YEAR 22 🌷
Last week I turned 22. Every year on my birthday, at the end of the night, I love to sit up in bed with a cup of tea and write… write a list of things that I’m grateful for. With every year, the list becomes longer and sweeter as the pages of my book become fuller than the last. Each year, yankee candle burning, I scribble my way into the night and into my next year of life. Embracing the end of one chapter and warmly welcoming in another, I want to share with you some of my ‘forget-me-nots’ – the seemingly insignificant words that, in time, came to shape and form the course of my 2017. These little words have mostly been jotted into my journal or typed onto my iphone notepad in simple everyday moments whilst in conversation, walking home, listening to music or reading a good book. In fact, these notes have actually developed into heart discoveries for me – foundational truths, encouragements and ‘wake up’ moments that have brought me through one year and into the next. These words, meaning one thing to me, I hope will mean something fresh and new to you.
“When life gives you lemons… 🍋”
🌷Grow through all that you go through. Use every experience as a vessel for progression, as food to flourish, as power to propel you forward. Let each experience enrich and enhance your character and your life. Allow both the beautiful and the ugly to be used for goodness, as an opportunity to help you grow (sure and steady, tall and strong, healed and whole). No experience is ever wasted – let it birth something new, something good and something sweet in you (make yourself some lemonade).
🌷Embrace uniqueness through and through, it’s a good thing, the best thing.
🌷When things in your world get harder, let your heart grow softer. When things around you are getting colder, let your heart heat up. Grow it, shape it for sensitivity. Remain deeply compassionate, empathetic and tender. The one who has been loved much, loves much so don’t only love when it’s easy to. In the same way, the one who has been forgiven much, forgives, much so don’t only forgive when it feels easy to.
🌷Cultivate gratitude and contentement in your day to day. Give up the idea that happiness is somewhere else or it’ll never be where you are. Seek the beauty and notice the good. This will change your perspective, and perspective is 🔑 .
🌷Don’t forget about those dreams – the things that you love to do, the things that excite you and stir you up are connected to your purpose. Get proactive with your passions: exercise, practice and water your gifts. Dreams are awakened and revived the moment that capacity is realized.
🌷Everything is (and will be) made beautiful in it’s time.
🌷”Whatever you believe on the inside will manifest on the outside”.
🌷There’s beauty in vulnerability and transparency. Adopt these qualities and get real with your circle and your community – it’ll bring you (and others) freedom, I promise.
🌷Favourite word of the year: Beloved [noun, one who is loved much. Synonyms include true love, loved one, treasured one, dear to the heart and heartbeat]. The word originates from the Greek agapetos (aka agape, the highest form of love which embraces a universal, persisting, without condition, ‘you first’ kind of love). Transcending circumstance, it’s the love that labels us as ‘beloved’ and I’ve been thinking, if I’m going to be marked by anything in life, I want to be marked by love. The nature of God’s love is all-inclusive, kind and promise-keeping. I think it’s hard to grasp and understand a love this radical, but I know that it’s real. The bible actually tells us that He will not pass us by nor change His mind about us. Romans 11:29 says “For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable, for He does not withdraw what He has given, nor does he change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call”. The love of God includes you, notices you, persists for you. In fact, it’s irrevocable.
🌷Favourite verse of the year: “You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed and placed and purposefully planted you, so that you would go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit will remain and be lasting, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name, as my representative, He may give to you” John 15:16.
🌷Don’t choose the lesser life or the smaller life – live your best, fullest and freest life (this will look and feel like something different for all of us). Don’t settle for mediocrity or easy comfort.
🌷A powerful rule to live by: Decide today that trouble will not throw you, break you, scare you or shake you. Sometimes we have to make decisions and declarations before our hearts and our emotions catch up with us. Don’t feel strong today? It doesn’t matter. Declare and decide that you are and that you will be.
🌷Share what you’ve learnt, share what you know – it’s not just for you. Use your resources to liberate and empower others.
🌷God completes everything he begins (yeah, everything).
🌷It’s not enough to talk about the old stories. God is doing a new thing – get excited!
🌷Embrace joy. Laugh, be silly, be spontaneous, enjoy the unexpected and relish the unpredictable.
🌷There is more. There is always more. Go deeper, stretch further, learn more, grow more, adventure more, challenge more, risk more, build more, create more. You can do more than you know and there is more ahead of you than you know.