project 52–fifteen

FIFTEEN

We often fear the thing we want the most. 29662342_10156057130246145_4356320949398282981_o

What is it about fear? Why do we all have it? I remember being told that fear is a good thing. It keeps us on our toes and makes you think pretty hard about what you want and how to tackle it. So why does fear grow bigger when it is something we want more? The thought of losing it? The idea that we may not get what we desire most?

I say take that fear as a challenge. Listening to it will only help you determine what is most important. What is special. What is essential to you. The bigger the fear the more important it is to you.

Don’t shy away from your fear. Keep in tune with it and know how to read it. It may be telling you exactly what you need to hear.

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project 52–fourteen

FOURTEEN

If you don’t start, it’s certain you won’t arrive. 26114779_10155801591056145_789120976939981179_o.jpg

So many of us stop ourselves from things we want because we can’t talk ourselves into starting. The initial step forward is the scariest and the most committing and we sometimes don’t even begin.

I like to know details. I like to know all the different scenarios and possibilities before making a commitment. I like to know the good, the bad and the ugly before I make a decision on what I am going to do. I feel more prepared this way. Funny thing is, I know I can’t possibly know every detail and every possible outcome. And whether I like it or not, it is entirely possible that the end result could be something I never even considered or thought of. Because life is life. It does its own thing and there is only so much we can do to prepare for it.

So what is stopping you from getting to where you want to be? Is it simply just starting? I want you to go for the things you want most in life. To not be scared to make a start and pursue your dreams.

project 52–thirteen

THIRTEEN

Life’s precious moments don’t have value, unless they are shared. 29749381_10156070424881145_8055161916885288574_o.jpg

As far as I can tell I am raising three extroverted babes. Cam is so much like me. He says things sometimes that I remember saying to my parents when I was his age. The most common is, “what are we doing today?” He is always up for something. He doesn’t like to stay at home or “do nothing”. He constantly wants to be on the go. I remember this all to well…I was the same.

Thankfully, we have a big family! And our big family lives very close. So party it is! Or at least frequent get-togethers and play dates. Again, I remember this too. My cousins were, and still are, my best friends. And I want this for my babes as well.

It is so important to have people who love you surrounding you. It is an incredible thing to think back on memories and have this string of people who have always been there. These main people are such a big part of our life and I love that we have shared almost everything together. If we weren’t there together we definitely shared the experience with each other. They are apart of it all. They are our people.

 

project 52–twelve

TWELVE

I’ve learned that ultimately “takers” lose and “givers” win. img_5530.jpg

For the record, Emmy did not take this churro from anyone – she actually shared it very nicely with her cousin. 🙂

I’m a gift-giver. I find so much joy trying to think of the perfect gift for the right person. I like to take note of what people say they want or need so that I can have it up my sleeve for later use. I love giving something that the other person actually wants, needs, enjoys.

Many people have the assumption that if you are a gift-giver you actually like receiving as well. Not true for me. Don’t get me wrong, a nice gift doesn’t get turned away or unappreciated, but I don’t need it to feel loved or wanted. Some people do.

I’ve discovered that my love language to show love is gift-giving; however, I receive love a very different way.

Even though I am a gift-giver I think everyone gets a blessing from giving. There is something about helping someone or offering something free of charge to someone. No expectations. No obligations. Reciprocation not necessary. There is something beautiful about giving.

I hope that I raise you all to be givers. To be the people who want to care and show compassion for others. I want you to find joy in giving. Sometimes it is hard to give, especially when you think you deserve something in return or you can’t quite let it go. But giving always comes with a blessing. And when you give you will receive something much better in return.

 

project 52–eleven

ELEVEN

The best way to escape your problem is to solve it.DSC_7477

Can I just say that they grow up way too quickly? I know that everyone knows this and everyone tells you this…but you really don’t get it until it happens! Why?!

So let’s talk a little real talk. Let’s talk about problems. You’re going to have them. You’re going to run across them, trip over them, stumble on them all your life. And there will always be new ones when you think you just solved your last one. But you know what? If you want to solve them quickly then you must escape them. And in order to escape them you have to confront them. Face them head on with full force.

I just heard an awesome quote about problems not too long ago. I wrote it down like it was worth keeping. And you know what, it resonated with me a lot. And now I’m going to share with you…”The farther you push your problems under the rug, the more likely you will trip on it later and not remember why.” Truth! You can’t just put things on the back burner and hope they go away. The longer they sit there, piling up, internalizing, brewing, the more likely they will fester and grow into something much bigger and harder to handle. You have to face them. You have to get rid of them.

Having problems is inevitable. We will all struggle with one thing or the other. Keep perspective and know that confronting it and getting to the bottom of it are important when you want to escape them. And I’m always here to help you when you need it!

project 52–ten

TEN

The biggest lie on the planet: “When I get what I want I will be happy.”DSC_0107

Oh, my dramatic Emmy B. I just love how passionate she is about life! I think in this moment she just wanted to sleep…someone was very tired!

What is it you want in life? Is it a job? A home? A person to love? I will always support your goals and the things you want to achieve. But what I don’t want for you is to not be happy as you’re working towards them. If you think that you can’t experience joy through the journey then you are missing out!

It is a big lie if you think you can’t be happy until you get what you want. And it is even a bigger lie if you think you will be happy when you do get what you want. Happiness is something to experience every step along the way. Always strive for the things you want, but don’t lose out on the joy as you go through it.

And with all this being said, don’t wait for something good to come along just to find that you now need something else to work for. Know that happiness can be had in every moment. Look for it. Find it and hold onto it. Don’t let it slip through your fingers.

project 52–nine

NINE

Life is a journey, not a destination.

Loeffler-46

Sorry Tav, you technically are in this picture. Ha! We need some new ones though!

There are so many moments we tend to think “when this happens” or “when I get here” or “at the end of this”…mommy is here to tell you that this is life! This is the life you’re living – enjoy it! There are many moments to look forward to, I agree, but there is also something about enjoy the day-to-day things. The mundane things. The moment-by-moment things.

My biggest wish for you is that you will grow old, like 200, and look back on a life full of beauty and joy and fulfillment. A life so full of things you achieved, things you worked hard for, and things that knocked the socks off of everyone else. I want your lives to be full. Abundant! But the way to get there is to appreciate it all. All the moments that are shaping you and stretching you and molding you. Enjoy them. Learn from them. Soak them up and take them all in.

There is a little saying that goes “we can’t enjoy the rainbows unless it has rained”. Truth! How will we ever enjoy the beautiful moments if there aren’t ever any hard ones to compare them too? So embrace the good with the bad. The ugly with the beautiful. And the empty with the abundant. Enjoy the journey!

project 52–eight

EIGHT

You will never ‘have it all together’.26613783_10155823587351145_614571443_o

This one may take you awhile to believe me and I think that is a good thing….let me explain.

Life is all about taking what comes your way and dealing with it. Taking the joy that comes your way, taking hits, taking strides, taking time. Life throws and you catch. Life pushes and you stand firm. Life does what it wants and you have to accept and decide what you will do with it.

Thankfully this all comes gradually. You have one thing you will be mastering or conquering or getting past and you will be focused. You will be really set on doing this thing. You will count on relief and accomplishment when it is completed. And that is good! I want you to look forward to the things you are doing. But the truth is, life will throw something else your way. You will get to the end of whatever mountain you are climbing and another one is always in the distance.

This doesn’t mean that life always throws negativity. There will be joy and there will be success and achievement. However, even though there is happiness, there is still hard work! And life will continue to give you these things. Life will continue to give you things to work on and strive for and overcome. And you will do it! But it will never end. Be prepared for the next mountain and stay close to Jesus. He will always equip you with the things you need. Cling to Him in all things!

 

project 52–My Heart on My Sleeve

SEVEN

I will be here.

Hillari and Nathan-1128

Music was something so important to me on our wedding day. I spent months choosing the perfect songs for our day. From the song used for my bridesmaids to walk down to, all the way to which song would play as we cut our cake and waved goodbye to all our loved ones. I chose every one carefully – each one said exactly what I wanted it to.

Instead of using words as we exchanged rings with one another, I chose a song that was so meaningful. One that I could listen to in years to come and remember that moment and the commitment we made.

In light of Valentine’s Day and all the many declarations of love for others, I have been thinking a lot about love and marriage and what that means to me.

I believes that God sees a married couple as one body. There is no longer two hearts, but one.

I believe that when one person in the marriage falls, the other should pick up. If both are falling, how will you as a whole ever get back up?

I believe that marriage is a journey. And in every journey there are mountains and valleys. Everyone’s looks different. No one can look in and understand the journey like the two who are taking it.

The song I chose as we committed to one another says it all… I Will Be Here

I will be here. I will be here through it all. The ups, the downs, the craziness of life. When life gets hard and you can’t breathe. When life throws curveballs and you’re dodging them left and right. When life is good and easy and content.

I’m not going anywhere. I’m in this forever. I will be here.

 

project 52–six

SIX

When your ship comes in, make sure you are willing to unload it.

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Life will bring you opportunities that I want you to chase after. Just because something is harder to get doesn’t mean it isn’t for you. There are things in life that you have to work at – hard! So know what you want and go get it.

There will be times when things will come your way. Call it luck, happenstance, or a God thing – things will come your way and I hope you know what you want enough to know when this happens you will go for it.

Fight for what is yours and fight for what you love. Even if it’s work. The best things in life aren’t handed to you on a silver platter. And when working for them you will appreciate them more.

So when your ship come sin and something good comes your way, be willing to work at receiving it and know that you will be glad you did.