Christmas is a love story

For most of us, we’ve heard it…but has it really sunk in? That Christmas beyond what might be silly and perhaps to some childish is actually a love story. We play, decorate, sing songs, and our spirit perhaps higher than all year ’round hold feasts in celebration of one who loves us the most. He certainly didn’t have much to celebrate considering why He came…but yet He did because of that exact reason.

The dirty manager didn’t upset, the cold night stirring against human flesh He bore. Why would He come? This strange tale of God became human for one reason. To set right was wronged so personal relationships to be (re)established as it should have always been as it always was intended.

Nothing could stop Him from coming and nothing could prevent the way it happened. Born in a manager in a cave because of all things…money + taxes + accounting for the people. Irony was not lost on me… but I digress.

The lowest places became the highest because of His presence. Shepherds and Kings alike came to visit. The wise men were kings of vast treasure and men of knowledge traveling for, what I understand, years in large caravans. It wasn’t a day trip as the fact was they (wise men) didn’t even find Him until He was a toddler. I am fascinated by the two groups…they both took care of what was theirs. They BOTH were working and they BOTH had directions. Not a one was left out. One had a star and the other angels + plus star. And both glorified him. The rich and the poor. One took longer and the other was that very night the Son of God was born.

I find it interesting that it was very likely different cultures were represented with the wise men. Actually, I really find it interesting these men took great pains and disciplined to even travel to find out what the star was and they *heard* clearly from God to return home a different way. Perhaps more accurately is I find the whole birth to be a fascinating turn of events. It doesn’t remotely make sense when you really think about it…and yet it totally does.

Every year my Papa reads the story near or on Christmas and every year I find myself thinking on this miracle event that seems so natural and unnatural in its right. Jesus fully God and fully man came forsaking everything and yet at the same time forsaking nothing because He already knew the outcome- His point was relationship between the Father and His people. To eradicate once and for all, the sin that separated causing the wrath that was to come on us to end with Him. It started in the beginning…just as the Father breathed life into this world knowing the chasm of separation would happen very soon after and already had a plan.

His son, Jesus, born into human flesh would be the start of breaking that chasm which was never supposed to be there in the first place and fulfilling promises made from the very beginning starting with the 1st of Man. We celebrate Christmas because of Jesus. There’s a lot to celebrate, we have joy, strength, cause of dancing, decorating, singing, and all the things because of the greatest love that ever came down. Jesus…the sweetest name.

Around The Bend

Seems like that’s a popular saying around where I am. “It’s just around the bend. Around the corner. I see the light at the end of the tunnel.” Etc. No doubt you’ve heard something similar. It got me thinking…well there’s a lot that I’m thinking honestly, but specifically it got me thinking on hope.

How hope is both for the now and the future. But hope can not exist in the past. The past is gone even a second later…there is absolutely no way to live it physically though often the mind goes there. Hope for the presence is what keeps the mundan tasks cranking because there’s the hope for tomorrow. Hope where presences and future are joined together.

For the first time in years I have an office where you can see the floor. It has been been a wild ride. Have you have been in a situation where you keep working on something but you really don’t see the results for well in this case years and then all of the sudden…that last 45 minutes of cleaning you have a beautiful result? I equate hope similar to that. Where we keep at something because we believe that there’s a better future or something beautiful that will come of it.

Being a single lady I have been surprised by just how much I’ve had to fight for hope. Most often fighting for it means letting go…releasing. I know…I know… it sounds like opposite. But what I am talking of is emotions of the past and expectation of *how* it should look or come together. Hope allows us to breathe and rest in the safety of expecting something good. In order for that to happen…that means working on like the office and while it is clean the results are far better than I hoped because I was willing to shift how to do things, keep in mind what was working and what was not, to let go of expected timelines, and discover what was beautiful all the way around.

As time goes on you will see how much I value both spontaneousness and organization. I *love* friends calling me out of the blue for coffee- I dislike triping over a mess on the floor that could have easily been put away. I enjoy creating and even making messes…but I do not particularly want to dig through four boxes to find supplies for creating. See the difference? What does this have to do with hope?

Well…in a very roundabout way its my way of stating be flexible for hoping for something and yet allowing a path for it work. Hope is above all things not idle.

Survival or Thrivable

When I began writing this I was working weird hours. This is an excerpt from weeks ago- but I thought it might still be of encouragement.

Waking up 5ish- and writing at 10:06 from a restless night sleep for the third night in a row- set to have another late night BUT not I hope restless. As you can imagine sleep deprivation is a serious thing for me it usually results with a sleep migraine. One I’m currently sporting. I promise I have a point here…hang in with me alright?

My dog that I’m currently dog sitting loves to give me exercise. In the form of constantly getting up every 20 minutes or so. Had I not desperately needed sleep so I wouldn’t be cranky and be nonsensical all day I’d stay up. Then I did decide around 7:30ish to simply stay up.

Now…I’ve long ago recognized something when I’m exhausted. Thus the lead up to my story will now make sense. I tend to compare myself…hard core. It’s definitely a weak spot when I’m so tired. That’s when it comes. Today it came with a wrecking ball.

That wrecking ball almost made me throw in the towel…on several things. My business which is starting to thrive. Trying to finish projects at the house I swear it’s like a conveyor belts….those projects just keep on coming and seems like they’re bigger every time. But the one that really hurt was the one I’ve been trying to help for years and see it in my tired bleary mind start to crumble.

It started with a Facebook post meant to encourage. It did the complete opposite. I remind you once more…exhaustion is a weak spot for me to compare. When I saw the works of their hands in so many of their life keep growing- I felt stabbed in the chest. It *seemed* everywhere they turned they were mightily blessed. Why weren’t we like that? Our house keeps on having issues, one business felt in that moment doomed and the other barely making ends meet. Then I reflect on them, the people I compared myself to. I realized I wasn’t fair to myself or to them. They’ve had *hard* years. They took things off their plates and started to build a little at a time- so much wisdom there. A luxury my family and I haven’t had though we’ve tried.

So I decided…well I can choose to have a bad attitude about it OR I can start counting my blessings. I *know* the hard work that goes into making a purposeful beautiful life. I found when I started to choose to see all the good things in their life, I recognized how much it also meant to others and to myself. My heart began to leap for gladness and excitement at their new adventure.

However, I didn’t stop there. It is good to recognize the goodness poured out it is needed to be recognized for others. We can celebrate, laugh, and enjoy life despite and with hard things. Isn’t that part of what makes a beautiful relationship?

I started seeing the beautiful things in my own life. The things I’m very grateful for. Yes, there’s a business that’s struggling what business doesn’t? But the lives that have been touched by what it does?….There’s no price on that.

So is my life a bed of roses I hope not…the roses have thorns. But have I cultivated a few roses in my life and been pricked by the thorns. Yes. Quite a few times (literally and figuratively) actually and I keep carefully growing my space of beauty regardless of the few pricks.

That should be everyone’s story. To recognize the hard, beautiful, and good things are worth cultivating. To love what is theirs that God has given to them and to rejoice in the favor He pours out on others. Because my friends whatever blessing you get and whatever blessing others get- if we rejoices together then a little bit of all of it trickles down to you and I together. What a beautiful life that is.

How quick time doth pass

I hadn’t expected months to pass as quickly as they did but they have. Seems almost simply a day as in one day. Four months shoved into a day. What a life.

One of the things I prayed for is that the days would seem longer, sweeter, and to help me take time to do things that matter. To take time for rest and play. He’s answered those prayers but not in the way I was “thinking”. Isn’t that like Him? To completely answer prayers but in a way very unexpectedly.

My days are sweeter. My birthday was two weeks ago. Every morning I had no expectations but to simply enjoy the day and play. I rested. Well as much as my organizational self would quit cleaning.

For the first time we did a successful staycation. My hope was to be out of the country for the third time for my 30th. There’s something special about that. But it didn’t happened. Truthfully I allowed myself to cry when the beach trip got cancelled- that was the back up to the out of the country. It lasted 10 mins and I told myself to let it go. I’d have an a amazing birthday but I needed to let go of expectation. So I did.

It proved to be much much sweeter than had I gone out of the country or to the beach. It would have been sweet to say I was out for the third time on my birthday for my 30. But it would have meant I would have missed out on something that would mean much much more to me. Achievements have nothing on relationships unless you do them together. I spent time with people who love me and whom I love back. I’m big on family. I’m big on healthy relationships. I’m big on hanging out with my family and friends together. Make no mistake I love hanging out one on one that is my favorite kind- but I also love hanging out with my family and friends. I have been exceedingly blessed that my family are my best friends. As strange as it may be in today’s world I can’t imagine nor desire not having them being the friends they are.

While I admit the days really do not seem to be longer I’ve noticed I’ve taken more time to read. The cleaning have left unfinished while I’ve gone outside to admire the sunsets. The phone calls? I’ve made them driving back and forth between my jobs or simply sat enjoying friendship. I’m not trying to fill every nook and cranny. Oh and I’m getting my 8+ hours of sleep. Cramming my life full simply hasn’t been worth it I was getting sick. The sick that would take me months to recover from the sick that was two steps from a mental breakdown and quitting all together. So…I sought the Lord in the months of Oct to Dec of 2019. Still I seek Him intentionally making sure I work and play…simply with Him being my focus.

Life is full to the brim and I remind myself to sit down and rest. There are days I slip back and actually to be truthful there are day I know it would just be a longer day. But I specifically have a day to rest and play after or just before because it’s that important. I’ve learned and am learning to batch things. To have dedicated behind the computer (or phone days). Work outside when possible. Travel as often as I can and work wherever. I’ve started to treat work with the mindset of play…and working that fits my style.

Owning a business I have is a luxury. But by the same token I also have to be disciplined In getting the work done. I’ve started to draw a very real line between personal work and business work. Except for reading that I can mix with ease considering the types of books I enjoy reading. I mean I love business books so that’s an all around win.

I guess what I’m trying to get at is God is changing my mindsets on things. He’s helping me throughout the day take in the simple beauties and joys. He’s helping me learn how to make my work days behind the computer not be always long and tedious. He’s helping me learning that though the days are incredibly short that in the moments there is rest.

The year is almost half over and I have been grateful to see that my prayers and seeking doing the things that help with a more slower pace of life has happened. I’ve invited beauty and fun in and hustle with stress out. My friends…it’s still a work in progress but it’s an encouraging one. On my list right now I’m reading is Work Simply by Carson Tate. I started it a whole back and restarted it. I’ve not finished it but I’ve been given much to think about. But honestly there is work in living simply that’s all there is to it. But my what a work- it allows for the important relationships and things that matter to take their proper places.

Valentine

As a single adult women one must be a sobbing mess and in desperate need of chocolate and a vacation on what we call today “Valentine.” Not. Permit me if I may speak to my fellow singles. You, my beautiful courageous friends can make this day- a day not one of misery- but one of great memories.

Celebrate it full force as a women who loves fiercely her tribe and even extend beyond on this day. Take this day a day of friendships and spend time specifically blessing your friends. Consider taking this valentine as a beautiful challenge of having fun for yourself, celebrating the incredible friendship you have, and be a friend to someone else. Invite friends for coffee, support them in a game, or if distance separates you…send an old fashion method of snail mail. On this day, release them from expectations on how to be a friend and simply be a friend to them.

Being in a relationship is beautiful and I’m not saying don’t be. However, if your reason for being in a relationship is because you don’t want to be alone- that is a terrible reason. It’s not fair to either one of you and it doesn’t fulfill that loneliness. A human can’t fix the heart only give an illusion of being healed. Allow yourself to have fun being single. Don’t be afraid to go on adventures and love life building rich communities, laughing until you cry and surprise people in aaaaaallll the good ways that leaves smiles on on their faces. Take risks and go to work making your dreams come alive. There is such joy in the this journey as long as you are willing to live it.

Being single is a gift. Please please please do not waste your gift by hanging it on a peg because you don’t want to be single. Invest in this time in creating a life that only you can live. You, my beautiful friend are worth living life that full of abundance, beauty, and adventurous.

Fear verse Courage

It’s funny actually how similar these two are. But they when you really think about it are drastically different in outcome. They both have to do with the heart.

To be honest…I’ve had this blog for nearly two years. Only, I literally sat on it and wrote only one note. Smhhhh. I could count that as a failure…but truthfully I count it as a win. The fact is I started, despite I’ve done little writing.

Courage was there for me to start…but fear kept me silent- until now. The many thoughts of “who on earth would even care about a single girl writing her thoughts on this world” ran through my head like wildfire. I wish I could tell you what spurred me to finally pen thoughts down for you.

Fear- might keep you my friend from pursuing your dreams along with the sidekick called pride. Courage could also persuade you to wait because you process wisdom of knowing that you will miss out something precious if you left. Note- I said WILL- not might. Courage I think is knowing deeply and being convicted to follow through whatever that may be. Fear is the rampage of “what ifs” and uncertainly becoming your led feet pinning you stuck to the place you’ve long to move on from.

Sometimes simply being willing to start no matter whether you are bad or good at it is all that is needed. Grammar and spelling is not my strong suit, but it is comically how many times I’ve been asked the correct way to spell something or fix an English paper. I’m quite sure you’re laughing at me- probably plenty of errors right now as you read. But this you know…at least with my spelling and grammar I am real enough that you know I- at least am not a robot.

My friend, No matter whether or not if at last moment you gave yourself to courage or fear- you have a choice now to choose. They say you can’t fix the past, but you can at least learn from it. Learn from the past and then let it go. If the past is being held onto then in reality is- you are also hold on to some extent fear and pride. One I hadn’t thought of until I started examining why I wasn’t to let go of my what ifs and my past. I started exploring courageous what ifs, I choose to be courages and go forward explore PAST my failure and yes even my wins.

You, my friend, make probably at least a hundred thousand decision a day. How many courageous decisions have you made? I’m sure you’ve made more than you realize. Count them- small or big it doesn’t matter…and especially count the ones you’ve had to make for yourself to keep going on when you’ve wanted to give up on your dreams.

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me! I hope that we can become friends if nothing else through this screen and through these words.  You are most welcome to join me and chime in as we go through life together.

Starting something new usually requires a leap of faith.  It’s been a long while since I’ve wanted to simply write.  From light hearted subjects to deep talks. There’s endless of subjects of which we could talk of, where we can learn from each other, and have adventures. 

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While I have no idea whose photograph this is, it came with the blog. It made me happy. It is unlikely I’ll ever share a photograph without knowing the owner’s name of this piece. I wish I did know the photographers name so I could give credit. There’s something about giving a shout out for someone’s workmanship.

Today is a beautiful day. A breeze is coming through and I’m outside sitting in the shade wrapping up my first post for this site. Who knows where this will go? Where ever and however I plan to keep it simple. There’s no agenda other than to write, make new friends, and explore this world of ours.