One of my favorite things is the way God is always revealing His Truths and His goodness to us. I like to think He has a sense of humor, and more importantly, a love that abounds abundantly.
Over the past couple of weeks I have been reflecting on the many revelations, lessons, and laughs the Lord has blessed me with in my 21 years of living. I have so much more to learn, but I am grateful for the many things the Lord continues to open my eyes and my heart to.
Here are 21 of the things The Lord has been showing me:
1. No season is ever wasted. The rains and storms that we endure bring renewal and water the seeds that The Lord planted long before we began to wonder how He'd bring them to fruition. The seasons of drought bring us hope for what is to come and help us to appreciate the abundance that is right around the corner. And, flowers grow where there is love and light and grace, in the presence of our loving Father.
2. Nobody's perfect. May we be willing to give ourselves and others grace often.
3. God is so good. He orchestrates beauty in ways I never could've imagined and far exceeds my expectations every time. Thank you, Lord.
4. Hand-picked. Intricately designed. So incredibly loved - that's you and me. This year has brought a newfound appreciation for the quirks and uniqueness in each of God's children. I am so incredibly loved, and so are each of you.
5. Grace and peace. I can't say I've mastered these two, but we sure have come a long way. I've learned to give myself grace on the days I fall short of expectations that I pursued wholeheartedly because my shortcomings don't diminish my determination, and they don't define me. I've learned to dwell in a spirit of peace because my God is good. I know this to be true. My peace is found in Him.
6. A lot of hate in the world stems from ignorance. May we have the courage to ask questions, expand our understanding, and humble ourselves. There is so much to learn, and these battles can be fought with an open mind and a heart that is willing to love regardless.
7. Changing the world has always been a dream of mine, but each day doesn't have to look like breaking records, nationwide broadcasts, and ginormous acts of bravery. But, I am changing the world in little ways - showing up with the right attitude and the right joy, taking time to love and encourage, and striving to live a life that brings God glory in all things. We can change the world in small acts of goodness as well of grand acts of greatness.
8. In our quests to make moments and situations perfect, I've found that some of the most beautiful memories occur when we allow them to be what they are - messy, unscripted, and far from perfect, but also so incredibly wonderful.
9. It's the little things - the fresh friendships that turn into lifelong pals, working relentlessly in the pursuit of the things that ignite the fire within you, and the simple joy of being seen and heard as we all strive to figure things out. I am grateful for these little blessings.
10. Confrontation can be scary, but even more than that, it is necessary. Healthy relationships need confrontation (through constructive criticism, honesty, and humility) for accountability, growth, and grace.
11. As I was walking to work the other day, I noticed that my steps weren't as quick as they usually are. This is coming from the girl who is often speed walking from place to place, without fully realizing it. But, what I realized on this slow and steady walk is that we miss a lot of goodness sprinkled along the path when we're in a rush to arrive at our destination. You can't reach the summit without enduring the climb, so may we use these instances as opportunities to slow down, smell the flowers, and open our eyes to what God has in store for us, each (slow and steady) step of the way. Enjoy the journey.
12. ALL things work out for our good and His glory. Not some things. Not most things. All things.
13. People are different, and that can make some situations difficult. We all have a variety of gifts, faults, means of processing information, and responses to life. And, that's okay. Perhaps this is our opportunity, though challenging, to step outside of ourselves and into the shoes of others in order to understand that we're not always right, we don't all think the same, and we can still live harmoniously even after realizing these distinctions.
14. I have become increasingly mesmerized by the beauty that can be found in the stories of others. Not once have I regretted taking the time to listen to the journeys of others, sharing in their triumphs and challenges, and appreciating how far we've come. Never forget how moving and inspiring your story could be.
15. Words. They're powerful, too. Choose yours carefully; choose words that speak life.
16. Growth is something we can't view all at once. It is a slow and steady process. But, when we look back, we see how far we've come, and that provides hope for all the growing we have yet to experience.
17. It's okay to not always be right. Sometimes I'm so convinced that I've got a situation all figured out, but God has a funny way of humbling us when we fail to peer outside the lines and our own perspectives. It's okay to be wrong, to admit it, and to give yourself grace to grow from it. I'm finding that more often than not, there's more to the situation than we originally anticipate - but what a blessing it is to be inquisitive and creative beings who have plenty of room for learning and growing.
18. Ask. If you don't ask, you won't know. May we be bold but also tender-hearted when we go to others with these questions and concerns.
19. There is a certain point where we all have to stand up, be honest in our areas of weakness, and take the first step towards making things right. You can't make excuses for other people, but you can love them as they figure things out.
20. Be the one. The one who asks how others are doing and stands by their side as they push through life's obstacles. The one who stands up for what is right and speaks up for those who can not. The one who cares, the one who loves, even when you are the only one.
21. Love. It's the reason we are here, small parts of a plan and a purpose much greater than ourselves. It's written all over the stories of our lives; this much I know to be true.
Thank you for taking the time to read a few of the revelations, lessons, and laughs that I felt compelled to share with you all. I am grateful that we serve a God who is always willing to guide our hearts and love them so perfectly. Thank you, Lord.
Blessings and hugs,