Word of the Week

Lately have you felt dragging? Have you simply been putting one foot in front of the other? Without energy to do anything more than you really had to do?

If so, I see you! While such is common experience, we may not associate it with our word of the week, thrive.

Thrive: to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances.

But I believe, we can thrive even when life is not picture perfect and we are bubbling over with energy. To thrive, you see, it not about the contents of what life has offered you.

You thrive when you do well with what you have.

You can in fact thrive even when life is weighing you down. You can thrive when you have less than you are used to having. You can thrive even when your day job does not bring you joy anymore.

Thriving, I think looks a lot like this:

A single mom waking up early-- even with all the demands on her day-- to go walking simply because it makes her feel alive.

A son whose father is under hospice with only weeks to live-- spending precious moments by his bedside, serving, listening and gleaming whatever wisdom he can.

Someone with 0% job satisfaction squirreling away moment in her sock drawer for her "go back to school fund" so that she can one day she can be qualified for that job that brings joy to her face.

For thriving can happen at any age, in any life situation and on any scale great or small.

Thriving happens with hope. Thriving happens with intention. Thriving happens when we make space in our life to lean toward what matters to us the most.

Your thriving might look nothing like your dear friend's thriving. Your thriving at 70 might not look like what it did at 60. Your thriving in the summer might not look like you're thriving in the winter. All of this is just as it should be!

In the meantime, I'd love to offer you this white paper, I created called, "10 Ways to Thrive in a Hard Season" It's full of ideas about music, books and activities to kickstart in your "thriving" plans. Feel free to forward to others who might find it helpful too!

Blessings on your next steps-

XO

Elizabeth

Happy Sunday, friends!

I'm wondering when is the last time you did something just because?

Can you remember the last time you had a weekend with no plans? Or you took the afternoon off just to sit outside or read a book or stare at the birds? Or can you remember the last time you canceled plans (even very good plans) because you knew you couldn't do one more thing?

To the "yes" answer to any of these questions takes us to our word of the week: human.

Human: our soul connected to our body, brain, conscience, consciousness, memory, mind, spirit, soul and subconscious on planet earth.

As we unpack this definitions we realize this: to be a human is to have limitations.

Limitations in time (we don't live on earth forever).

Limitations in reach (there are some barriers we just can't cross).

Limitations in energy (we all must sleep). And so many more!

But the way you and I act sometimes it is as if the word super is in front of "human."

With our invisible capes on, we push through long days and don't eat well. We skip doctors appointments that we should have made weeks ago. We say "Next year I'll retire." (And then we don't!) As a result, the most authentic human parts of us are lost. (Deep sigh)

Let me tell you this. Last year I started a new full-time job. It's a position I never could have imagined taking in a place I never could have imagined living, but how much I love it all! In my role as minister of First Christian Church and in this town called Athens, GA, I feel like I got an invitation: to be minister but also be human.

So these days, I feel like I'm different kind of leader than I've ever been. I don't keep my life or my family's life to myself (maybe that I would have tried to been years ago), but I'm just me. And we're just us. What joy it is be human.

Here's what I've learned: living fully human gives the world gifts that it needs the most. Not only joy, but vulnerability, authenticity and kindness!

How can you be more human this week?

Laugh. Cry. Take a nap. Go out with a friend to lunch and tell the truth. Eat a salad. Eat a cookie. Forget the time lost in a book or show. Breathe. And know that God adores you just as you are.

God loved humans in fact so much that he sent you LOVE to lead the way . . .

XO

Elizabeth

Good morning friend! Thank you for joining me again (or for the first time!) for this weekly Sunday morning pause.

Have you ever committed to something only to regret it later?

Or thought: "Why did I say yes to that? I don't have any time for that at all!"

Then, either you've let someone down or you've bitterly kept your word. Such an experience leads us to wrestle with our word for the week: energy.

Energy defined as: the capacity for vigorous activity; available power.

What you complete with ease (or don't) says a lot about your what your body, mind and soul have energy for.

Recently, when I was spending some time with my calendar, I got stuck. There were some projects I wanted to tackle, many that I felt would be good to tackle, many that I was overdue in tackling, but somehow all these projects landed on the bottom of my uncompleted list. I couldn't seem to make myself bring them to the top, and I wasn't sure when (or if) I was going to get to them.

It's easy to feel guilty about knowings like this and try to make yourself do what you really don't want to do. Push through the hard. Let duty win over.

But today I want to think about this: how can your energy teach you?

When you and I pay attention to what gets us out of the bed in the morning, to what keeps us moving forward during the day, and to what kinds of chores keep us going past bedtime, you are on to something about what your energy feels like. For example:

Do you like people projects? Or do you like solitary work that you can complete alone without distractions? Or both? Do you like hosting and planning parties? Or would you rather be on the clean up crew? Do you like to dream about the future? Or would you rather give yourself to something that hasn't changed in its procedures in years?

We all have work to do. We all have contributions to make to any community that ONLY we can make with our unique life experiences and gifts. No matter how old or young you are, you can do something.

If you are breathing you have some energy. But, so often we live in a paradigm where we believe we're only valuable if our work includes big grand things, or things that "must be done" or things that everyone else around us is doing who are super able bodied.

Being "energy aware" is a beautiful gift of God so you can connect to the places where your work and relationships are a JOY not a duty.

Lean into where your energy takes you this week.

XO

Elizabeth