EFFORTLESS WAVE

I’m obsessed with Pinterest. I love looking for ideas—ideas for my home, my yard, my wardrobe, my writing. You name it and I’ll find inspiration for it on Pinterest. Recently I was trying to get a certain look for my hair- I wanted a wave- a loose, effortless wave. I started looking on Pinterest for ideas. What’s the best tool? I’ve been using a flat iron to curl my hair but is a curling iron better? Maybe even a wand? All questions I really needed to know the answers to!

I started searching. Little by little, I found tools, tips and products, pictures and tutorials; basically everything I needed! Then it happened, I came across one specific post titled something like ‘Effortless Wave’. JACKPOT!! This is exactly what I needed, an effortless wave. I’m a busy woman, I have a lot going on and I don’t have a lot of time to spend on my hair so I need this! I NEEDED EFFORTLESS.

I clicked on the link and began to read through the steps.

  1. Wash your hair
  2. Blow dry your hair
  3. Add root volumizer
  4. Use a wand
  5. Separate your hair into sections
  6. Curl the mid-section (not the top, not the bottom, just the middle)
  7. Clip, pin and lift the curl.
  8. Spray the curl
  9. Shake the curl

Blah, blah, blah! This isn’t a beauty post so I’ll spare you the details, but the point is once I started reading one thing was evident; the effortless curl is anything BUT effortless. This bummed me out a little. I was really looking forward to finding the key, getting that flawless Kardashian curl without the stylist, extensions or team of people working to make me look great.

I really wanted that effortless curl but what I got was far more valuable.

When I got to the bottom of that post, reading less and less as I went on, skimming more and more out of pure frustration, I found this; I found that things aren’t always what they seem and if you want to see the prize, you have to commit to the process.

When I’m searching Pinterest or Instagram for ideas or inspiration, it’s really easy to see someone’s highlights and want it for myself. Why can’t I have the effortless beach wave? Why can’t I have that slim waist and flat stomach? Why can’t I have the nice car, clean house and perfect family? Why not?!

Why? Because things are always what they seem. What you see online or on social media isn’t the whole truth, in fact it might be everything BUT the truth. That’s hard to swallow because most of us post on social media sites all the time and the assumption is not that we are liars, but think about it- that picture with your kids? How many tries did it really take? How many bribes (or threats) took place? The picture on the beach on vacation? How annoyed where you all morning? The perfect selfie? How many times did it take to get ‘the one’? It’s not that we’re all liars, it’s just that not everything is always what it seems. There’s always more to the story. There’s always more to what you see. It’s not as simple as snap and share- life is complicated! Life is messy! It’s much harder then it appears and while we love to believe things fall into place by osmosis, and everyone else has it so much easier than us, it doesn’t and they don’t. Life is just as difficult and messy for those around you as it is for you. This should be encouraging! You’re not alone in you’re struggle, you’re not alone in your dysfunction, you might feel alone- but you’re not.

This leads me to my second realization- if you want to see the prize, you must commit to the process. Quite honestly, as much as I love the effortless wave, I don’t love it that much! I’m just really not willing to invest all that time and effort into something that I believed to be ‘effortless’. Does it mean that I can’t ever? No, absolutely not! But it does mean that until I am willing to commit to the process, I’ll never see the prize at the end.

Now this example may seem trivial to you, but the concept can go to anything. When we want to reach the prize, achieve the goal, grasp the promise- we must first commit to the process. There’s simply no other way. There aren’t any short cuts in life, as a believer I hold onto hope and grace, but I surely know that prayer is not a substitute for hard work nor is hard work a substitute for prayer. When I combine the two, that’s when I find the most success, that’s when I find myself living a fruitful, meaningful life.

For a long time (and even on a bad day I’ll find myself reverting to this) I would look around and see what everyone around me was doing, achieving, receiving etc. I would wonder why it was so much easier for them or why they are more fortunate then I was. It wasn’t until I experienced some personal growth and maturity that I realized, things aren’t always what they seem and there are no easy fixes in life. Life is hard, for all of us! And when we get a grip of that, we can focus on our fight and not the one to the right or the left. When I was much more insecure and self- conscious of my body and appearance, I would look at a beautiful woman and think ‘I wish I could look like that! Why can’t I have her body? Why can’t I have her hair?’ I was constantly measuring up to other woman and comparing what I didn’t have to what they did have, in time I’ve been able to look at those women not as a threat or a sign of my weakness but a symbol of strength and encouragement that if they can do it, so can I.

Society is always telling us that we aren’t good enough but what if I told you- you are! You absolutely are!! Every thought of effortless, let it go- there is no such thing! Every thought of- I can’t, let it go! You can! Every feeling of ‘I can’t compete’ let it go!! You don’t have to!!

We are all running a race, chasing a prize- your journey might look different then mine, but we all have one nonetheless. Take courage! Be brave! Be bold! And most importantly, be confident. You are doing far better then you think you are.

Stay encouraged, you’re doing better then you think you are!

xx.. LB

TOP TEN

My routine is far from perfect but here are the top ten things that help me to be successful and keep my sanity!!

1. WAKE UP EARLY –> There is nothing worse than rushing around & starting your day in a panic. Wake up on time & prepare to slay. If you’re a Momma like me, something that helps make my mornings a bit smoother is waking up well before the babes do. This means I’m able to shower, dress & get some coffee in my system before they’re even up! I know this means for an EARLY morning, but it also means a stress- LESS morning.

2. PRAY–> While hard work is required for success, so is grace. Never underestimate the importance of divine connection. PRAY & slay, it’s the only way to live a truly satisfying, successful AND FRUITFUL life! Prayer has made the difference in my life more times than I can count- pray about everything, worry about nothing.

3. PLAN –>After prayer comes planning. If you want to be successful, plan for it. Make room for it. Success doesn’t just fall into place. For me, this includes a planner. I write everything down. It helps me remain accountable while being realistic about my time and availability. Don’t be someone to over commit and under deliver. Be a person who DOES what they said they would do.

4. COFFEE, COFFEE AND MORE COFFEE!!–> Start your morning with a good cup of coffee at HOME! Save time, money and you’ll be certain to have the perfect cup, the first time! If you’re brave enough, ease off the sugars to prevent a crash later in the day. Invest in some cute travel mugs, this will inspire you to bring your coffee rather than always buying it.

5. GET DRESSED –> Whatever your agenda involves, dress the part & do it well. How you look effects how you feel. If you’re hitting the gym, don’t be afraid to invest in some cute workout clothes, if you’re heading to work; dress well! Be neat, clean and put together- the ‘I woke up like this’ is cute on Snapchat, not in real life, not in a place of business.

6. BELIEVE –>Believe it’s a good day, believe the best about others, believe in yourself & most importantly; believe God has a plan for you. Whether you’re an at home Mom (which let’s be honest- is a LOT of work!) or you’re working in an office, whether you’re full time ministry, or unemployed- God has a plan. If you believe that, you’ll carry on throughout the days with much more purpose.

7. ACCOMPLISH YOUR #SQUADGOALS –> Everyone wants to be surrounded by people who love, support & encourage them. Find those people. If you’re having a hard time, no worries, begin to BE that person to those around you. Set the tone & watch your relational rhythms change. One of the enemies of destiny is a distracting relationship- do not fall into that trap. Surround yourself with solid, faith filled, destiny chasing, big thinking people.

8. DON’T HATE, APPRECIATE –> This goes for every aspect of life. Stop hating your job, life & spouse, the mess your kids made, your co- worker, your car, the person you think is doing just a bit better then you, etc. Appreciate what you have. Love those around you. A grateful heart is a healthy heart. When you see success, don’t shrink back with insecurities, reach out! What’s working for the successful people around you? Remember; insecurities say ‘I can’t compete with her’ but confidence says ‘I don’t have to!’ Collaboration NOT competition is the key. Never be afraid to learn from someone else. Learning from others and asking for help has definitely made a difference in my life!

9. APPROACH OPPORTUNITY WITH OPTIMISM –> When opportunity presents its self, don’t focus on every reason it won’t work, focus on why it can! Don’t let hard work intimidate you- face it and dominate. Too many times we shy away from things because it’s ‘too hard’ or ‘too much work’, friends, let me tell you- NOTHING worth having comes easily.

10. WORK WILLINGLY –> If you’re a Christian then you know Colossians 3:23 tells us to  ‘Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people’. Your place is your platform. Your service is the stage in which God can present himself to others, USE IT. Don’t want for the pulpit, many of us will never make it there. Embrace THIS place and work willingly as though you are always working for the Lord, because you are!

These are some of the things that work for me, what about you? What does your routine look like? What’s helping you reach your daily #goals? Or what are you struggling with? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or shoot me a message 🙂

xx… Lori

I AM EVE.

If you’ve been in church for any period of time it’s likely that you’ve heard of Eve. Eve was the first woman created in the Garden of Eden; I imagine her to be beautiful, bold and brilliant, full of wisdom and zeal, passionate and poised, not to mention absolutely gorgeous.  Essentially, she was the prototype for women and because of this; I can only imagine that God took His time with her, He showed off with her.

Sadly, when we think of Eve, we don’t always think of her in this way. Often times when we consider Eve, we consider her to be the reason behind the fall of mankind and the introduction of sin into humanity. We say things like ‘If she had only listened’, ‘How could she be so foolish’ or even worse, ‘It’s all your fault Eve!’

Eve isn’t always remembered for her purpose, but rather, for her shortcomings. We judge Eve based on one decision and nothing more. What I wonder is; why are we so hard on Eve?

Eve’s greatest mistake was being so fixated on what she couldn’t have that she completely missed out on everything that was right around her, at her disposal and for her pleasure. She traded God’s purpose for her own plans.

I feel for Eve, I can relate to her.

At times, I too find myself at a place where I have the choice of looking at all God has given me, all He has promised me and all He has assured me of or to look at the one thing I don’t have, the one thing that isn’t working or the one relationship that is broken. In doing so, I, like Eve, sacrifice what is for what I believe could be. On more than one occasion, I have traded all that God has given me for the one thing that I view as ‘missing’.

Eve just wanted to know! She wanted to know what she was ‘missing out on’, she wanted to know what that glorious fruit would unveil, and she wanted to know if there was anything worth having waiting for her on the other side of her Father’s no.

I’m not mad at Eve. In fact, the more I look at her, the more I realize, I am Eve. I do settle for less, I do long for the little I’m missing, I’ve often traded God’s promises for my own plans and sometimes, I JUST WANT TO KNOW. What’s on the other side of this no? What’s on the other side of this situation? What is waiting just outside of my grip? If I could talk to Eve, I would tell her that I’m not mad at her, in fact, I can totally relate.

It’s easy to point out in Eve what we’re unwilling to forgive in ourselves. We all make mistakes, we all lose focus at one time or another, we all forfeited what we want most for what feels good now but it’s ok, we will learn and we will grow. I’m not mad at you Eve, and I’m not mad at myself either. Thanks to Jesus, I get a second chance. And even a third, fourth, fifth, sixth and so on… I do not have to be subject to my mistakes forever. Everyday I’m given an opportunity to love loud and live fearlessly without condemnation. Eve is not a merely a product of her mistake and neither are you.

Whatever regret you’re holding onto, whatever failure you’re fixated on, whatever plan you’re willing to place over God’s purpose, let it go. Let go and move forward, your destiny awaits you and the Lord delights in you. What more can we ask for?

Be encouraged gorgeous lady. God loves you, He’s not mad at you! You are more than your mistakes.

Xo… Lori

PURPOSE.

Over the years I’ve heard questions like ‘What is purpose?’, ‘What is my purpose?’, ‘How will I know when I find my purpose?’ or ‘Do I even have purpose?’

All of these are great questions, the concern is valid and truth be told, most of us have asked ourselves these questions more than once.

So what’s the answer? How do you find purpose? Is it told? Is it showed? Is it discovered? Does it evolve? How will we ever know what we are placed on this earth to do?

At this point, I wish I had some profound answer to each of these questions. I wish I knew. I wish I could tell you! But I can’t… The only thing I can tell you for sure is that your purpose comes from God and was deposited in you before you even reached your mother’s womb. As for the rest of the questions, they are so personal to each of us, that the answers can only be found within ourselves.

What I can tell you are three practical truths that I have found on my journey.

  • Your purpose is for people, not in people.

Now this first one is going to be difficult for the Momma who’s knee deep in dirty diapers and believes she is only on earth to wipe butts or the woman who believes her purpose will be found in a spouse or the Pastor who believes his or her value is found in the size of their ministry. (All of these examples are close to my own personal story, yours might be different and that’s OK!) What you have to offer this world is not found in the form of another human. Period. Your purpose is for people, not in people. Be very careful not to confuse the two. As a mother if I believe that my purpose is changing diapers, doing laundry and reading bedtime stories, what happens when my little people grow? Does my purpose diminish? Of course not! Your purpose will outlast the people in your life. No matter how close those people are to you. Knowing that your purpose is for people, not in people will free you from the entrapment of people pleasing.

Have you placed your hope and purpose in people only to be let down? I’m certain that wasn’t God’s original intent for you. Don’t quit your purpose when people fail you, your purpose is for people, not in people!

  • You can’t find what you’re unwilling to face.

In my experience, purpose is usually tied to a strength disguised as a struggle and it isn’t until you’re willing to face both that our purpose truly begins to unfold. Through grade school I had two very specific struggles that now I can look back on knowing  they were actually intentional attacks on my strengths that would build walls of fear like a fortress around my heart and purpose.

They began when I was young and truthfully, I have struggled with these two things almost every day since then. First, I was rejected and excluded. When I moved to a new town and began a new school, I was just that- the new girl and it was clear that I would not be welcomed into the ‘in crowd’. I was left out, forced to ‘prove myself’ and yet, I never quite fit in nor was I accepted the way I had hoped.

Secondly, I was extremely insecure- not only about my appearance but my abilities. I still remember the first time I was made fun of for the acne on my face and the day that I realized that I could never and would never read out loud AGAIN! (Let’s just say this experience involved the word pesticides and resulted in a room full of young, mean and relentless teenagers laughing my soul into a state of panic!) I will never forget these experiences. I will never forget the journey that began on each of these respective days when fear, rejection, hurt and pain filled my heart and tried to wage war against my purpose.

What I didn’t know then is that I was called to stand out of the crowd. I was never meant to fit in with the group or flow with the crowd. My purpose would require me to ‘stick out’ in a sense because if I looked like, acted like and become like everyone else, what impact could I really have? What better way to attack my strength then to make it my weakness? To make me believe that I could not impact ‘the group’ because I wasn’t even worth being a part of ‘the group’?

For a very long time after this, I had a hard time facing people. I always felt like I would be on the outside, and often times I was! This only further validated my dysfunction. Once I began to realize that I had a purpose and in my purpose I just couldn’t fit in with the crowd, it became ok for me to be on the outside. Secondly, being made fun of for my inability to get through a basic paragraph in my school textbook without error made me think that I couldn’t, shouldn’t (and wouldn’t) speak out loud ever again. But that was also a lie. I am called to write, read and speak! My biggest weakness was my strength in disguise.

What is your biggest fear? Insecurity? Worry? Obstacle? I’m certain that if you would face your weakness, you will find your strength and your purpose will be nestled nicely in between the two.

  • Practice your purpose.

Don’t wait until you feel as though you’ve arrived to get going on your purpose. That day will never come. We will never ‘arrive’ on this side of eternity. We will always be what I like to call ‘a work in progress’ and that can’t be a reason to stay stagnant. You have to start!! Where are you right now? This looks differently for all of us but if you can begin to practice your purpose in a practical way, you will begin to see it unfold in a supernatural way. What does this look like? Well for me, I believe that I am going to be an author. I’m not (yet), but I do believe that is a purpose I have in life. Often times I get messages from friends or family, ‘Can you read this?’ or ‘This is what I’m trying to say, how would you word that?’. So what do I do? I practice my purpose and I write. I’ve become quite the ghost writer! Anything from cover letters to speeches to emails and more! I write on the boards at work, I write in my notebook, I write in my planner. I write as much as I can because I’m practicing my purpose in a practical way! Whatever your purpose looks like, make an honest effort to practice it, daily and it will grow.

Purpose is a beautiful thing and like any mosaic masterpiece, all of the pieces need to come together in order to make the full picture. The world is waiting for ‘your piece’ to arrive. Get started, right now, where you are, with what you have. Begin to explore, discover and practice your purpose. The world is waiting for you.

xo.. Lori

I FORGOT TO SAY NO.

I shared this on my blog in January of 2014 and when it popped up on my Timehop today, I felt like the message still resonates within me. If you’re like me and you struggle with starting and stopping before reaching the ‘finish line’, this is a blog for you! Enjoy 🙂

xx… Lori

Have you ever set a goal? Began a pursuit for something more? Searched for a life of meaning? Something deeper? Something greater? Something better?

If you’re like me, the answer is yes. Absolutely. Over and over again I’ve begun a relentless pursuit for something, and over and over I’ve found myself stuck and stagnant. I start off with the best of intentions and yet over and over again, it all falls apart. Sometimes in days, sometimes in weeks, sometimes even months but my plans inevitably come crashing down to a fast finish.

Why does this happen? What is the big looming issue? Why can’t I just finish what I started? Why can’t I just stick to the plan? Why can’t I see it to completion? What is standing in my way? Is it the devil? Is it God wanting to “save me for something better”? Is it my family? My friends? My responsibilities? What is it??

I’ve thought about this over and over again. I’ve talked about it, I’ve prayed about it, I’ve read about what could be the problem, I’ve sought out a solution, I’ve asked for advice and encouragement and still, nothing. Nothing seems to help, nothing until now at least.

Recently I’ve felt so strong in my heart that the problem is me. I am the only thing standing between me and my destiny. It’s not my situation or circumstance, it’s not my availability, it’s not my support system or lack thereof, it’s not the devil, it’s not a test or trial, it’s simply me.

I forgot to say no.

I’ve come to the conclusion that a lack of self-control is the leading issue in my failure, or better yet lack of success. I don’t believe I’m technically a failure, I mean I live a pretty decent life, I’m doing well by most standards but deep down inside I know there is so much more and I stand in my own way daily.

I forgot to say no,

  • No, I won’t do that
  • No, I won’t go there
  • No, I won’t watch that
  • No, I won’t eat that
  • No, I won’t say that
  • No, I won’t listen to that
  • No, I won’t snooze one more time
  • No, I won’t take a nap
  • No, I won’t skip this
  • No, I won’t answer that call
  • No, I won’t reply to that text
  • No, I don’t have time
  • No, I won’t post that
  • No, I won’t respond to that
  • No, I won’t buy that
  • No, I won’t spend that
  • No, I don’t need that

No, I can’t and I won’t.

In a desperate attempt to make everyone happy (including and primarily myself), I forgot to say no. I forgot what that even means. I forgot what boundaries were. I forgot that it is healthy and appropriate to place limitations on my lifestyle. I forgot that just because I can, doesn’t mean that I should.

I can blame everyone and everything around me for why I fail daily to complete even the most miniscule of tasks, or I can realize that it is MY responsibility to have self- control and discipline. That is not anyone else’s responsibility. There is a reason it’s called self– control and self– discipline.

A life without limits will be a life without legacy.

Do you want to see a change in your life? The way you eat? The way you work? The way you spend? The way you live? Get out of your own way. Let God be God. Do what you need to do, not what you want to do. Develop healthy habits, biblical boundaries and learn the art of saying NO once again.

I NEED A BREAK.

Having two toddlers, I can tell you one of the most challenging points in parenting is trying to deal with an overtired child who will not go to sleep.

A tired child cries over EVERYTHING, is bothered by ANYTHING and blows ALL THINGS out of proportion. There’s no logic or reasoning with a tired child, there is no resolve for a tired child and there is no peace for the poor soul who’s dealing with that tired child.

There have been times when dealing with a really out of control, tired toddler that I literally want to scream ‘Just go to sleep!!! Why are you fighting it?? Just lay your head down, close your eyes and take a nap!’

The struggle of an overtired child is SO real (along with SO frustrating and SO exhausting) and if you’re like me, it’s the last thing you want to deal with.

You might find this imagery comical but how many of you know that sometimes it’s much easier to point out (and even laugh at) the dysfunction in a tired toddler then it is to see the dysfunction in ourselves.

Over the past several weeks I’ve come to the sobering realization that I am that tired toddler. I am that kid who needs a nap! I am that child who’s crying over everything, bothered by anything and blowing it all out of proportion because my tired mind can’t process any issue effectively.

I am that tired toddler and here are some of the warning signs I’ve learned to identify.

Working for longer and longer periods of time without a break (or ‘nap time’) in between. This was my first warning sign. When the breaks in your days turn into breaks in your weeks and then into months, you have a problem. We can’t live for vacation. Vacation is great, but there should be regularly scheduled breaks along the way. If you find yourself living for the next vacation, it’s a good indication that you are falling out of a rhythmic routine that balances work and rest.

I’m very goal oriented but that can also manifest itself in the form of being a workaholic. There are times where I’m just going, going and going, without any signs of stopping and that’s just not good! Rest is good, rest is NECESSARY, rest is not for the weary or weak, rest is for the wise. When we rest before the work is done, that’s called laziness but resting AFTER you’ve put in work, that’s called wisdom. As productive adults, we must be aware of the difference.

Being bothered by essentially anything and everything. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you’re absolutely irritated by anything and everything that is said, done or implied? Or better yet, you’re irritated by anything and everything that is NOT said, done or implied? Yeah, this is a sign of being overtired. You can’t think or reason well (or at all for that matter) so you just take things much further then they belong going, all the time! I’m not talking about the occasional, stress induced freak out. I’m talking about the days that are filled with more irritation than anything else. That is a problem.

Being resentful towards the things I once loved. My daughters love certain things. Savannah loves lip gloss and tutu’s, Rylee loves the drums and her blanket, they both love Mommy and Daddy, but when they are tired… FORGET IT… They despise the things they normally love. ‘Ry you want your blankie?’.. WAHHHHHHHHHH! (INSERT CRYING BABY HERE!) You might as well have offered her a thorn bush.

When you’re tired; you hate the things you love, you resent the things you once enjoyed and you find frustration in the thing you once felt passionate about. Being tired totally skews your perspective so badly, that it’s almost impossible to see how far off you really are. You think that everything and everyone around you is out to get you, but the reality is, it’s just you! Don’t assume everyone is out to destroy you when you’re simply witnessing the effects of your self-destructive behavior.

Being overtired is an equal opportunity offender. Did I mention EVERYTHING bothers you? When I’m tired, it’s never isolated to one or two areas of my life. It will manifest in my marriage, my parenting, my friendship, my job and dare I say it, even in my ministry! Being tired leaves you open for offense anywhere and everywhere you go. You’re constantly thinking people are against you, the world is conspiring to destroy you, your friends hate you, your family doesn’t support you.. Blah, blah, blah. While many of these things could be true, it’s unlikely they are in this scenario. It’s all in your tired mind. You’ve past the point of functioning and you’ve entered into the land of delusions where nothing makes sense but it all seems real and valid to you.

So now what? What do you do when you realize you are that overtired child? How do you fix it? What makes it better? Well, the answer is simple. Take a nap.

No, seriously! Take a nap, have a break, rest, relax, recharge!!

For me personally, it’s usually a trifold ‘break’ that I require to get back on track.

1.) My soul needs a break, possibly even a detox and definitely some TLC. Whatever’s happening on the outside is a manifestation of what’s going on on the inside. If you’re feeling tired in your body, your soul is probably exhausted. Stop. Take a break. Read a book or a devotional, listen to a preaching or maybe just play some worship music but whatever you do, make sure it’s something that will feed your soul and not drain it. This isn’t a time where you stop and binge on Netflix, this is a time to feed your soul with something sustainable.

2.) I need a mental purge. Clear your mind & l let it go. Whatever it is, it has to go. Carrying excess mental baggage is enough to weigh anyone down. Take a few minutes to empty your brain of all the extra nonsense you’ve been carrying.

 

  • The way they looked at you.
  • The dishes that weren’t done.
  • The laundry that isn’t folded.
  • The report that wasn’t finished.
  • The apology you never received.
  • The friendship that ended.

The list could go on and on, but you get my point. Let it go. Just do it. Carrying it around doesn’t change anything, it just drains you of all the mental and emotional strength you need to function as a decent human!

3.) My body needs a break. If you’re like me, my ‘resting place’ is not a familiar place, it’s not a peaceful place and it’s not a comfortable place. Why? Because I rarely go there. This past weekend it took me nearly 45 minutes to take a nap. I just couldn’t do it. My mind was thinking of all the things I could be doing, my body was feeling weird, I wanted to get up and GO! But I knew I couldn’t. On my journey to total balance and well-being, I knew I needed to stay in this restful place, even if it felt uncomfortable in the moment. Your body needs rest, it craves rest and it should get to a place where it welcomes rest.

Being tired is exhausting (DUH) but dealing with tired, is even worse. Your spouse, your friends, your family, they need you to be well rested because whether or not they are willing to tell you, they are exhausted by dealing with you in this state. I’m thankful that my husband will tell me when things are getting out of hand, kindly and lovingly he’ll point me in the right direction and help me get back on track. I love this! But I’ve also realized, now matter what he say, if I don’t actually do something about doing nothing, I won’t see change.

Are you tired? Drained? Desperate for a break and becoming difficult to deal with? Well, you know what to do. Stop, rest, relax.

You know what the best part of my nap was this weekend was? Waking up and realizing the world didn’t end in the process of me napping. Life goes on, but it goes on better when you’re rested enough to enjoy it!

I hope you take some time this week to nap, rest, relax and enjoy life just a little more.

xx.. Lori

CHASING CHANGE

A few weeks ago I made a hair appointment. I haven’t colored my hair since May & I haven’t cut it since June!! Needless to say, it was time.

I scheduled my appointment, I started searching Pinterest for inspiration and I was totally ready and excited for a fresh look. I wasn’t unhappy with my hair, but it was time, you know?.. 

So the week or so leading up to my appointment the strangest things started happening. I had the BEST hair days, my color looked amazing, I was loving my length and I started to wonder ‘Do I really want to do this?’

I mean of course I did! And it was definitely time but for whatever reason, I felt like ‘maybe it’s not time’ or ‘maybe it’s not what I really want’. 

I almost considered cancelling my appointment until I was able to identifying the common denominator. Anytime I’m on the the brink of change (no matter how big or small) my mind goes wild. I over think, I over analyze and I almost always try to talk myself out of whatever I was doing. This could be for anything on a scale from hair colors to career changes. The pattern was enough to make me ask myself; Why is this always the case when I face an opportunity for change?.. 

My example might seem shallow but think about it; how often do you approach the threshold of change only to look back and think; 

‘Is this really necessary?’

‘Do I really want to do this?’

‘Maybe it wasn’t so bad to begin with.’

‘I know I haven’t grown in this position, but they are really flexible with my schedule!’ 

‘This relationship isn’t going anywhere, but do I really want to start over?’ 

‘I wanted to start working out this week, but do I really need to? I kind of like how I look a little thicker.’ 

‘I’ve always wanted a big family, but maybe it’s just not realistic for me.’

‘I would love to go back to school, but am I really the book smart type?..’ 

There’s something about being on the brink of change that makes you look back and focus on the past rather then looking forward to the possibilities.

It’s not until you give your two week notice that you remember all the good memories you’ve made at your job. 

It’s not until you’re ready to walk out of that relationship that you remember that one special night. 

It’s not until you’re ready to buy a home that you appreciate the convenience of renting. 

It’s not until you’re ready to move across the country that you realize you have more friends then you thought. 

There’s something about the fear of the unknown that makes you look back frantically for something familiar to hold on to. 

I’ve done this so many times in my life. Sometimes the fear merely intimidated me, but other times it immobilized me and kept me stuck in a places I had no business being. I’ve found that when I am most afraid of letting go, my fear isn’t based on what I’m leaving, but that where I’m going won’t be better. 

It’s scary to look into the unknown with uncertainty but we have to become uncomfortable with looking back to the once was when we have the opportunity to look forward to the what could be. 

I can’t be the only one who faces change with fear. I can’t be the only one who looks forward with excitement but inevitable shrinks back from intimidation. But I also know that I can’t be the only one desperate to break free of the chains of my past and more forward into the possibilities of my future. 

It’s one thing to talk about it, it’s another thing to plan for it, it’s quite a different thing to actually do it! I’ve come to the point where if it scares me, I’m going to face it. If it intimidates me, I’m going to do it. It might start off small, but I refuse to live in the false security that mediocrity provides. If I can commit to doing even one thing everyday that makes me even a little nervous, I know I can find growth. 

What can you face today? Maybe it’s as simple as cleaning our your closet, but maybe it’s as difficult as ending a long time relationship. Maybe it’s cleaning out your cell phone contacts or maybe it’s finally commuting to that job, that relationship or that move you’ve been procrastinating. Whatever it looks like for you, commit to being brave today. 

Push past the petty & step into purpose. Change doesn’t just happen, sometimes you need to chase it down. 

Make the appointment.

Plan the dinner. 

Set up ‘the talk’. 

Seek the help. 

Cancel the subscription. 

Skip the gossip. 

Make yourself accountable. 

Do what you need to do to get where you’re trying to go. One small change can be the catalyst to living the life you’ve always dreamt of. 

What change will you chase down today? 

Xo.. Lori

WANNA RACE?

The New Year is upon us and everyone has a new resolution, goal and plan for 2017. If you scroll through your Facebook timeline or chit chat with some of your closest friends, you’ll see that most people expect to grow in some way this year whether professionally, personally or relationally.

I’ll be the first to say that I love goals, I love planning, I love challenging myself and I love to hope and dream for the future! All these things are great, but in this process there is one simple notion I am very intentional about keeping in mind; life is a collaboration, not a competition.

Challenge yourself, push yourself, create goals and prepare for growth but measure your success by who you use to be and what you aspire to be, rather then what the person to the left or the right of you is doing.

Wanna race?

Thinking about this concept of ‘compare and contrast’ and our innate instinct to compare ourselves to those around us and contrast our success to theirs, I was reminded of a funny story. A few years ago I was fortunate enough to work with 2 of the most amazing women I’ve ever met. We went from being co-workers to friends quickly and it made for some of the best days at work.

We would laugh, talk and joke around to make the days go by faster. It was great!

Well one boring afternoon, one of my friends and I decided to play a trick on the third friend. The joke would be that I would challenge her to a race (yes, like a running race) around the building. She was much more fit then I was) but the plan was, once she took off from the front door, I would go back into the building, find my way to another door, go out that exit and essentially short cut to the finish line. In hindsight, I’m not sure why we thought this was such a good idea or even so funny for that matter, but I guess it goes to show how boring our days were.

Anyways, we’re lined up at the front, ‘On your mark, get set, GO!’ and we both took off. I quickly ran back inside, did my little short cut thing and then came back to the front door where we first started. She runs up a couple minutes later gasping for air (apparently she’s very competitive and took winning very seriously). As she approached, she said something like ‘YOU beat me?!’ and I said, something like ‘that’s right I beat you!!’ She looked around, ‘No way! I didn’t even see you pass me!!’ I said something to the effect of ‘That’s because I was running SO fast, I just whizzed right past you!’

It was honestly, hysterical. I laughed so hard that I gave myself up in no time. We both walked into the office, me laughing, her still gasping for air, it was seriously great.

As entertaining as this story is, I think the underlying principle is noteworthy; the only person you’re racing is yourself.

It’s easy to get on your mark the first of the year, get ready and then set off on this race to the finish line, hoping to whiz past every other person that crosses your path but the reality is, while you’re ‘racing’, others are simply doing their thing. They aren’t thinking about you, they aren’t considering you, they are simply running their race, doing their thing, their way.

During this time of year it will be easy to look at those around you and immediately begin to measure up to them.

‘How did they lose so much weight?’

‘What made her qualified for that position?’

‘How can they afford a new car?’

‘Why did he get that job?’

‘Did they really just buy a house?’

‘Did you see how many likes that post got?!’

‘Are they really getting married before me?!’

The list can go on and on, but the point is simple, another person’s success does not equal your failure. You’re not racing against them, you’re running with them.

When you feel temped to compare and contrast, don’t. That’s it, that’s the key!! Just don’t. Nothing good comes of that. Focus on your journey and realize those around you are just running their own race with you, not against you. It’s ok if we’re all going in the same direction, it’s ok if we have some of the same goals, it’s ok if some days those around you seem up while you feel down, it’s ok! The point isn’t to be better then the next person, by that standard, you’ll always fall short! The hope is that everyday we can be a little better then our own personal best.

Do your thing and do it well.

This year can be great for ALL OF US! There is more then enough success to go around 🙂

Xo.. Lori

THE UNDERTOW

Years ago my husband and I spent a week in Puerto Rico. It was just the two of us for our own little romantic getaway. We stayed right on the water at the San Juan Marriott Resort. Our hotel had a pool, a spa and a casino readily available to us and of course, the best part; it was right on the beach! And let me tell you, I couldn’t wait to get out on the beach.

I remember our first time out, the weather was perfect, the waves were subtle and the beach was practically empty. I remember easing in with caution because my dad had warned me of the reputation this particular stretch of shoreline had and the undertow it was known for.

I waded out; ankle deep, seems ok… Mid-calf, still seemed fine.

As I got about knee deep, it began getting a little rough & before I could even retreat to the shore (just a few feet away) the ground slipped from beneath me (literally!) and I was about waist deep in waved whipped water that literally pummeled over my head. The water came up, I went down and just like that, my body hit the ocean floor beneath me. I could feel the burn of my skin on the side of my face and the top of my shoulder. When I tell you I hit the ground hard, I hit the ground HARD. I wrestled with the waves for a moment. My hair tossed with sand, my face burning from the impact it made with the ground, slightly out of breath and borderline terrified, I finally managed to stand. I was just about knee deep in water and maybe 10 feet from the shore. While I was relieved, I was also shocked. For a moment I felt totally alone and completely helpless, but I wasn’t. The shore was close, my husband was there & what seemed like an eternity was probably less than 30 seconds of my life.

‘Did that really just happen?’

‘Did I nearly die in two feet of water?’

Anxiety is like undertow. Everything seems fine on the surface; it looks good, it feels good but then suddenly, before you even know what’s happening, the floor beneath you falls in, it pulls you under and it takes you out. It whips you around, it exhausts you physically, mentally & emotionally, a rush of fear comes upon you, a list of ‘I never should have (you fill in the blank)… ’ starts running through your mind and then suddenly, as quickly as it came, it’s gone.

That moment when you stand up, you realize you weren’t as far out into the chaos as you thought, you weren’t as deep into the mess as you felt and although you felt alone and out of control, you weren’t.

This morning I was driving into work as usual and I felt the pull of this undertow once again. I felt the security of the ground beneath me just fall out, I felt the waves of fear crashing over me, thoughts of worry, doubt & concerns just consumed me. A movie of possible, yet unlikely scenarios played through my mind lightning fast. My chest felt tight, my heart felt heavy and my breathing got shallow.

‘What’s happening?..’

Why is this happening?..’

I felt completely helpless in the moment but deep down inside I knew one thing for sure. ‘Lori, if you just stand up to this, it will be ok. It’s not what it seems.’

And just like that, I stood up.

I stood up to the fear.

I stood up to the worry.

I stood up to the doubt.

I stood up to the hopelessness.

I stood up to the feeling of loneliness and isolation.

I stood up to the irrational emotions that were trying to control me.

I stood up to every single scenario that had so quickly crossed my scattered mind.

I sat in my car and I began to sing ‘Pour it out, let your love run over… Here and now, let your glory fill this place’. Elevation Worship- Fullness

‘God, dear God, help me.’ I whispered.

Worship is my get up and prayer is what I stand on. When everything beneath me and within me feels frail, fickle and uncertain, I anchor myself back to what is faithful, constant and certain.

There are somethings that I will never understand, like how after all these years, anxiety still grips me like an old glove but I know this, I understand that the best way to get ‘over it’ is to go through it. Call it what it is, face it and deal with it.

For me today, the answer was worship, prayer & then finding a scripture that I could write down and focus on.

‘You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you,

 all those whose thoughts are fixed on you.’ Isaiah 26:3

Dear friend, I hope you know that you are not alone today, you are not helpless and you are not as far from the shore as your circumstances lead you to believe. The waves seem strong, but they will pass. You’ve lost your footing but you’ll soon feel the ground again. You’re heart feels heavy, but the burden will be lifted. You think you’re alone, but you’re not….

Stand up, you can do this.

We can do this.

 

Xo… Lori