It’s Almost Here

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'strength' photo (c) 2008, Candie_N (Will organize photostream eventually) - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/This time last year I launched my birthday week celebration.  Yesterday was exactly one week before my birthday.  And last year I gave away a book for every day of the week inspired by some bloggers that I respect greatly.  I had every intention of doing that again this year, but I’m just not feeling it.  There will be a giveaway announced next week on my birthday, so be reading.  The only problem is is that I’m not quite sure what it will be.

I’ve been reading over my 10 Things list that I made for my birthday last year.  There were some pretty crazy goals on it.  There were some mediocre goals on it.  I think I achieved more of the crazy goals than I did the mediocre ones, which I think is kind of funny.  The fact of the matter is is that this past year has been completely life-changing for me.

I’ve become stronger.

And in the course of finding my strength, both physically and mentally, it seems that I’ve become, at least in my mind, a better version of myself.  It’s not that I feel at all like I’ve finally got it together.

I’m not even close to having it all together.

But I love my new strength.  It gives me the courage to love my flaws.  

I think it takes a special kind of strength for people to actually love ourselves.  Some days I do okay with that.  Some days love isn’t exactly the word I’d use.

But I was reminded recently of the Great Commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself.”  I felt like I loved my neighbors pretty well…even when I wasn’t loving who I was.  But it wasn’t until I started to really understand that I am God’s creation and that He calls me Beloved, that I started loving myself.  And when I started to love who He had created me to be, I finally started to see that even though I thought I was loving my neighbors, those relationships were flawed.  Because I can’t know how to really love people and get down to the core of what they need until I really loved me.

And it’s so hard, my friends.  It’s so easy to put ourselves down.  It’s so hard to extend grace to ourselves.  We know that we should know better and yet we still fall.  But the thing is is that God has extended that grace to us.  Who are we to say, No, thank you?

My greatest hope for you during this next year is that you learn true love.

Love of yourself.

Love of your neighbor.

Love of the One who calls you Beloved.

Be loved, my friends.

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