- Keep walking - I had a difficult start in 2016. My plate was not only full but adversities knocked on my door often. I was blessed to run the Chevron Houston Marathon in the beginning of the year and the key strategy was just to keep going, walk and not stop. That was totally a mirror image of the beginning of the year. I learned that quitting is not an option. Perseverance doesn’t come unless we choose to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
- Surprise gifts - Generosity rises from unlikely places. Every year, as many parents in America, we fundraise for our children’s causes. I was pleasantly surprised to see how many strangers joined us in our causes. The people I often expect to help us with this project did not but God provided givers. I’m thankful and I want to do the same for others.
- Look for refreshment - some opportunities are just irresistible. I am yet to write in detail about how many already busy people agreed to take on another task and found out God arranged a promotion through their act of obedience. I received much needed spiritual refreshment as I said yes to God and drove to Connect 2016, a women’s conference in Houston. I was in dire need of a touch from God and He didn’t disappoint. I learned that it is during tough and busy seasons that I should say yes to God, even if it seems like an infringement on my boundaries.
- Worthy Investments - I don’t think that Zeke and I are “all or nothing” people. We have a tendency to take things slow and stay consistent in our chosen path. This year I noticed that we invested in ourselves a little more and we found it worth it. These were not huge, all or nothing investments. We just decided that we were old enough to try new things in a different level. Whether business, marital or personal, investments are great because they help us become better versions of ourselves.
- Making Memories - I’m not a “Disneyland mentality” parent but I am aware that every day I am helping make and solidify my children’s memories. Now that a lot of my brain is free from changing multiple diapers, I find that there’s room for planning memories. I am a natural planner so this habit comes easy and it makes me very happy. I found myself thinking ahead and choosing what types of family memories we wanted and planning from there. I’ll keep this good habit going for sure.
- Wants Needs - I’m finding amusing how my life parallels my children’s. One of them is learning about wants vs. needs and so am I! I learned that sometimes, what you want is not what you need. I had to go through the hard lesson on getting what I wanted (several times) just to find out it was not what I needed. I’ve had that lesson before, you may know them as internships. In my experience, internships are great ways to figure out what you’re getting yourself into when it comes to your profession. As an adult, these lessons do not stop, if you are open to them. I walked through a lot of what feels like internships this year. I am keeping these lessons close to my heart. Nothing was wasted because they were learning opportunities. What I wanted was not always what I needed. Those lessons may also be preparation for a future assignment.
- Healing Words - it is wise to identify and connect with people who can offer healing words to your wounded spirit. For my super spiritual friends, I learned this after I prayed, fasted and read my Bible in a year. I have learned that this natural body needs some natural things (such as healing words) to aid the hurts that happen to my human spirit. Facebook is the worse place to find such words. One must be face to face with a safe, gifted person in that area. I have identified my Christian Counselor as such person. I went through a tough season in life and I just needed a listening ear, wise counsel and healing words. Those healing words were the balm that I needed. They affirmed what I was feeling and somehow, those words freed me to pursue what’s next. I also have friends I see face-to-face who offer me healing words.
- Buy your own Flowers - I have learned to buy my own flowers. I have always loved flowers and I am blessed to have roses outside of my home. This year I solidified my resolve that I am capable of putting flowers, bread and cheese in the same grocery cart. I don’t know whose idea this was but I am glad they put flowers in the front part of the produce section. I’m faced with all that beauty and I am compelled to take the flowers of my choice home. My kids finally stopped asking who gave them to me and why I bought them. My standard answers were, “I like fresh flowers” and “flowers add so much beauty to our home.” Flowers are especially useful in difficult seasons. Not those seasons where everyone is updating everyone else about your hardship on social media, but those that only you and God know about. Flowers are also special in everyday living when there’s nothing major going on. I choose to believe that flowers secretly reveal beauty beyond measure. They reveal the majesty of their Author and Creator. I can always use such visual reminders.
• Read Part 2 here
Previously in this series: