A Reminder for the Weary Souls

Dear Weary Soul, 

I think you need to be encouraged. Maybe your life is busy. You have been running so hard for so long that you have forgotten how to stop. Maybe you are battling a terrible bout of anxiety. It seems as if you’ve fallen into a pit of despair and you can’t claw your way out of it. Maybe you are wracked by guilt. Your past mistakes haven’t been left in the past and shame has taken grace’s place in your heart. Whatever it is that has made your soul weary, I want to remind you that you are not alone and you have not been forgotten. 

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Grace, Not Perfection

I am, at my core, a perfectionist. This works to my advantage in the world of marketing: a world in which increasing an image's size by one pixel or adding a comma can mean the difference between releasing an "okay" advertisement and a winning one. My perfectionist spirit ensures that each email, brochure, or image that leaves my desk is without mistake. 

But in the real world, perfectionism is often what most entangles my soul. The voice of perfection accuses me of being "not ____ {good, smart, kind, patient, loving, etc.} enough." It accuses me of falling short, of being, well, not perfect. In the moments when I allow myself to hear this voice, I am always without grace for myself. I am so quick to "punish" myself for whatever it is that I have done imperfectly. 

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A Year of Renewed Hope

If I'm being honest with you, I gave up hope for awhile last year. Dreams I had been holding to tightly, things I had been faithfully believing for, were not panning out. And that hurt. I grew frustrated. Where was God? Was He not hearing me? Did he forget? Maybe these dreams I had were not really God-dreams? I thought it would be easier on my heart to stop hoping for things that had the potential to never happen. 

But it wasn’t. The hope and joy that normally propelled me forward disappeared and I was left instead with a mind muddled with fear and worry.

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Claim Your Joy

Life is sometimes such a struggle, isn't it? It can simultaneously feel as if the days are both never-ending and racing by far too quickly. As if you are are giving it your all and somehow, your all is not enough. Maybe you can clearly define your struggle. Or maybe it's elusive and you can't quite pinpoint why your heart is so tired. Friends, I have been there. I get it. 

Here is the thing that I'm learning in the midst of my struggles, in the midst of fears and anxieties and doubts: WE HAVE A CHOICE TO MAKE. We can choose to wallow in our weariness or we can choose to hold on tightly to our God-given joy.

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Love Intentionally

My dad regularly buys flowers for my mom "just because." He plans date nights and getaways for just the two of them. He daily writes her sweet notes. And he ends each day on his knees with her in prayer. My dad loves intentionally. His love is purposeful and planned. 

I'm coming to understand that true love is more than just loving another person when he or she randomly comes to mind. Rather, it is a commitment to continually remind the people in our lives that we care. To love intentionally is to love deliberately. It is a choice to put others before ourselves, to be selfless.

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