Welcome to my weekly post I share a peek into our lives, talk about things I’m loving, share links to interesting articles or helpful ideas I’ve collected throughout the past week, and just talk about whatever is on my heart! ?
Kaitlynn and I got back our mugs that we painted for her birthday. It was so fun to challenge myself to do something new — especially something that I felt that I’m not gifted at. We had fun and I was really happy with how the finished product turned out!
We left yesterday on our much-anticipated 11-day trip to South Africa! I’ve been sharing a lot of the behind-the-scenes of our packing on Instagram Stories (you can access all of my travel-related videos by clicking on the little circle in my Instagram profile that says “Travel”).
I plan to share little peeks into our trip and what we’re doing and eating and experiencing in SA on Instagram Stories. (Follow me here, if you’re not already doing so. And then click on the circle with my photo in it on my profile to watch all my videos from the past 24 hours.)
(Oh and in case you’re wondering, I have some posts pre-scheduled to run here while I’m gone that I think you’ll love — including some about our packing, since so many people have been asking about that! And I’ll be popping on to check comments and social media at least once a day, provided I’m able to get access to internet on my computer. Depending on our schedule, I may wait to share more pictures and posts about our trip until after we get home. We’ll see!)
Quick travel tip that I shared on Instagram Stories and so many people loved it that I thought I’d share it here: When you’re staying at a hotel, refill your water bottles in the fitness room. Most hotels have fitness rooms and most fitness rooms offer a filtered water station. It’s cold filtered water — and you don’t have to pay for water bottles!
These two women have been such gifts to my life and have taught me so much about what true local friendship looks like and how amazing it can be.
Here are three lessons they have taught me:
1) Focus on loving others well. Stop worrying about whether you’re doing it right or wrong; just love others, really wholeheartedly love them.
2) Show up — even when it’s really inconvenient. Relationships will not fit into neat little boxes and they will require you to step out, step up, and be stretched far outside your comfort zone. Show up anyway.
3) Lean in — even when it’s awkward. Beautiful relationships never happen without awkward moments. Invite that person over, even if you don’t know what you’ll find to talk about for an hour. Volunteer to serve at church or go to that event, even if you don’t know anyone. It will be awkward. Expect it to be. But the more you lean in to people and relationships despite the awkwardness and show up anyway, the more chances there are that you are going to begin to develop deeper relationships.
Thank you, Jamie & Lauren, for loving me so well and teaching me so much about friendship. For believing the best about me. For pursuing me — even when I wanted to self-protect and had believed lies about how, “I’m not good at relationships.”
Thank you for letting me show up just as I am. For speaking the truth to me when I need to hear it. For making me laugh until I cry. For listening to me vent. For walking with me through heartbreak and devastating news. For constantly checking in on me and caring about me. And for helping me to begin to believe that I’m capable of being a really great friend.
Thank you for being the answer to many, many prayers I’ve had for real, authentic relationships.
If you’ve followed me online and seen a difference in my life this last year, these two played a big role in that and I wanted to publicly acknowledge them even though they are going to probably going to send me dagger eyes for sharing this picture of our waterfall hike yesterday! ?
Note: There are a few others of you out there who deserve a similar post and have played just as big of a role on this journey. (You know who you are!)
I sat with someone a few weeks ago as she told me she didn’t have anything to offer. Her life was too messy, too broken, too in shambles.
What did she have to bring to the world? She felt like no one would want her brokenness. No one would want to hear from her or want her to be in their lives until she got her life in better order.
And that’s the lie that so many believe. That unless our lives are shiny and organized, we should just just sit down and shut up.
But as I told this woman: You will likely impact many more people by sharing your journey right now, right in the middle of the messy, than you ever will if you wait until you feel like you are put together enough.
None of us have cracked the code on perfection. All of us are cracked. And that’s how the light inside can shine out.
Don’t wait to be polished and put together to start reaching out, developing relationships, volunteering, serving, sharing your story, and loving people well.
You have a lot to bring to the world and to bring to relationships and to make an impact on others right as you are… bumps, bruises, scars, wounds, brokenness and all.
The world needs people who are willing to show up just as they are. Who will say, “I feel like I don’t have a lot to offer, but here’s what I have and I want to freely share it.”
2018 Goals Update
1. Read 100 non-self-help books that will build me up/encourage me/inspire me/recharge me. (Fiction/story-driven/biographies/inspirational living books/devotionals.) See the list of 44 books I plan to read this year.
**Progress: 30 books read so far this year
2. Read through the entire Bible.
**Progress: I’m using the Robert Murray M’Cheyne plan and am all caught up— yay!
3. Write one handwritten note to someone every week.
**Progress: 28 notes written so far this year
4. Run 500 miles.
**Progress: 260 miles run so far
5. Go on an overnight trip with Jesse without the kids.Jesse and I went to NYC together in January.
6. Read 10 books aloud with the kids.
**Progress: I’ve finished one book so far and we’re over halfway through another book. (I have a plan for how we’re going to incorporate more reading into our schedule once school starts and we’re all driving in the car to school dropoffs every morning. For now, I’m just happy that we’re fitting in a little family reading a few times per week when we’re all in the car together driving to the pool or somewhere else. Something is better than nothing, right??)
7. Take the kids to South Africa.
**Progress: We just left yesterday on this trip!
8. Go on a family road trip.
**Progress: We’ve been researching some options for this. Stay tuned!
9. Save up to pay cash to finish off an office for me and workout room for Jesse and me in the basement in our new house.
**Progress: The workout room is DONE and we’re starting on the office!
10. Replenish our Emergency Fund (we dipped into it to replace my car when it got totaled because of the carpet beetle infestation.)
11. Increase our gross income from the business by 8%.
12. Launch 5 new courses.
**Progress: We launched 4 Weeks to a More Productive Life launched in January, Content Creation 101 in February, 4-Week Blog Coaching Program in March, Email List Setup 101 in March, Make Over Your Mornings LIVE in April, the Facebook Live Masterclass in May, and we launched Build Your List 101 in June!