I am a little excited to be attending Hearts at Home 's National Conference again this year. It will be my third time attending and each time has been a true blessing. The theme this year is "Love Your Life". Tying in to that theme will be the monthly Third Thursday Blog Hop themes... this month is "Love Your Dreams/Goals". Which is fitting since just a couple weeks ago I posted my New Year's Resolutions for 2014. And I think that is a good way to start the year off, thinking about goals and dreams for the year ahead.
“Don't you find it odd," she continued, "that when you're a kid, everyone, all the world, encourages you to follow your dreams. But when you're older, somehow they act offended if you even try.” ― Ethan Hawke
I can't even count the number of times I have had conversations with my son about not giving up, and working hard to achieve our goals, etc. But when it comes down to it I tend to give up on my own goals just as easily as my own child does. It is often easier to admit defeat than it is to forge ahead in the face of frustration and hard work. Or I end up on the side of fearing failure and neglecting to set goals to work toward at all because I know I'll fall short of my own expectations.
“I believe that half the trouble in the world comes from people asking 'What have I achieved?' rather than 'What have I enjoyed?' I've been writing about a subject I love as long as I can remember--horses and the people associated with them, anyplace, anywhere, anytime. I couldn't be happier knowing that young people are reading my books. But even more important to me is that I've enjoyed so much the writing of them.” ― Walter Farley
"What have I enjoyed?" I think I often get so caught up in what I "should" be doing that I forget to do things that I enjoy doing. There is a common theme throughout my resolutions this year and that is being intentional. I don't want to take the easy way anymore. I want to work on my relationships. I long to spend more time with the people that I love than hiding away in my little bubble at home. I want to reach out to people even though it requires effort and planning and sometimes can be frustrating... but I want to shine the light of Jesus to those around me and I can't do that effectively if I retreat into my shell and don't get out of my comfort zone.
There have been times in my life when I was going through a really hard time and really needed to have someone reach out to me and encourage me and God put someone in my path to bring a meal or send a note of encouragement. And it makes all the difference in the world sometimes. Then, there have been other times when no one stepped forward, no one reached out. I don't want to be that person that chooses not to reach out to other women, especially younger women, new wives and moms who are struggling with their new roles. Maybe they are going through some of the same things that I went through. Or maybe their situation is totally different but I could be a listening ear. Its possible that they have no one else in their life to show them the love of Jesus. I desire to really love my life and encourage other women to love their lives too.
I feel like the theme of Love Your Life was chosen just for me... because I struggle with that sometimes... but I know I am not alone. Please pray for me (and all the other moms) as I (we) seek to truly love the lives that God has given us. Check out the other great Blog Hop posts on Jill Savage's blog.