenever she can find a quiet moment, she writes soul-searching reflections at MamaCentric. She holds tightly to the belief that a centered spirit inspires a centered home. (And maintains that hiding out from the kids to sneak some chocolate is good for the soul!) She hopes that her words inspire others to always seek the joy in their lives.

She would love to connect with you on Facebook and Instagram.

 

To Yesterday’s Friend, Can we Try Again?

 

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We meet and our hearts leap at the prospect of a new and exciting friendship. We mark our calendars with important dates (e.g., Girls Night Out). We plan outings with the kids at family-friendly coffee shops and neighborhood parks as well as talk on the phone daily. Shoot, we even friend eachother on Facebook (which, as we all know, is the official marker of a solid friendship)!

Excitement grows as we get to know more about one another. Our lives intersect and it’s okay that we aren’t perfect because we know we can be real with eachother. We feel whole, like we have found the missing piece of the friendship puzzle that our hearts were designed to hold.

We foolishly think that things will always be this way.

But, life happens. Babies get sick and we have to cancel our lunch dates. Work commitments pile up and our fun weekend escapades get put on the back burner. Running the kids around from doctor’s appointments to school activities leaves us tired and desperate for more Zzz’s and less interaction with the human race. (Even the really important people that make our souls come alive.)

Now it’s been six months since we hung out and I can’t even remember what our last conversation was about. Was it on the phone? Did we actually meet in person and catch up on eachother’s lives? NO, I’m sure we just chatted over text. That’s easier than actually talking or seeing one another. And I’m just too busy for one more thing these days.

One. More. Thing.

That sounds so dismissive. Like our budding friendship isn’t important enough to be a priority in my crazy life. “But it is important!” my inner voice screams. It’s just hard to keep momentum going when I am being pulled from ten different directions at any given moment.

Why can’t I remember how important it is for me to make time for her? 

Oh, my heart aches for what our friendship could have been. We might have started a business together. Maybe we could have bought a condo on the beach and vacationed there every summer. Who knows what adventures awaited us that now we won’t experience due to life getting in the way?  Due to me allowing life to get in the way.

That’s really what happened. I let everyone else dictate my schedule and forgot to make our friendship a vital necessity. It really is vital and it really is a necessity. Remembering this fact every single day instead of just in moments of stress and overwhelm is the only way to keep it alive, however.

Let’s keep it alive. I don’t want our friendship to be known as something that was almost good but could really have been great. I want it to last longer than my ever changing feelings and inconsistent schedule. We’re both worth the investment, after all.

Yes, I will reschedule twenty times if it means that I eventually get to spend time with you. The reward, your beautiful soul-mending, life-giving friendship, is worth the effort.

Can we try again?

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.

Living Under the Freedom of God’s Grace

allowing myself to get caught up in yesterday to the point of missing out on today is not okay

I’m guest posting over at Only a Season today! Gloryanna and I hit it off almost immediately. She has a heart for the things of God and a wonderful way with words to deliver that beautiful message. When she asked me to guest post, I was humbled and honored because I highly esteem her blog. I had a hard time picking a subject to write on because there are a ton of topics looming in my head these days. However, a conversation with my best friend kept coming back to my thoughts and it therefore became the catalyst for my piece.

Want a snippet? Here ya go!

My BFF’s heartfelt words spoke to my spirit and caused an awakening of sorts to take place within. Am I showing up for my own life or am I just going through the motions? Am I allowing pain mixed with wine and trips down memory lane to trump the here and now with my beautiful family? After all, they are my future. So, in essence, avoiding the responsibilities of today is stealing from my tomorrows. OUCH.

Come on over to Only a Season and check out the full post! Thanks!

Sunday Rest #2

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At church this morning our pastor talked about community.

I got to thinking about just how blessed I am to have a wonderful group of women surrounding me during the highs and lows of life.

This group of amazing gals met together for the first time only 1 year ago. We started meeting bi-monthly for an early morning walk followed by coffee and devotions.

The results of our lives intersecting has been nothing short of miraculous. Fear has been conquered through prayer. Insecurities have been voiced in a safe place. Love has been given and received despite personality differences.

Ultimately, Christ has been on display.

And I for one will never be the same because of what these women have taught me. They are each jewels of a rare and unique value that cannot be compared.

I do not take this privilege of godly friendship for granted. So many look for authentic Christian relationships and get disappointed in their search because it takes a while.

Let me encourage you to keep at it. I was lonely for 3 years before I found this safe place of godly women. It can happen to you too. Just keep looking. And if you don’t find a group where you belong, then start your own group.

It’s not easy. Anything worthwhile requires work. But it is SO worth it.

(Photo Credit: http://www.enkivillage.com/s/upload/images/2014/11/5550e0e8803906479fe5e149ac8745af.jpg)

For the Teen Mom

photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/38991082@N05/3596275884">pregnant silhouette</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">(license)</a>

 

The wind whistles as I wake

to the light of the morning sun.

The rays shine through my window

And I reflect on who I’ve become.

 

In all my years of womanhood

I’ve never felt so scared

I don’t know quite what to do

with my current state of affairs.

 

To say I’m lost for words

is to speak the pregnant truth.

I couldn’t have seen this coming

even if I had read it in the news.

 

My body argues the facts

whether I want to believe them or not.

I guess I’ll have to get used to this.

I guess I’m officially caught.

 

The birds chirp away a song

that soothes my tired soul.

And I lay there beneath the covers

trying hard to forget it all.

 

I sigh and get up out of bed.

My head is foggy from little rest.

The darkness of my past mistakes

is trying to swallow me up yet.

 

Another day is beckoning

But I can’t seem to let anyone in.

What if they knew my secret shame?

What if they can’t see past my condition?

 

My hands start to shake

as I reach for the phone.

If I don’t dial it now

then I’ll be doing this alone.

 

A kind voice gently answers

with a simple “Hello?”

And my words fumble out

In a mesh of unintelligible groans.

 

“I’ll be right over” she says

as the phone drops to the floor.

And I lay there crying until

I hear a knock on the door.

 

“Come in” I feebly call

from my crumpled position.

She sees me in my weakness

and hugs me in contrition.

 

There’s no more hiding for me

as she sees my size.

I can’t ignore her glances down,

her questioning eyes.

 

Before I can utter a defense

for the situation I’m in,

she calmly smiles and says to me,

“I’m so glad that you’re my friend.”

 

We sit there in that moment

letting the silence speak the truth

and for the first time in my little life

I was surprised at what I knew:

 

The days behind me offer a glimpse

Into a life of wandering

But the days I’ve yet to see

Offer me the chance to be set free.

 

I may have made a mistake

I may have gone the wrong way

but the pure love of another

Has awakened me to change.  

 

If fear and condemnation

could make me lay it down

I would’ve left my sin long ago

I wouldn’t have been the talk of the town.

 

But here in this place

where honesty and grace collide

I can see that I’ve been given a gift

I can love the new life growing deep inside.

 

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