2016 has left me staring at the pieces, puzzled by how to begin putting them back together.
These are the things encouraging my tired soul:
This song is on repeat, the entire album has become the soundtrack of this season. It has inspired not one, but two tattoos you’ll see on my arms soon. Listen, close your eyes, turn off your anxious thoughts, and listen--it will change the course of your day.
This verse has kept my heart beating.
"Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
“Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted,
I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise,
your foundations with lapis lazuli.
I will make your battlements of rubies,
your gates of sparkling jewels,
and all your walls of precious stones.
All your children will be taught by the Lord,
and great will be their peace.
In righteousness you will be established:
Tyranny will be far from you;
you will have nothing to fear.
Terror will be far removed;
it will not come near you.
If anyone does attack you, it will not be my doing;
whoever attacks you will surrender to you.
“See, it is I who created the blacksmith
who fans the coals into flame
and forges a weapon fit for its work.
And it is I who have created the destroyer to wreak havoc;
no weapon forged against you will prevail,
and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
and this is their vindication from me,”
declares the Lord."
My (pretty amazing) boyfriend made this for me for Christmas to remind me of who I truly am on the days when it would feel SO easy to believe lies.
This right here is my mama. She is the strongest, most courageous woman I know. She is my best friend, biggest advocate, and walking through this hand in hand with her has made all the difference. Proud to be her daughter.
Self Control. I wanted to end on something with a bit of a sharper edge. When things get hard it can be very easy to justify bad behavior. Overeating, being late for work, being snappy with those you love, having one too many cocktails. But what glory I have felt in saying no. I have slipped many times to be sure, but my heart's desire is to not use my pain as an excuse. Being rude, sinning, and veering off course from my goals will only make the heart weaker. Instead, I am attempting to use my pain to strengthen my heart, to say, in the midst of this I will continually be my best self, love better, work toward those things I hope for, and try for selflessness. May this pain not leave me feeling entitled and enable bad decision making but leave my heart well able to traverse the steepest slopes and not stumble.