I woke up this morning with a MASSIVE list of to-do’s— neglected house chores, prep for upcoming events and general work for my business. Oh, and apparently “be fearful and worried about your money” was on that list too. That one has a tendency to sneak in because it’s such a habit for me to be anxious.
The past few months have been tight for us financially. Our jobs can be inconsistent, and people, unreliable. Yet, somehow we have all that we need. I think about David’s reflections in Psalm 23, when he remembers that God is true to His name, and he doesn’t have to be afraid. I fall back on Jesus's words in Matthew 6, when He tells me, “Do not worry. Focus on me and the peace I have for you. Seek my kingdom, my perspective. Remember who provides all things.”
In order to move forward, I have to admit that the woman I am now doesn’t actually want the things she used to.
I’m addicted to productivity and I have no idea what rest looks like. Stopping when things aren’t finished gives me stress. And the truth is, in this life, nothing will ever be finished. There will always be a new-old thing.
You can do the bare minimum. You can give yourself a break, and the world will still spin.
Three year olds have this way of giving perspective just by existing. They learn new words. They try new things. They aren’t scared of failing or getting something wrong. They do what makes them happy.
I remember playing music and writing songs more than I do now. I miss it.
CALL. YOUR. GRANDPARENTS. (They miss you.)
If flowers make you happy, buy them. Paint them. Look at pictures of them. (I can’t help myself sometimes...)
Yesterday, Kelly (my husband) and I were talking about taking risks. Making decisions that can either give great success or set you back for a few weeks, or months, or years. Doing the things that are absolutely terrifying and vulnerable. Inviting the possibility of pain and difficulty into your life with the hope that something beautiful will happen instead.
I hope this note finds you in a place of rest. I know it’s not quite Valentine’s Day, but I thought I’d give you some thoughts about love and what it looks like. We’re called to love each and every day anyway, right?
As January comes to a close, I remember who I was last year at around this time. I remember learning about minimalism and being enticed by the idea of a more intentional life.
"Minimalism is about simplifying in order to live with intention and passion, rather than being tied to or weighed down by material possessions and acquisition. Minimalism is a reaction to materialism and consumerism. It is a reaction against the idea that you need more and more things to make you happy, comfortable, and full. It allows you to focus on the parts of life that you value, that bring you fulfillment."
I try to keep moving. There’s a perception of laziness that comes with rest, with celebration, so I find that I don’t do either. And if I do have a moment where time stops, that’s all it is. A moment. For the longest time, my identity was found in how hard I worked, how well I took care of the people around me. I was determined to keep my focus, to maintain my grades, to do everything within my power to make sure nothing fell apart. Only, I began to notice that while everything around me was stable, I was the one breaking.
I cut off all my hair. I dropped out of school. I got married. I moved away from home. I’ve learned to navigate a brand new city. I sang at a wedding with my husband. I started a business, and I’m preparing to be a vendor at a huge festival. I started writing this blog. I started vlogging on YouTube. I created my first lettering video.
And I noticed all these actions revolved around pushing past a single barrier: the approval of people.
Either pride barks, “You can do this yourself. You don’t really want help, do you? Your plan is far better anyway, and your ways, superior.” Or anxiety whispers, “You don’t want to interrupt someone else’s time. You don’t want to stop their flow. You don’t want to be a burden. You aren’t important enough.” These two manipulators are really two sides of the same coin, both deeply rooted in identity and self-worth. The first is an inflated, manic view of your value, and the second is a depleted version. But both of them lead to isolation. Both of them are paralyzing.
I've been thinking about how easily I allow trivial statements to jump under my skin. It seriously amazes me how a meaningless remark can alter my emotions. (Can anyone relate?)
Face it, we all have at least one person in our lives who holds this sort of power over us. [A parent, a sibling, a child, a friend, a complete stranger.] You know who it is for you. Maybe a name or a face came to mind. Maybe you can hear that person’s voice. Maybe you have an anecdote that emerged as you read these words.
I don't really feel this anymore. I've convinced my brain that it wants to be awake when the sun comes up. The quiet hours of the morning are exactly what this introverted soul requires to have a beautiful day.
Here in Nash, the sun sleeps in, which means every day this week, I could open my east-facing window and watch the sky prepare for the day. I had ample time to sip my coffee, eat some yogurt, and embrace my Savior. No more racing out the door. No more hitting snooze or setting multiple alarms.
As a calligrapher, you see TONS of inspirational quotes; they literally flood your feed. And when I’d see “Bloom where you’re planted” or “Be here now,” I'd feel the twinge in my gut of 'am I really living in the moment?’ See, at that time, I was transitioning to a different stage of my life. I was constantly planning and dreaming and moving.