With Christmas next week, all the cozy, festive, holiday vibes are in full force. This season is so special and is such a gift for many reasons, but most importantly it marks the arrival of our forever, perfect gift; our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.
A word that has been on my heart a lot in 2018 has been comfort. As humans, an intrinsic motivation and desire is comfort. I recently heard two sermons on comfort (here and here) that confirmed what I knew to be true, but after these two back to back messages, the truth really took roots in my heart and mind. Comfort comes from one place and one place alone: Jesus. He is the only source of true satisfying comfort.
If we seek God, we will find comfort because He is our refuge, strength, helper, and place of safety. (Psalm 46:1-3, Psalm 61:3, Psalm 121:7-8 CSB) However, if we seek comfort first, we will find ourselves being comforted by things other than God. This is the tricky place where comfort can quickly become an idol in our lives without us really even being aware that idolatry is sneaking in. We must remember God is our comforter, not people or things here on earth. God is so good and knows just what we need (Matthew 6:25-27), is our great provider (Deuteronomy 2:7), and has good plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11). Fear not, He comforts us perfectly daily, including days of affliction…especially those days! We just have to seek Him and run to Him as our refuge!
As we enter in to 2019 shortly, seeking God and not seeking comfort is the direction of my heart. He is our True North, in His wings we find refuge (Psalm 91), and His name is our tower of safety (Proverbs 18:10). Seeking Him and loving Him with all our hearts will bring us comfort that the world can never offer. Amen and thank you, Jesus.
With gift giving season in full effect, we are preparing for the festivities with an excited heart, clear mind, and grounded feet! Meaning, we want to enjoy all the fun while keeping the true meaning of the season in mind. This means gift shopping with intention, quality over quantity, and refraining from getting swept up in the gift shopping craziness. Turning into a crazy-lady chasing down the next deal isn’t our best look, and we say that from experience 🙂
When gifts are guided by the heart, we believe they serve to bring joy, comfort, peace, and happiness to the person on the receiving end. The gift will be useful instead of another “thing” to add to their collection of “things”! Something that helps me gift well is to keep track of when I think of or see the possible “perfect gift” for someone. Writing these ideas down throughout the year helps with intentionality and purpose when it comes to gift shopping.
This year specifically, we are focusing on wellness gifts for everyone on our list. For example…a juicer to promote celery juicing, linen bedding sets that last, skincare from Primally Pure, cleaning sets from Branch Basics, a cookbook for baked goods made healthy, and so much more.
The LSK Wellness Gift Guide will go out to email subscribers this Friday and will be live on the blog next week! We hope that it will help guide you on the gift shopping journey and make for a calm, healthy, happy experience for all! xo.
Who else can hardly believe that the holiday season has arrived? It is so exciting, yet it is almost alarming how quickly this year has passed by. I also notice that this time of year has an interesting flow. It feels as though the majority of people (including me) are hurrying up to slow down in the career aspect of things, are trying to balance calendars with event invites coming into your inbox daily, and are planning + prepping for homes full of cooking and family.
I would like to preface and say that this time of year may be my all time favorite. It seems as though the cozy days that surround the holiday celebrations are focused more on community, which only heightens the sweet reminder that the people we love are the most fulfilling priority. Yet, for fellow introverts, this can feel quite overwhelming, yet at the same time really joy-filling depending on the freedom you feel in your relationships.
So let’s get to the point, shall we? The holidays are bustling with plans and travel and people galore, but how can we continue to balance our schedule amidst all of the hoopla? The holidays should be deeply enjoyed, yet sadly so often, they are filled with strain and emotional heaviness. Circumstances aside and for those who experience this, I have hope that a change can be made.
Scroll down for some tips that I have learned and am still learning to incorporate!
1. Space out your yeses.
My husband is a full on extrovert, so I always notice a bit of stress well up in me as the holiday season approaches. Spontaneity around this time seems to steal from my rest rather than bring extra adventure to our days because it seems to happen too often for my wellbeing. Not to mention, this week I received three invites for work related events just for Thursday night. I am so thankful, but in the same breath, #sos. When making decisions, I try to be open-handed while also remembering to shamelessly prioritize my own needs first. This may sound selfish, but I always want to bring my full self to anything I say yes to.
2. Space out your yeses / part two.
For those of you who are super driven, I feel like this will hit close to home. Currently life has been so project-full on top of this blog, LSKF, and Stranded, but in the sweetest of ways. We are in the midst of creating some much needed on-the-go wipes, I am interviewing contractors to renovate our new house so I am dreaming and planning for reconstruction plans and design, and am also working and editing The Clean Sweep, a three-month subscription program and hand-help guide on how to clean up your life that will be launching in January. My close friend came to me with a new project, and although I am dying to jump right in, I had to postpone starting until the Spring. These decisions are tough, but so freeing in the end!
3. For you people pleasers, it’s okay to say no.
This has been a big one for me. I have learned over the past few years that saying no is almost always well-respected from the receiver. Often the anticipation of saying no and the assumption of the response is the most nerve-racking part. Attached to most holiday seasons is the angst to make sure everyone is happy: family, besties, and your significant other. Although it is so important to care deeply for others, it is not our responsibility to hold the burden of their emotions or carry the weight of everyone’s needs. Let it go. You will feel so much freedom, and I have noticed that as you practice saying no, it only gets easier. Doing this will actually allow you to love others better day after day!
4. Schedule time for yourself and plan ahead.
For me, I have to block out times in my calendar for myself, such as a facial, a massage, a walk, coffee with a friend, free time to read, otherwise, I will never do it. Also, for all of you gift givers, planning ahead is key. I start making my gift list in early November and try to have all of my purchases made by the end of November. It is the most freeing feeling, gives me time to think of thoughtful presents, and it also makes such a special thing so stress free and extra meaningful.
So to all of you, I am wishing you the happiest and most-freedom filled holiday season. Try to make some changes this year for your own well-being. I guarantee that even if it feels hard, you will feel so rested and content in the end.
This topic has been on my heart and mind lately- loving on others well. What does that look like for you? For me, I think of making a phone call to a family member or friend just to catch up and listen to them, sending flowers to my bestie as a surprise, leaving my other half a love note, leaving a server at my favorite lunch spot a big tip, saying hi and smiling to strangers as I pass by, offering a lending hand to someone at the grocery store, or taking the time to reach out to someone at work or Church who I might not know that well. Our lives have so many opportunities to reach out to someone and show love in little, sweet ways. It is all of these little ways that add up to a big, beautiful way of spreading the love! Speaking of, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. xo
When I typed this title at first, I typed the art of seeking wisdom and then I chuckled to myself because it is an art, but it is an imperfect one at best! However, the imperfect art of seeking wisdom is so beautiful at every hesitant yet hopeful, slightly uncomfortable yet incredibly helpful, painful yet promising, unwanted yet so needed moment. Every effort of the act of seeking wise counsel is so worth it.
The Bible is full of instruction on seeking wisdom. First and foremost, the one who fears the Lord is on the path to wisdom. Fearing God is the first and most necessary step to live a life close to Jesus and needed to obtain wisdom and knowledge. Proverbs 9:10 reads: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
After fearing the Lord, seeking Him always, and meditating on His word, the Bible also instructs us to seek wise counsel. Proverbs 12:15 reads: A fool’s way is right in his own eyes, but whoever listens to counsel is wise. This is where community is so important. Having people in your circle that you can count on, trust, and go to when you need guidance is so important. If we are left to a path that we see as right in our own eyes alone, we would essentially be quite lost. This is because we can’t trust what we see through our own eyes, since our sight is so severely limited compared to that of the Lord. The Lord makes His way known to us through His Word, the Holy Spirit, and biblically sound counsel from wise people in our lives here on earth.
When I picture a person fearing God with their mind, heart, and soul, seeking Him constantly, and then calling on wise counsel from Biblically-minded people they trust, I see a person that is well-prepared and totally equipped to make wise choices and walk through life confidently, faithfully, and wisely.
Have you sought counsel from trusted ones in your life lately? Share with us in the comments below about how that experience impacted you and what you learned from it! Prayers and love to all, xo.
Love is the most beautiful gift in the world and is in itself a depth that feels impossible to describe in words, yet it simultaneously seems to bring a heavy heart. Let me explain because I don’t want this to sound like a negative perspective, but more one of reality + one I have been navigating the last four years. To illustrate, by far one of the greatest blessings in my life is my husband. We share such a tightly-bound, inseparable bond full of passion, lots of special memories, constant laughs, and mutual willingness to compromise because our sincere goal is to love each other better every day.
To take a step back, I grew up in Dallas, am super close to my family (my mom and my twin sister are my besties, and same with my dad!), and I experienced one of the greatest seasons of loss in that city, which connected me to it (aka the people) in a way where it will always feel extra safe and like home. When Jase and I met, he was living in Los Angeles and has now been here for nearly 14 years, so, as many of you know, I moved out of Texas to start a life with my best friend. Hence the dichotomy begins; I experienced such heartbreak to leave everything that was comfort, yet I was so incredibly excited to live in the same city as Jason!
He and I are both so thankful for this big move because my struggle of adjusting to a new atmosphere became his struggle too; he has been by my side wholeheartedly through it all, and we attribute this time to how deeply well we know each other. He is always there to cry with me and validates the grief of being unable to pop by my parent’s or sister’s house at any time. It developed in me such a lasting trust that he can comfort me like the people I am closest to can.
The things that create such a rich love almost always seem to come from sacrifice and hardship, whether big or small. For instance, leaving Dallas or saying goodbye to my family when they visit hurts my heart at such a deep level, yet there is gratefulness amidst the pain because it only strengthens our marriage + it makes me extra grateful for every memory and moment with my family. Not to mention, leaving Jase to see my family hurts my heart just the same. It’s such a complicated emotional pull, but one that causes me to be filled with thankfulness for all of the love that causes such intense emotion. Am I making sense? Does anyone relate to this feeling?