Spoiler alert: these are intangible things.
This weekend was one of the wildest and most wonderful weekends of my life. It all started with a precious friend who asked me if I would attend a women’s conference being held this weekend at our church called IF:Gathering, and I’ll admit, I was pretty clueless about it. I went into this two-day event completely on blind faith that it was even applicable to me (I’m known for signing up on accident for things I shouldn’t be, like the time I signed up for a bridal fashion show when I thought it was a special events seminar…yeesh).
I’m still in awe of the amazing women I heard from, both those in the room with me at our church and the women who were tuning in across the world, and I have to say, if you can gather up your girlfriends and go to IF:Gathering 2018, it’ll be so amazing and worth it. Learn more about IF:Gathering right here!
Something that has stuck with me ever since I heard it this weekend is the following quote from the incredible Bianca Olthoff:
Rise up. Get up. Go back to where you’re from. There is work to be done.
This struck me as an incredible way to make a change in my community. Small steps, day by day, in my community. That was the theme of IF:Gathering this year: small things done well. So in the spirit of the inspiration I’m still feeling from this weekend, I have some small things for you to bring into this next week:
We were in a wreck today. We were sitting at a light, getting ready to turn left to go to church, where we were looking forward to serving and hanging out with some of our favorite people in the whole world. And the next thing we know, our new family-friendly SUV was struck by a passing car and we found ourselves stunned at the intersection not even a mile from our house. It was so easy to get mad: we’d been doing the right thing, we were headed to church, we were trying to make someone else’s day better by serving them. But as we pulled over to exchange information and my hands stopped shaking, I felt something else completely: gratitude. Gratitude that we didn’t get hit head on. Gratitude that everyone involved could walk away with dinged-up cars instead of dinged-up bodies. Gratitude that it wasn’t busier in terms of traffic. Gratitude that we have friends, family, and colleagues who really care about our well-being and want to make our lives easier. Gratitude that we can afford insurance that makes these things a little headache instead of a big ol’ migraine. So my number one charge for you this week is to just step back and be grateful. Y’all, we have a lot ( and I mean a lot) to be grateful for every day, so I really encourage you to just embrace that.
Just like it’s crucial to be grateful for your circumstances, it’s also crucial to zoom out of your own life and try on a new perspective every once in a while. That can mean instead of getting upset that someone didn’t show up to help you work on something they said they would, you think about the fact that that person could be sick or could have gotten some really bad news. The situations are endless because people face so much and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all way to step out of your own life and into someone else’s for a moment. But do try to think about all that goes into someone’s day and don’t be hasty to be bummed / angry / upset / whatever you’re feeling when someone could really just use a hug instead of sharp words.
Speaking of a hug: y’all, I’m really troubled by a heart problem many of us are experiencing lately, which is compassion. Last night, Jordan and I decided we’d cuddle up for a movie for our date night, and we headed to CVS right around the corner for some movie snacks, and we heard a rough exchange between a customer and an employee who were trying to get to the bottom of why a coupon wouldn’t work. A coupon, y’all. It was a major bummer to see the employee trying everything to make the customer happy and the customer was just ticked no matter what was said or done to rectify her situation. And I see this more often than not in my daily life: someone got a ticket for speeding and they’re mad at the person doing their job; someone didn’t hold a door for someone else and they’re miffed about it; someone orders too much food when there’s a long line of other customers waiting. I’m just going to urge you right now to be the person who’s flexible. Be the person who’s not easily ruffled. Be the person who always says thank you and tries to empathize. Because I can’t imagine a world where we’re all worried about what can be done for us instead of what we can do for other people who need us.
I hope y’all have a wonderful week and please, please slow down and hug someone you love a little tighter today.