Last week on Instagram, I wrote about SEVEN WORDS over SEVEN DAYS with Hopewriters all over the world.
Before I share my seven day journey with you, take a few minutes to think about each of these words. You don’t have to write about them, but think about what memories, thoughts or stories form in your mind for each word. If you are having a hard time with this exercise, skip down below for a few helpful thoughts.
- Many of you are so busy that you haven’t given your mind a moment to freely swim through a thought that isn’t part of your daily tasks or responsibilities. Will you challenge yourself to take two minutes per word to freely welcome creative thoughts?
- Some of you are holding trauma, loss and grief in your heart and on your shoulders; so much so, that you may need an outlet to let it all drip out through a few tangible words. Will you grab a scrap of paper and write the first thought the comes to mind with each word?
- Some of you drown out the notion that your story, the good parts and the embarrassing, shameful parts, makes up the beauty of who you are. Perhaps a few words are the starting place you need to gracefully tell your story. Will you talk through each word transparently with a trustworthy friend?
- A few of you may even be physically ill. You are suffering. When health doesn’t carry you, not much else matters. Even in this weak state, embrace a few words of life. You will not be here forever. It’s okay to gently embrace dreams of the future and memories of the past. Will you draw an emoji or write a name or place next to each word as a reminder that life will be full again?
Below is my seven day journey. I choose transparency because I have learned that vulnerable community is the path to growth, freedom and healing. You can also check out the series on IG where I initially posted it.
Do you remember when you first found your VOICE?
During my senior year of HS, we watched a documentary on Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall who was a lawyer and civil rights activist. He was key in overturning laws that enforced racial segregation.
As I watched, justice rung loudly through me. I wanted to be whatever Justice Marshall was. That’s how I decided to become a lawyer.
So many years later, justice is a thread that runs through my life. Trafficking, poverty, foster care and at risk women and girls have been my causes. Thanks to the day I found my VOICE.
When did you first find yours?
Today’s @hopewriters writing challenge word is REFRESH & that was France 2018 for me.
10 days of cycling through the Valley of Loir & driving through Switzerland with no cell phones or a worry in the world (minus Eric’s monumental bike wipe out on the countryside).
It’s hard to unplug, even from the stuff we love the most. I’m not sure if it’s really possible without being half around the world without a phone! But, truly, I will continue to seek it out on the lounge chair in the backyard with my blanket and my books!
What REFRESHES you?
Today’s @hopewriters writing challenge word is STORY.
The STORY of this picture is a reunion of three women destined to be lawyers and best friends through two decades and counting.
This is our first reunion in 2014 after these two besties left me in Florida while they ventured off to new places with their families. Their leaving gifted me with the challenge of making brand new friends as a 30 something.
I often write and talk about friendship. Their leaving allowed me to share with new friends who they helped me become. These two taught me so much about loyalty, confidentiality, forgiveness and trusting your gut when your friend can’t verbalize her own needs.
Here’s to my STORY of friendship! I love you @natswitzerland & @chris_vargh@lifesations
Day 4: @hopewriters writing challenge word is REMEMBER
Unlike the other days, this caused a pause in my heart.
REMEMBER brings me to the things God has shown me that I’ll never forget.
🌸 I’ll be growing up for the rest of my life. Welcome with love the person I become as the seasons change.
🌸 Tears do stop. I just need some help with that sometimes.
🌸 Lay down the idol. Follow the path. Don’t look back.
🌸 Nothing is actually, really forever lost. Redemption is a promise. Graciously wait for it.
🌸 Whatever I can’t understand belongs in the hands of God, not mine. It’s better that way.
🌸 A mustard seed of hope is all we need. This little truth has carried me through my darkest days. Keep hope alive.
The beginning is exhilarating and scary. The end is bittersweet but exudes with confidence and closure.
But the MIDDLE.
Can’t go back. Can’t speed forward. Sometimes feels like quicksand. Sometimes like speed skating. Most of life is here. Many times over.
IN THE MIDDLE: May we embrace uncertainty with our best next step. May we settle into the still and move with the wind. May we not give up in the middle.
To all my sisters who know the MIDDLE all too well. Keep going, for the end of a thing is better than the beginning.
It’s never too late to ask yourself the QUESTION
What are you grateful for?
🌸 strength of my body to hold my mind and spirit
🌸 grace for when family get togethers go south
🌸 advice when I can’t make a decision
🌸 my son‘s recovery from shoulder surgery
🌸 transparency of my Bible study girls
🌸 leadership and kindness of Priya and Reuben
🌸 new friends like Diana
🌸 seeing my daughter find her voice
🌸 growing huge mushrooms in the wine fridge
🌸 gatherings at my home
🌸 reminders on my vision board to keep growing!
🌸 The joy of cooking for my family
🌸 the word of God pointing me forward
🌸 meeting wise women who care and love deeply
🌸 God’s creation of both day and night
🌸 learning how to sacrifice like my mom
🌸 learning to welcome changes
🌸 learning to let go instead of be stuck
🌸 loving God‘s path for me and nothing else
🌸 pouring out what I have been given
Last Day of @hopewriters writing challenge: PURPOSE
A few years ago, when I taught my first class in @kristingreep beautiful living room, my mom shared a vision with me.
A circle of women living in peace with their eyes set on their calling filled with assurance of who they are in Christ.
There have been some ups and downs the last few years when it comes to pursuing God’s purposes for my life.
I’ve learned wholeheartedly that the circle of women in my mom’s vision are the women right in front of me, all around me.
We don’t have to go far and wide to live out our purpose. We aren’t required to make a living from our purpose. But we do have to give it our all.
Purpose is a lot less about measuring success and outcome. Purpose is a lot more about knowing how much you are loved and then passing on that love in only the way you can.
May each of us follow our calling in only the way we can. 🙏🏼