What is ONE thing you need to hear from someone today? I mean seriously. Stop what you're doing for a second (well, keep reading...) and just think. How would you feel if someone checked in with you like this:
I'm proud of you.
How are you doing today?
You are so beautiful.
Thanks for being so great.
Do you need a hug?
Hey, do you want to go see a movie?
Let's grab dinner.
You are so incredibly strong.
I just love you!
As I've gotten older, I can't believe what a 'words of affirmation' gal I've turned into. Yesterday I scaled a rock climbing wall.. When I entered that gymnasium and looked all the way to the top, I didn't think for a SECOND it would be me ringing the bell at the very TOP. But when I heard my husband cheering from below, I heard him say, "Reese is going to be SO proud of you, Ash! Ring the bell!" I looked to my right and saw the next rock. I took a slow and deep breath, and I reached so high for that glorious bell. DING, DING, DING!!!! High fives and hugs greeted me at the bottom, my friend Liz (aka BEST workout buddy) beamed with excitement. I mean encouragement, y'all--isn't it great?!
I think most days we just move through our routines. We go to school or work, put our kids on the bus or send them off to the sitter; some of us are homeschooling our preschoolers--making breakfasts and lunches and ordering toys and rooms to be cleaned up, and naps to be had. Our husbands come home and we are tired; hair untouched, teeth lucky to be brushed. The pets have been cared for, house is put together, kids are still alive, but it's now what we moms like to call witching hour; and we are TIRED. We check Instagram and scroll, scroll, scroll. Maybe we throw in a double tap for a 'like' if it's a photo that spoke to us. We check Facebook; scroll, scroll, scroll. Sometimes we comment when something is funny or there's a cute photo we like. We'll like each other's statuses all day long, but often we forget to text our husbands, "Hey Babe, I am proud of you. Thanks for loving me." We forget to call or message our family and ask, "How are you doing? Is there anything you need this week?" To check in with our friends, "Is there a time that would work in the next couple of weeks to get together? Let's get dinner and catch up. In the mean time, how can I pray for you?"
We are busy creatures, somewhat stir crazy in our souls. The days can be hectic and the nights long. We have babies and young children who don't yet know the importance of a GOOD nights sleep, and the thoughts that rattle through our minds when our feet need to hit the floor to start all over; well, they aren't always the most pleasant. I wrote a post a while back about finding God in the crazy--to seek Him first and to pray more often. To speak to HIM, more often. I think I've improved greatly with this, but Lordy how there's room to grow. And thinking outside of that, of the prayers that need to be had, the more scripture that YES, I do need to read...is ensuring that we as a community are caring for one another.
Who haven't you reached out to in a while? What face pops into your mind as your read this and you think, 'hey...I wonder how ______ is doing.' Don't just wonder, find out. I swear I probably have 10-15 women pop into my head all day long. Heck, as I sit here writing it's like boom, boom, boom!!! Name after name, just flying through my tired mind! My pregnant hair dresser, Michelle, seriously, so many prayers are said for you. Same for my preggo girlfriend Britney! My sister in laws, my brother, my DAD, women from our old church... I mean really, the list could go on! I don't think we are all destined to be best friends with one another and I don't think that's ever the expectation within friendships. But I think we could do better at staying in touch with the women and friends that we love. Stephanie who came to dinner, I loved you! I'm SO glad that you're 28 and we have that in common and that you love dogs and animals as much as I do. Chelcey who does my web design and helps me form emails and newsletters and is my soundboard for life in GENERAL. Peg, my childhood best friend who I dream about living closer to, with your two boys and husband; laughing with you is quite possibly the best thing EVER. Lisa who lives in Boston, who spent a season living in Kentucky WITH me. Jerrica, who is quite possibly my earthly angel, you're my everything!!
No, I won't list every single person that I love here in this space, because there's just too many of you and my mind is too fuzzy for that anyway. But I wanted to just throw this out there, that you, whoever you are and wherever you may be, I bet it really means a lot when you hear someone tell you that they are proud of you. It feels GOOD to feel strong and beautiful, radiant and loved.
Can I encourage you today to think about the top three people that keep popping into your head? Outside perhaps from the regular people you talk to on a consistent basis (aka my husband and my mom hear from me 300 times a day...) Who are those people? Ask them how they are. What about them makes you proud? What do they do well that they would love to hear from YOU? And then keep going about your day! The clothes to be washed, dishes to cleaned, tables to be wiped off, prayers to be said, books to be read, kids to be tucked in...it's all still waiting for you. I even bet that somewhere along the way, you'll feel more energized and recharged to DO those things, BECAUSE you took the time to brighten someone else's day. Those dishes can wait, for all of 2.1 seconds, am I right? Let's love the heck out of each other because frankly, we're worth it.