Childlike Anticipation for Life

So, I obviously have a thing for headpieces. 

I wouldn't have known that a few years ago. 


Because I was too afraid to try anything "outside the norm."

But who/what defined normal for me?

Well, it surely to goodness wasn't me, I can tell you that. 

I fell into the trap of people pleasing... while surrounded by people who could never be pleased.

It wasn't until I said "goodbye" to them, that I could finally say "hello" to the Kristi that had been hiding out for 20+ years!

During a conversation with a friend today, showing off their new fabulous accessories, they asked me, "Did you feel just a deeper sense of authenticity when you did something simple like this?"

Yes, my friend. YES!

(We both came from a hard, (overall) legalistic group that frowned upon all the things... so we connect on a level most people could never understand.)

And in that moment, I felt 22 all over again. That shy, insecure, paranoid, lonely, confused, but FREE kid that was starting life all over. 

How a head wrap can bring such joy, I'll never fully know. But I accept that. I'm just forever grateful that I busted through the box I felt trapped in and learned to embrace grace, joy, and childlike anticipation for life again.

Oh, and me. I learned to love me. Turns out, I'm pretty cool. 😉

Fully Known, Fully Loved

"You are good enough. Actually, you're probably overqualified. But let's start the day off humble."

Man, oh man, has it been a journey to gain some self-confidence! Am I the only one?

When your first 22 years of life are full of unrealistic expectations, unfair opinions, limited opportunities, and lack of supporters... geez! It. Is. Work.

11 years later, and I still cry to my therapist on the regular. 

Nonetheless, the last couple of years have been life-changing, as I've learned where my value comes from. Or shall I say, from Whom it comes.

My identity is in Christ. I am who He says I am... so no other opinion matters. No other voice gets to contradict that.

It's a crazy thing, how my desperate need for Him is the very thing that strengthens my confidence. He truly does work in mysterious ways!

I guess it's because He knows me... the best parts and those places I want to hide from the whole world... and He still wants me. He still loves me unconditionally. In fact, He thought I was worth enough to die for.

He died for all. But He would have died for one, too. He would've died for just me. Just you.

Being known and loved so much by the Creator of the universe can only cause one to hold their head up high while keeping their arrogance down low. 

"It's so unusual, it's frightening
You see right through the mess inside me
And You call me out to pull me in
You tell me I can start again
And I don't need to keep on hiding
It's so like You to keep pursuing
It's so like me to go astray
But You guard my heart with Your truth
A kind of love that's bulletproof
And I surrender to Your kindess
I'm fully known and loved by You
You won't let go no matter what I do
And it's not one or the other
It's hard truth and ridiculous grace
To be known, fully known, and loved by You"
-- Tauren Wells -- 

Explanations and Excuses

Hey, friend!

I used a quote today that my former boss once shared with me: "Know the difference between explanations and excuses."

I'll never forget the first time I heard that... and I think of it often. Not only has it helped me give grace to some and set boundaries with others, but it's also caused me to challenge myself in every situation.

There are days I just don't feel like "doing the work..." and that's totally okay. But, at some point, if I want to grow and achieve the goals in my life, I have to be aware of the moment my explanations morph into excuses.

It's not always easy. I don't always pay close enough attention to my own motivation, or lack thereof, to make a long-lasting effective decision... but eventually, I kick my butt into gear. 

I'm such a huge promoter and advocate of self-care, self-worth, self-love, etc... but sometimes the best method for each of those things requires us to get uncomfortable.

Don't ever be hard on yourself... just do whatever it takes to be the best version of you that you can be... even if it starts off a little difficult.

I can't be that me without Him, that's for sure. And I'm forever grateful for the amazing connections He's placed in my life to help me grow!

What are You Looking at?

"When your values become clear to you, making decisions becomes easier." - Roy E. Disney

Just like this picture, sometimes I'm not looking at what's right in front of me. I'm distracted by something going on in the distance. 

That used to mess with me. I felt so "bad" for missing "it."

It wasn't until I started learning how to break free of expectations, that I discovered that there was this creative side of me that longed for the uncentered. 

I've been "in church" nearly all of my life. I've been absolutely in love with Jesus for the last few years... because I learned that He was the very thing that was in the distance trying to grab my attention.

I was so focused on rules: wearing the "right" clothes, listening to the "right" music, reading the "right" books, hanging with the "right" people, going to the "right" places... I didn't have the time or energy to just be a person looking at and loving Him.

Man, oh man. How my life has changed since I looked off to the side and saw a Savior who loved beyond measure.

There's a peace and joy I have now that I truly cannot explain. All I got? He works miracles.

And no, I don't have a perfect life that makes all that easy. I was a child of divorce, molestation, judgement... I grew up and dealt with hurtful and opinionated people surrounding me. I've been rejected by friends and family. My husband and I still struggle with unexplained infertility.

But y'all. I am so happy!

I trust my life to the One Who knew me before He formed me.

And now that I know He is what I'll focus on all the days of my life... the pressures of decisions, simple and hard, is gone. My load is a light one, since I've asked Him to carry it.

And I know when I face something that leaves me paralyzed, He'll carry me.

What are you focusing on today? Whatever it is, look off into the distance just a bit, and see Him waiting for you.

You are loved, my friends!