2018 – A Year of Cultivating

 

{ Pursuing Pearls Blog } 2018 - A Year of Cultivating

For the last several years I’ve chosen a word as my “goal” instead of New Years resolutions. Cultivate proved the perfect tone for 2018. What I was most drawn to about the word was that it didn’t imply perfection, but did require action. I longed for a year of pursuing growth, and while it was anything but perfect, I know I will continue to reap the harvest of what I experienced and learned.

Faith
Marriage & Family
Relationships
Home
Dreams

All of these things take time, they take work, they take intention. Last year my goal was to cultivate it all; not to passively wish for things to be a certain way or merely hope for change. I believe reflection is a vital part of growth – it keeps us encouraged (seeing where we’ve come from) and builds momentum (pushing us into deeper, bigger things). So, here is just a handful of reflections on 2018:

My Faith // This was and always will be ongoing growth, never the same as the day before. I’m so grateful for God’s endless grace, which covered me with peace and joy during an amazing yet challenging year. Setting aside time to be in the Word, in prayer, and in fellowship was not always easy but always left me filled to the brim. When I abide in him, he is lavishly faithful.

My Marriage & Family // The months passed quickly with a newborn, but things really shifted gears when I left my job to become a stay at home mom. I had originally planned on waiting until 2019 for this change, but after meeting some financial and personal goals earlier than expected, I knew the time was right. I’m thankful to have a husband who is more supportive than I could have imagined. I’ve thought long and hard about my “dream job”, and while I have still have many personal aspirations, the decision to invest my days in Noli truly is a dream come true.

My Relationships // I was very fortunate to surround myself with some amazing friends and mentors this year. Participating in diverse Bible studies, joining my local MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group, and making time for friends without kiddos present are a few ways I was intentional about this. Relationships require investment. Looking back, I’m immensely grateful to the kind souls who invested in my life even when I struggled in reciprocation.

My Home // Our home was so filled this year, exactly the way Stephen and I wanted it. It truly brings us joy opening our doors and letting people in. Loved ones gathered for holidays and celebrations, new and dear friends came for play dates and meals, relationships with neighbors blossomed, and a few others also called our home theirs for several months. I’ve been convicted that home has nothing to do with the size of a house or the trendy decor, but rather what takes place within its walls.

My Dreams // As for my dreams beyond motherhood, I have so many building. I am quite an expert at keeping my dreams in my head, allowing them to steep – possibly for too long – before pursuing or implementing them. However, some dreams have been intentionally placed on the back burner for this busy season of mothering a toddler. And I am perfectly happy with that choice.

As I think about a word to adorn in 2019 (I’m still pondering a few!), I look forward to this day next year, and the reflections I’d like to have. What did I learn? How am I different? Did I use my time wisely?

For now, regardless of what 2018 held for you, I want to wish you a very happy new year! Leave a comment with any words or goals you have for this year upon us – I would love to cheer you on!

Honey for the Soul

{Pursuing Pearls Blog } honey-for-the-soul-legacy sunset

L E G A C Y .

When I think of the legacies that have been passed down to me, I experience a multitude of tastes, smells, sights, sounds, and feelings. My grandparents particularly come to mind with the word. Though I did not know any of them beyond the age of fifteen, I hold legacies from each of them close to my heart. Some pieces of their legacies I cherish from personal memories and others from their memory passed down through the generations of my family.

Many things fill my mind when I think about legacy I desire to cultivate for my darling girl. As I see her personality unfold a little more with each passing day, I ponder what things she will grow to believe about herself and her world. Will her words be salted with grace, knowing that limitless grace is hers to receive and give freely? Will she speak truth in love to others, knowing that truth brings ultimate freedom? Will she overflow with compassion, knowing that she herself is adorned in it? My heart is flooded with conviction, because honestly, I do not always speak of or to myself the way I hope she one day will. I long that she would secure herself in her true identity – Chosen, Beloved, Whole. I continue to strive to do the same, only now, after becoming a mother, I do so with greater boldness.

{Pursuing Pearls Blog } honey-for-the-soul-legacy words

Kind words are like honey—
    sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.
{ Proverbs 16:24 NLT }

Perhaps these words are familiar to you. From a young age, I’d heard them time and time again. I had always understood that the purpose of this verse was to remind us that kind words are good and something we should aim for. Honey is sweet to taste and gives energy to the body. Pretty straightforward, right? It wasn’t until recently that I realized this metaphor in a new depth. You see, not only is honey sweet-tasting and energy-giving, but did you know it never goes bad? It does not spoil or rot with time, as other resources do. Our words, like honey, not only ignite our senses the moment they touch our lips, but their effect never fades. How amazing – and intimidating – is that?

Our legacy is not just about the future, but also the present – something we can cultivate, live in, and reap from here and now.

We are all legacy-builders, and it is up to us the gift that we give. What a better legacy to cultivate than beautiful, life-giving words? What a better way to practice than on ourselves? And what a better time to start than today?

Nothing is more appealing
    than speaking beautiful, life-giving words.
    For they release sweetness to our souls
    and inner healing to our spirits.
{ Proverbs 16:24 TPT }

Pursuing Pearls

pursuing-pearls-inspirational-blog

…the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.  When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.” {Jesus}”

The list of to-dos seems to be growing at the rate of dishes in the sink, and nothing ever feels complete…
Life is far too noisy to devote time to being still in the quiet to simply listen…
So much time is poured into work, that there is no energy left to invest in meaningful relationships…

Different roads and different distractions, yet each day we all find ourselves at Crossroads with a choice to make. A choice to trade the Lesser Things for the greater ones.

What challenges are you facing in the Crossroads? What Lesser Things you find yourself grasping ever-so-tightly?  busyness? fear? selfish gain? regret?

There are Pearls you can exchange them for!

Joy.
Confidence.
Security.
Passion.
Contentment.
Peace.
Simplicity.
Fearless faith.

Not one of us is meant to walk this road alone. My dream is that this will be a place of encouragement and inspiration as we together Pursue the Pearls of Greater Price, enabling us to live a life full to the rim – the way it was intended from the very beginning.