Grief lessons: Love is intentional.

Grief is uncomfortable. It’s uncomfortable to be around someone that is grieving and it’s without a doubt uncomfortable to be the one grieving. Many parents of loss testify that their friends and family give them the cold shoulder when they have a miscarriage, stillbirth, or experience infant loss. Why is this? Is it that they no longer love the family member who experienced the loss (or never did)? No, I imagine that more than likely the miscarriage, stillbirth, or loss of a child shortly after birth made them feel too uncomfortable to show their love.

But, true love-the 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love-is sacrificial. It means I’m willing to sacrifice being uncomfortable in order to show YOU that I love you and that I care. It’s not thinking about myself for a minute, but putting your possible needs first.

On this grief journey over the past year, I have learned that many people will say that they love you and that they support you, but few people are willing to sacrifice their time, money, or personal comfort to put action behind their words. I spent a good chunk of the past year angry, disappointed, and hurt. But the beauty of it all was when I began to focus on what my experience could teach me about being more loving.

I was forced to do some serious introspection and asked myself whether or not I really show people that I care about that I love them. The answer is most of the time-No. I, like most of the human population, am addicted to my personal comfort and rarely do anything that requires me to sacrifice my own comfort.

This is where intentionality comes in. What does it matter if I tell my daughter that I love her over and over again, but don’t spend quality time with her doing her favorite things? My love for her requires personal sacrifice on pretty much a daily basis-meaning that even if mommy is tired and had a really long day, I’m going to do my best to make sure we read a story before bedtime. It means that even though I have literally ten billion things to do, I’m going to stop and listen when my husband needs to talk about something that’s bothering him. Love requires sacrifice. Love is intentional.

None of us will love perfectly all the time, but I think if we’re intentional about loving, our relationships will thrive and the people we love will feel that we truly care for them.

My family and I will be walking in the March of Dimes March for Babies on Sunday, April 30, 2017 in honor of our angel. We’d love for you to donate to our campaign! Any amount no matter how small may help other families of premature infants. Click here and know that we’re so thankful for you!

Living on Purpose: 101 Things in 1001 Days Challenge!

One of the things I’m loving about my new blogging life is all the amazing fellow bloggers I’m getting to know via some truly inspirational blogs. Recently, I was inspired by Jhaneel Lockhart’s post about her update on how her 101 things in 1001 days is coming along. She graciously referred me to where this fabulous idea began on the Day Zero Project website. Basically, the idea is to compile a list of 101 things you would like to complete in 1001 days, which is almost 2.75 years. The idea is to choose things that are attainable, but require you to stretch yourself at the same time. I really love this concept because it forces you to be intentional about living. It pushes us all to be proactive about our lives instead of being reactive or simply waiting or wishing for good things to happen. A major part of being positively optimistic and powerful (aka POPed) is to live on purpose.

You would think that the hardest part about this project is actually checking items off of the list, but actually coming up with 101 things is HARD! So far I’ve only gotten to thirty-something so I think I will share my list in increments of thirty. I plan to keep you gals posted every time I complete 10 things or so. I’m not attempting to complete them in any particular order either. I’m just gonna let it fly!

101 Hot-ish in 1001 Days

1. Build a profitable business

Just realized these are all singles...

Image source: 401(k) 2012. “Money-Savings” December 1, 2011 via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution.

2. Travel to a city/location in the U. S. and outside the U.S. that I’ve never been before

Dying to get to Paris to drink café au lait in front of Le Louvre...

Dying to get to Paris to drink café au lait in front of Le Louvre. Image Source: damonnofar. “Paris…” June 23, 2012 via pixabay, Creative Commons Attribution.

3. Have a reunion with my besties from college

The usual club pic. Miss these girls.

The usual club pic. Miss these girls.

4. Learn how to shoot a gun
5. Learn enough basic coding to make a website from scratch
6. Taking a drawing class geared towards children’s literature

watermelon book

I’m such a stereotype…

7. Take a cooking class
8. Become an advanced hair braider
9. Read a new book each month for 6 months straight
10. Start a garden
11. Become conversational in either Spanish or French
12. Get a makeover
13. Have a stylist consultation
14. Make a new friend
15. Go to a film festival
16. Participate in Bike the Drive

Sweet home Chicago

Sweet home Chicago

17. Eat a multiple course meal at a fancy restaurant
18. Become an advanced Yogi
19. Run a half-marathon
20. Get a real massage
21. Don’t say anything negative for a day

Happy, happy, happy

Happy, happy, happy

22. Become a member of a church
23. Create a family tradition
24. Write a personal mission statement
25. Write a play
26. Have a piece of writing published
27. Write a children’s book
28. Donate blood
29. Open an investment account/buy stocks and/or mutual funds
30. Create a will.

Extremely important no matter your age or financial situation, especially when you have kids.

Extremely important no matter your age or financial situation, especially when you have kids.

Whew, that took a lot of energy, but I have about 71 more things to come up with so wish me luck! Will you try the 101 Things in 1001 Days challenge with me or something like it? Do you find lists helpful for getting things done? Do you share any of the goals I’ve listed? Hit me up in the comments! Stay p.o.p.ed pimpin’ 😉

Daring to be Vulnerable

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:12, NIV)

little girlfirends

Real connections require vulnerability. It can be difficult to be vulnerable, to share raw emotion and present it to someone else unsure of what they will do with it. They may mend your open wound or throw dirt in it. You won’t know until you put yourself out there. Know that whatever happens after you reveal the real you, whether you are nurtured or hurt, you can handle it.