So...I tanked up on some strong coffee this morning, bundled up under a quilt, put my entire IPod on shuffle (2745 songs...surely that is enough right?!?!), and started writing.
Mother. Mary. and Joseph. (envision my fake Irish accent)
What a gift.
I have enjoyed writing these love letters to my tribe...my people....more than you can imagine. It has been a lovely, tremendous reminder of a year that has been FULL and blessed beyond measure (blessed by both the trials and celebrations). I have been SO busy whining and wrestling with my own exhaustion (completely my fault), that I haven't had time for THIS. This beautiful time to say thank you to the people who have made this one of the single best years of my life.
I did one of those cheesy videos that takes snippets of your social media from a period of time and condenses it into a short clip...note to self...develop one that is longer. ;) I was blown away when I saw it. What. A. Year. I have been allowed the gift of Haiti not once, but three times this year. I have met some 200+ new friends and tribe members through those trips. People that are brave and adventurous and love Jesus and love their lives at 100+ mph and are imperfect and growing and living life fully. I have spent time with children both in Haiti and at Camp Caudle who have NO reason for joy yet are so joy-filled, and they embrace life...FULLY. They want more from their lives....to do more....to have more with Jesus. To learn. It is breathtaking. I have spent in sum total around 30 days at Camp Caudle this year...for two camps, weekends digging in with friends and tribes, celebrations, and even a little work. I have experienced two seasons of baseball with Sam (the spring and summer), football with Jon and Sam this past fall. I have watched all three of Sis' kids spread their wings (and two their passports) to serve God on the mission field. I got to take my Sis not once, but twice to Haiti this year and watch what has moved and changed my life begin to move and change hers. Sharing that with her is truly one of the greatest gifts God has given me this past year. I experienced Catalyst. I have celebrated the wedding of one of our C7, the birth of another C7's son, and the wedding of another C7's son. I have realized that doing life with them was the biggest gift God taught me back on that mountain in Colorado in 2012. It has been a gift I have been grateful and honored to speak about a half dozen times this past year to women of all ages as I found my voice in a new way. I have seen our little firm more than double in size this past year...and we wrestle with the will of God on the opportunities that lay ahead to double it again. I have seen God heal me of a lot of old wounds - both personally and professionally as I step out in faith in both arenas not knowing if I can handle the step ahead, but learning that radical obedience is just that...Radical. and...Obedience. I got to see IF come to fruition in February and then watch it slowly expand my tribe throughout this year. I could not be more excited by what 2015 has in store for my life just as it pertains to IF. I have flown...everywhere...it seems. My travel this year has been as diverse as it has been excessive. This is the year that I admitted I have grown weary of driving...I think the 20+ years of driving so much professionally has finally taken its toll. I have lost my love for being behind the wheel; I love being a passenger on the road though....:))) The year of the purge might just be the single biggest surprise for those who have known me only for the past six years as I have leaned down my life in every, single category. My prayer is that 2015 will be the cap-off year for what I believe will be remembered as the great three year purge (years from now) as it will have taken three years to unwind a life that simply got to excessive. I cannot even imagine what I was thinking all those years. This does not of course impact my love of books. I have bought more books this year than in any single year (I think.), but I have also read more books start to finish this year than I have since 2000. That is a ratio I both love and am proud of...there are simply lots of beautiful words out there, and I want to read them all. EVEN the ones I don't understand or agree with...call me nutty. :)))
Speaking of words....
So this post started because I am sitting here marinating in the joy of writing words to those I love. I forget how much I love to write. Blogs, articles, thank you notes, proposals....I love words.
This holiday season I may have once again waited until the last moments to do my shopping. I may for the third/fourth year in a row not have one single Christmas decoration up in my home. I may be racing into the final days of the year trying to close deals, financials, and meet all of my last minute deadlines and obligations....BUT this year, I have shared the gift of words with some of the most important people in my life. The joy is selfishly all mine because writing them has been such a gift. I am so grateful to those that CHOOSE to do life with me. There are so many in my life who over my 43 years have chosen not
to do life with me for a variety of reasons...so this girl will never, EVER take for granted the beauty of someone saying, "Yes. I will do life with you. The good. The bad. The ugly." These amazing people...starting with the beautiful, gifted C7....have taught me the art and the beauty of doing life with others. They have taught me how. They have been patient as I stumbled along not knowing what I was doing. I have dropped balls. Let them down. Not been ENOUGH when they needed me. Yet, YET they remain in this life with me...still trudging through...doing life with me...Every. Day. God Bless those that Love Us When We are UNLOVABLE.
I am not perfect. Never, ever has there been a bigger work-in-process than me. I am loved though more than I deserve. I have been given the gift of tribe. I have been blessed with women (and men) who love me for who I am now, but believe in who I can be. They push me deeper and more lovingly into my destiny. God gave me life for a reason. I understand that more now than I have ever had, and I am responsible for using the gifts He gave me to love others...Well. Someday I hope that I do. I hope that my legacy someday will be that I lived hard and loved well. #bless
This isn't what I planned to write...it never is...but this is perfect because I get to say thank you for being a part of my life. A part of this glorious 2014. Thank you to my friends and family who walk this life with me. Truly...bless your hearts. To my tribe though...which includes my precious Sis...I owe you everything because I was a pile of putty in October 2012 when God sent me my first taste of tribe...and today whatever good I have done or I am...it is because of your faithfulness in loving me well and teaching me how to do life with others. I was clueless. I hope I have honored (and continue to honor) your gift well.
I love you with my whole heart. ❤️☀️
Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)