you shouldn’t live in anticipation

“How rare and beautiful it is to even exist.”

I am a creature of anticipation. I love looking forward to things. Growing up, I had a white board that was almost entirely used for counting down to different events like Christmas and birthdays and vacations. I would sit in impatient anticipation and ride the emotional high of waiting for this future event that I expected to be SO exciting.

I sometimes forget to enjoy today and appreciate it instead of just wanting tomorrow to get here already.

In my now, I’m in a really good relationship that is possibly going places. I have to remind myself that being in the honeymoon phase–where we haven’t even had a fight or we don’t know very many of each other’s flaws–is not something I should rush through.

Don’t wish away today by waiting for tomorrow. You are always in the now and if you’re always living for tomorrow, you will never experience your now.

Ask these questions for me. What is happening now that is good and irreplaceable? What about today will never happen again?

How many times have you arrived at an event you have been anticipating (like the release of a new Star Wars movie–am I right?!) and said, “I can’t believe this day is finally here!”? Maybe the fact that July is TOMORROW is insane to you–wasn’t it just January? Where did the beginning of 2017 go and how can it possibly be summer already?

Life is a process and the “end” result should not be your whole game plan. What about all of those hundreds of days in between? We blaze through them because they’re just our everyday life. They aren’t as important as what we’re anticipating. We just have to make it through the work week–can I get an amen? Until we want to look back through our rose-colored nostalgia glasses and wish we could go back in time.

Whether you are waiting on a move, vacation, marriage, kids, or any number of life changing events, pause. Right now. Today. In this moment where you are living and breathing. What is happening right now that will never happen again? What about this season of life will you never get to experience again? What about today is good?

Celebrate your now.
Don’t rush through your life.
“How rare and beautiful it is to even exist.”

Until next time,

Jamie

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Unwanted. Unloveable.

The other day my coworker said something that really hit me.
She named my emotions, and I immediately felt like crying.  It made what I was feeling understandable, relatable, and easier to conquer.  Names are powerful.

Unwanted.
Unloveable.

Both are, of course, wildly untrue.
But does that stop us from feeling that way?  Of course not.

Ladies, I have had men choose their careers instead of me, or choose women who are extremely similar to me, or just flat not choose me.  I have been cheated on, lied to, led on, and all around treated like no person should be treated.  And it always sucks, to feel Not Chosen.

I wish we could shake men awake and tell them to be honest, with us and with themselves.  But you can’t make someone have a good heart.  You can’t make someone want to be in your life.  You can’t make someone love you. Even if you choose the Right Guy who is good and loving and caring and compassionate and Everything, it still doesn’t mean that he will choose you.  And that’s okay–he doesn’t have to, even if we want him to.  But it still sucks.

Waking up alone.  Grocery shopping alone.  Paying bills alone.  Dealing with sudden emergencies alone.  Living alone.  Spending your evenings alone.  Driving alone.

People invite you places.  You invite other people places.  Your family includes you in things.

But you still go home alone.  And in your darkest moments the men who didn’t choose you are like bright red tally marks in your mind.

“Rejection steals the best of who I am by reinforcing the worst of what’s been said to me.” -Lysa TerKeurst

So what do we do?  When these dark moments and rejection and unreasonable feelings of being Unwanted and Unloveable take over?

Don’t let your list of rejections make you accept the love you are offered if it isn’t the love you deserve.  Been there, done that.

Instead, take the time and put the effort into falling in love with yourself.  Just like you would with any relationship, invest in yourself.  Take your own hot self on a date!  Get yourself in that headspace that says you are worth it.  That you are valuable.  That you are lovable.  That the people who didn’t choose you are missing out.  Stop thinking, “Why am I not enough?” and start thinking, “It’s too bad they aren’t smart enough to choose me.”

“Be strong.  Be brave.  Be fearless.  You are never alone.” -Joshua 1:9

If you can love the wrong people so much, imagine what loving and being loved by the right person will be like.  Love yourself enough to recognize your value.  Other people’s opinions don’t really matter.  God’s got you.

 

Until next time,

Jamie

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be a light for others

I tried to write this as a tweet today but I had way too many words and way too few characters.

If today you lose your hope and you feel all alone, don’t isolate yourself.  Talk to someone.  Whether it is a friend, a leader, or a professional–anyone.  You’d be surprised how many people have been through the same things.  Even in your darkest place, having someone who will hear you, listen, and love is irreplaceable.  Embrace what you are going through and allow it to mold you.  Even on the worst days, when you want to run from your pain, there is purpose, and you will feel it eventually.

I will never stop preaching that everything happens for a reason.  It becomes more evident and more true for me every single day.  In my worst moments, I don’t feel good for anyone, and that’s okay.  I probably shouldn’t help people when my cup is empty and when my brokenness is all-consuming.

But friends, one day you will meet someone, or someone from your past will reach out to you, or a friend will say “my friend is going through such-and-such and I know that you did too, can you talk to them?”  It will just happen.  I say this so often–if you make yourself vulnerable, you might change someone’s life.  By putting yourself and your story out there, you have opened the door and given people permission to talk to you.  And I promise you that there is so much purpose in your journey and in your story, because helping just one person walk a similar path is worth it.

Our world is broken.  People are people and they make mistakes or they do terrible things.  Sometimes we’re the ones who have made those very mistakes or done those terrible things that have torn our own lives down.  Sometimes it’s someone who has done them to us.  And sometimes it’s illness, or death, or financial problems.  The list goes on.  Life is hard–for everyone.

If you are in the middle of your storm, talk to people.  If you know someone who has been through something similar, don’t be afraid to reach out to them.  It is okay to let people see you struggle.  We are not meant to do life alone.  Let other people help you carry your burden.

If you have weathered your storm, and if your story could help change people’s lives, what keeps you from sharing it?  No one is perfect, but none of us like to publicly admit that.  Whether it’s your mistake or someone else’s, we don’t like to admit to the flaws in our lives.  What would happen if you put your pride on the shelf and shared some of the struggles of your life?

Personally, I don’t like sharing what I have been through.  It gives me anxiety, it makes me relive past hurts, and sometimes I cry in front of people, which is one of my least favorite things to do.  It hurts my pride to say I’m divorced.  All of a sudden people look at me differently and judge whether or not I’m good enough.  It hurts my pride to tell people I have anxiety.  It’s a weird mental thing that people don’t really understand and I don’t want them to think I’m weak.

It is never easy for me to be vulnerable, or to share my story, because it is full of things I am not proud of.  But you know what makes that kind of beautiful?  That I have the courage to do it anyways.  I understand that I am NOT alone, but I also understand the devastating, isolating feeling of walking through a road of brokenness.  This is your journey, and your bad season, and your pain.  Even in a room full of people you can feel all alone.  If that is you, please understand that this season will pass.  The only promise in this life is that things will change.  Now is not forever.  Now will always change.

If you can’t see the end of the tunnel, reach out to someone to talk to.  And if you’ve already been through your tunnel, shine a light behind you to help someone else find their way out.  The feeling of freedom that comes at the end is breathtaking and we shouldn’t keep that to ourselves.

Until next time,

Jamie

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