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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

{Celebrate} The Things I Do

A gift that I have been given these past two months has been the space to reconnect with my self-awareness. I have learned that striving to be everything is a fruitless path. It dominates more than your time. Living without boundaries creates negative thoughts, bitterness, and generates behaviors that you don't recognize in yourself. The really great news is that I am neither the rescuer for other people nor all things. We are all created uniquely, by a perfect design, and with purpose. How incredibly freeing to know that we don't have to live everyone else's purpose? We only need to live out our own.

I am really not usually the girl who lacks a sense of self and clarity in purpose, but I was feeling a little like Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride, not knowing how I like to eat my eggs. Before I could start living from that center again, I needed some reflection to connect with what is me and what are the things I am doing for the approval of others. Naturally, I made lists - things I do and don't do.

First up, celebrating the Things I Do:

1. Pursue my relationship with God.
This is the foundation from which everything else is generated. It hasn't always looked that way, I've tried to run from or reject this at times, but it is my first, best, and most important relationship.

2. Appreciate when others help me.
My roommate made my bed the other day and I was so touched she took the time to do that act of kindness. I am the worst at asking for help, but I feel overwhelmed with appreciation when someone does something that adds support to my day.

3. Small, intimate gatherings.
I always try to convince myself that I enjoy shindigs of any size but I actually dislike large parties. I am more authentic when I host or attend more intimate gatherings that allow me to genuinely connect with those in attendance. At larger parties, I can usually be found creating a smaller setting with a group of people.

4. Experiences.
I find happiness in so many moments of my day because I treasure experiences and the process for arriving at them. There isn't much that I don't think of as moment to be savored. Sharing a meal at the table is one of my favorites.

5. Travel.
My wanderlust is serious. There are so many places to explore and people to know. Now, if only my budget could catch up!

6. Alone Time.
I love people and I have a threshold of time for being with people. It is either genetic or a learned behavior from my Momma. Either way, stealing away for a few minutes allows my mind to settle, recharges me, and lets me be present when I engage again.

7. Write.
Letters. Blog Post. Prayers. Lists. Notes. I write it all down. Storytelling fills my heart. I am thrilled when I receive written forms of communication. A used book with an inscription is like candy to me because I imagine story lines involving those people. And, I have a hard time parting with letters and my lectures notes from my favorite classes. Maybe I'll get paid to write someday.

8. Breakfast.
My favorite meal is breakfast. If every Saturday morning involved a leisure moment to sip coffee on the porch and have a full breakfast with people I love, I'd be delighted. I'll sneak in a breakfast experience any chance I get!

9. Nest at Home.
For all of my gallivanting ways, I sure love to be in my home, wherever that may be in the current season of my life. Days where I work on little projects and have leisure time at home (probably in my PJ's) balance me out. I always hope that I create a space where others feel like they are at home when they visit.

10. Learn and pursue work I am passionate about.
There are so many fascinating things out there to be learning about and doing. I wish I had time for all the ways I would serve my community or careers I would pursue. I don't have a master plan for how I want it all to look. My only hope is that I contribute my talents in the ways that I am led to.

11. Vote.
I turned in my voter registration paperwork on my 18th birthday which was the best present. Community and political engagement energize me. I can usually be found beside myself with excitement on election night as the results come in.

12. Invest in my relationships.
I have been blessed with a really great home team to do life with. Each season of my life has been filled with people I am so fortunate to know, love, and be in community with. I treasure these people.

13. Laugh when I cry.
If I start crying, I will also, usually, start laughing. I used to think it was embarrassing, but then I realized that it is a gift to know joy and hope in the midst of hard stuff. I hope that I use it to remain with people in their messiest moments.

When you strip away all of the supposed to's, what are the things that you do which help you to live out your gifts?

Next up? The Things I Don't Do!

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