bold

Over the Holidays, I felt increasingly “out of rhythm”.  Mundane things were harder for me to focus on or accomplish while we were interrupted from our usual routines with time off and extended family gatherings.

There is a time when rest is needed and it is good. Especially when it allows for reflection and self-evaluation, but I am glad that the new year is here and we are slowly settling back into every day life.

I am looking forward to and hoping for change this year, even as I become more content with where we are.

Around this time each year, I tend to adopt a theme or word.  This has become a habit both Jeremy and I have somehow fallen into.  We often talk about the seasons of life we find ourselves in and many times, define them with a word.  There is something in us that for some reason begins to change, and suddenly that change becomes a true desire.  We have found that being able to identify what that desire is to be valuable to our formation. Some seasons we don’t understand until after they pass and others we enter into with a certain expectancy, even if we don’t know exactly what it is that will come from it.

The word on my heart for 2014 is: bold.

There have been some moments in my life where I have done something that took some boldness, but I don’t think many people would use the word bold to describe me.  

We craft collections of pictures in our head (or on Pinterest) of who we want to be or don’t want to be, and the more we focus on those images, the more we become like it.

Everyone feels a little awkward or discontent about themselves at some point in their life and I don’t think that wanting to change something about ourselves or push ourselves to grow is a bad thing.  There are some things that really should be left behind, and most likely, there always will be.

But at some point, we need to move on from being so uncertain of ourselves, for I have come to realize that a girl who is always striving looks just like that.

Some times it is obvious, other times, it is harder to tell.

Because sometimes others are looking at the striving girl, themselves wanting to be more or less like her, not realizing she is just trying to be something else.

While others are looking at that girl and saying, “Oh.  There is so much more to you than that.”

And once in a while, the girl actually hears those words deep and something trembles inside her gut and she realizes she has been chasing something fruitless and fake.

It takes courage to accept that.

And beginning to strip away the false identities and questioning the things you used to believe and embracing a journey to find who you really are and realizing that you won’t arrive there overnight takes a certain boldness.

Because at first, you might not like who you really are, and maybe not everyone else will either.  You might not always get a chance to explain yourself, and even when you do, it might not make a difference.  But something amazing happens when you begin to become secure in who you are.

You suddenly have a lot more to offer and a lot more to learn.  There is a freedom in that you don’t have to be like anyone or try to make anyone be like you. You just are who you are, and you will inspire those who will be inspired by you and help those you are meant to help.  No longer are you threatened by those who are different from you, but you can learn from them and embrace the differences and learn to understand things from different perspectives without having to make yourself feel better by either elevating yourself or putting others down.

Beginning to publish my thoughts here, and even opening my Etsy shop, were some small steps in this direction.  In a world of social media, where most of us only put up the best and most exciting pictures of our lives, it is intimidating to attempt to be transparent and vulnerable.

And yet, this is what I really long for in all areas of my life:  Authenticity. Humility. Honesty.

With this, I believe, comes a great need for boldness.

-b.e.

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