Monday, January 4, 2016

Live Simply, Give Generously, Be Transparent & Shine On

At the beginning of every year, I like to dream a little and let's be honest, who doesn't? If we don't dream, we can never expand our horizons and try something new. I am a firm believer in living a fearless life and living out your dreams. Why? You only get to do this thing once! You ARE WORTHY OF YOUR LIFE. Should I put that on repeat? You are worthy of your life, so live that way. As I was dreaming of 2016 and the things I had in store for it and it of me, I thought of the past year. 2015 taught me some great lessons. I had great triumphs and failures, as most of us do. Going into 2016, I have four things that I want to be in all aspects of my life. They aren't goals; they are things that I want to live out intentionally and overall make a lifestyle change.

First, I want to live more simply. Living simply means less, which we will discuss in depth further this week. I will break this down, define it, own it and tell you what our family is doing. The overall picture; I want less stuff, more time invested with friends, family, neighbors, etc. I want to trade things for space. I want to live less for a more abundant life. It sounds easy, but it won't be.

Second, I want to give generously. Not just with my money, but with my stuff, my time, energy and my resources. Time= love. Giving generously isn't a goal, it's who we were all created to be. We weren't put on this earth to walk along, wandering about life without knowing our neighbors, caring for them, helping them and trying to figure out where to help them. If anything, the last year has taught me DO something, do ANYTHING, but don't sit around saying you're willing to help, just DO IT! We are people who say "let me know how I can help," well let's just show up and help. Make a meal, send a gift card, provide childcare, order a pizza for a family, pick up someone's children, listen to a hard conversation, BUT SHOW up. Stop saying "Let me know how," instead JUST DO.  Sometimes, people don't know how to ask what they really WANT or NEED you to do, so when you do something, it's beautiful. I can tell you this from personal experience over the last two weeks, from an unexpected loss to crazy Christmas, and then being sick, people SHOW up. 

I haven't had to ask.
I don't know how to ask. 
Hundreds of miles away, people show up.
States away, people show up.
Grace shows up.
God is the broken spots, and he asks us to show up.
Where can you and I show up in the spots of hurting lives? 

Third, we live in a world where everyone has their act together, and I simply can't live this way. My blog has been reflecting that for some time now. If you stayed with me long enough, you know that I think we've cheapened transparency. It's almost this counterfeit thing in our culture. Don't MISTAKE ME, I'm not going to air my dirty laundry all over here, but I'm not going to tell you life isn't some great easy thing either. I think it's easy to get on a blog and FAKE it, and I've decided I won't do that anymore. 

I will be transparent.
Life is hard.
Life is beautiful.

With hard comes beauty, but we all need someone to speak up about the areas of our life where shame hides, where the ugly hides and where pain lives. I want to live my life with transparency, authenticity, and genuineness. 

Finally, my new motto is "Shine on", which if you know country music, you'll recognize the popular lyrics from Flordia Georgia Line. I love the concept of "Shine on." What does "Shine on" look like for me? What does it look like for the world I love, live and interact with? It looks like no matter the circumstance, my attitude would always be one that is gracious, giving, compassionate, loving, and being a glimmer to those who need a bright light in their life. 

It could be a smile.
A listening ear.
Snail Mail
Phoning a friend
McDonalds at 12 am

Whatever I do, wherever I am, I don't want to shine because it's for me, but for the one who ultimately shines. Will I have my moments where I won't shine, UM, YEP! I'm human too. I have bad days, but I hope to keep moving forward, shining on towards others and loving life.

Does our family have a resolution this year? No. We have an area in our life where we feel like we could learn a thing or two. It's BIG; it's going to wreck us. I'm scared if I'm transparent with you. We both think we are in over our heads. We know God is going to show up, but it's a dream, a lifestyle change and one we are committing ourselves to, we can't wait to tell you about it. Stay tuned as Running Through the Storm continues to grow. Our lives are being changed, but for now, I am embracing the new changes that have been growing in my heart!

Blessings & Happy New Year Friends!

Ps. Thanks for your grace as my blog is under its yearly construction!



Karen Seal said...

I love all of this, especially #5! I look forward to following your adventures over the next year! :)

Sarah said...

Thanks, Karen!! I can't wait to see Baby Seal and your new life adventures!! :)

Two Runners Travel said...

This is a really sweet post Sarah and clearly heartfelt. I wish you tons of happiness in 2016 and hopefully something really special will happen for you and your hubby. Giving of yourself is very rewarding and my recent experiences with volunteering at new places has been wonderful. I hoping to add more to that in the future.

Sarah said...

Awe, thank you Pam! I can't wait to read all about your great running adventures this year and hear about your trip to Paris!! I love the new blog look..