It has been weeks since I have sat down to share my thoughts. That is by design. We completed our fourth year of volunteer service in May and, at that time, we made the decision to enter a quiet time. A time filled with reflection and prayer as we seek the next, correct step in this incredible journey. The last four years have been life changing for our family and we cherish each and every experience. It has sparked a passion inside us that we did not know existed. We have a burning desire to help, inspire and encourage others and that desire is what will drive us into the next phase of Impact 52. We are working on something new. We are dreaming big. We are preparing to walk out in faith to chase our dreams and impact lives. We are fully committed to our mission and our life’s purpose. We are excited about what is to come.
While we continue to work on our future plans, I wanted to share something that has been on my heart over the last few days. I can simply say it this way:
Live every moment, laugh every day and love beyond words.
Live every moment! We must live every moment of our lives with purpose. We cannot become lifeless zombies stumbling through life. We must not become numb to those around us and the happenings in our community. So often we become so wrapped up in our “stuff”, our own problems, that we fail to see the hurt that exists around us. We gaze upon it, but we really don’t see it. Our busy lives and monotonous routines lead us down a path of absence. We are there, but we are not there. We must BE PRESENT every moment of life. I write this today because it starts with me. Over the last few years I became so obsessed with helping others that I failed to see the need that existed under my own roof. Both of my daughters battled bouts with depression. They experienced dark, dark days and even darker nights. I was aware of their fight, but I was not present enough to understand just how deep and dangerous it was. They cried out and I failed to respond. MaKenna began to self-harm by burning and cutting herself. She even made an attempt to end her life through overdose. It was then that I realized what I had missed. Friends, do not make the same mistakes that I have made. BE PRESENT in the lives of your family, your friends and everyone around you. There are hurts that need healing and you just need to be present to see it.
Laugh every day! Life is difficult. Anyone who tells you different is lying. We all have daily battles and challenges. We are always dealing with something. A family member is struggling with cancer. You are having issues with co-workers. A friend’s brother passed away. Your bank account reads zero and you have bills to pay. Your child is bullied at school and the anxiety it causes leads him down a path of destruction. I could go on and on about the REAL life challenges that we face. Day after day, we navigate through a mine field of negativity in this world. It will consume us and destroy us if we let it. Friends, we must make it a priority to laugh, and make others laugh, every day. The world needs more laughter and the joy that comes from it. I have a daily goal to see Erica and the girls smile and laugh. They need it. I need it. I will do whatever it takes to ensure that it happens. Don’t believe me? Take a look at Kenna’s phone sometime. She has many videos of me dancing, singing and/or acting like a clown as proof. There is no better sound in the world than hearing my family laugh. We all must understand how powerful laughter is and make creating smiles a priority. If not, life will eat us alive.
Love beyond words! LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. The world needs it more now than ever before. We live in a world that is consumed with hate. I am a firm believer that there is more love in the world than there is hate. Unfortunately, we just aren’t good at showing it. We must love. Love yourself. Love your neighbor. Love your church. Love your co-workers. Love your enemies. Our communities need us to care and they need us to love. Please know, it isn’t about the words. It is about the action. We must love beyond the words. Help. Assist. Serve. Encourage. Let people know that they are not alone and that you love them.
It starts with me. I hope you will join me in making our world a better place.