Today marks three weeks into 2017. At this point, many of our resolutions and 21-day challenges have come to an end. Motivation may be dwindling to stick to that running regime or whole foods diet as the reality of the morning alarm, kids’ basketball practice schedules, and office birthday cake abound.
A new year is always filled with such hopes, goals, and aspirations that for many of us fall by the wayside after a few weeks.
Trust me, I get it. It’s easy to stay settled into our routine and not push ourselves to take on whatever goal we hoped to tackle this new year.
But today, I’m here to encourage and refresh y’all. To put a little pep in your resolution step, if you will. To remind you that it’s not too late to get back on the wagon, to get back with your program, or dive back into whatever project you planned on starting this new year.
And I’m here to remind y’all that we can work to refresh one another and spur one another on in love and support. After all, that’s what we’re called here to do.
Like most of y’all, I’ve settled into this new year with a wobbly yet present grip on a resolution.
I usually don’t try to box myself into a program like trying a certain diet for 30 days or losing 10 pounds. I try to look a little more long-term with my goals.
Like I always do every January, I take a hop back from my life and evaluated all aspects of my life, specifically my health. I usually go through a little checklist (because I LOVE lists) something like this:
I consider how things have gone for me in these areas and look for ways to improve upon them. I also thoughtfully consider areas in which I’ve shown growth over the past year, which is so important to acknowledge and celebrate the victories we’ve made in our lives.
In terms of physical health, I know I could work on having more whole foods-based breakfasts, so, whalah, that is one of my resolutions. While there is still one or two mornings a week I grab an RX or Quest bar and apple to devour at my desk, I’ve already improved my breakfasts significantly with loads of hard-boiled eggs, chicken sausages, quiches, and yogurt+nut butter bowls.
In terms of my spiritual health, I know one area I could improve upon is my outreach. Don’t worry, y’all, I’m not planning on packing up and flying to sub-Saharan Africa. Rather, I want to be more intentional about being a source of soul refreshment to those around me at work, at church, and in my neighborhood.
Now, before I am able to work on this area, I had to do a little soul refreshment on myself. Just a few weeks ago, I shared with y’all how frighteningly lonely I felt letting my husband return to D.C. to continue and complete his work on the Inaugural Committee. For a few days, I really spent some quality time with God, having some honest conversations with Him about my priorities and reflecting on how I’d let productivity falsely become a barometer of my self-worth.
In order to receive Him more fully, I had to (and still continue to) acknowledge my insufficiencies and faults. I had to fall at His feet. Find rest in Him. Let His love pour over me like healing water.
Like Jesus says in Matthew 11, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves.”
Now that I am finding my rest, I’m feeling ready and eager to share it with others.
As I mentioned last week, you never know what a different a kind note, a quick text of scripture, or a plate of homemade muffins can do to lift someone’s spirits. And that is why I’m making that one of my goals for this year: to be a glass of life lemonade to others.
After all, God has brought us here for two reasons: to love Him and to love others. He didn’t bring us here to make as much money as possible or to have the most organized house on the block or be the teacher of the year. He’s called us, as Jesus reminds us in Luke 10, to love one another, to love our neighbor.
Loving your neighbor can be taken literally to the people who reside beside, behind, in front of, and across from you. Yet it can also be interpreted as intentionally reaching out to those a little different from you, those in need of a supportive hand, a listening ear, a gentle heart.
So my challenge to myself and to y’all is to really examine your neighborhood, literal or not. Consider the people around you. God is soverign, and He has placed certain people in your daily life- at work, in your neighborhood, in your kids’ rec league- to guide your ministry.
It is not by coincidence that we work and live and play and worship beside the people we do. Every person around us matters, and God has so much more in store for us if we show His love to them through our actions and interactions.
We are able to offer healing and refreshment to the world around us because we know and come from the Healer and Refresher of Souls.
Jesus came and saved me so I could go forth and serve His purpose and love on others.
This week, think of one person you could reach out to that you normally wouldn’t. Maybe it’s just introducing yourself to a nameless neighbor on your block. Maybe it’s intentionally seeking out a coworker that isn’t exactly your favorite. Or perhaps it’s going a random act of kindness for a stranger like paying for their meal or helping them carry groceries.
Never underestimate the power of your acts and words of kindness and love in this world.
And please let me know if I can be a source of this refreshment to YOU! Yes, you my friend. Whether it is nutrition advice or fitness tips or a prayer request, I'm joyfully here for you! Leave me a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Today’s Prayer: Father God, you are my soul satisfaction, my soul refreshment. You are my rest, and I praise you for the living water you provide. Allow me to live now and move me to love and serve and invite soul refreshment into the lives of those around me. Make me aware of how I can love and spread positivity today and this week. Let me love as you love and serve as you serve. In your name, amen.
Healthy Happy Texan
I'm a Foodie, Fitness Instructor, and Follower of Christ. Add a passion for teaching others, dark chocolate, bacon, and dogs -- and that's me in a box.
Come on, let's live a little!