Sunday, May 15, 2016

My Yellow Ribbon

It's been three seasons since he left late on that October night with the bright yellow duck tape on his ruck sack and other bags. The extra strips he left in the car, and I taped them to the dashboard in the shape of a deployment ribbon. The old song "Tie a Yellow Ribbon 'Round the Old Oak Tree" is about a soldier who came home after years at war. He had asked his love to tie out a yellow ribbon if she still wanted him when he returned. When he drove by upon his return to check the entire oak tree was covered in a hundred yellow ribbons.
So I've still got that yellow duck tape on my dash board, wrinkled and ghetto. I'll let him take it off himself when he gets home.



Three seasons have passed though. Fall was underway when he left. Its funny though that the weather in Kansas was pretty nice until the day after he left, and then the temperature seemed to drop thirty degrees. But that may have just been me. Winter was long. I tried to escape it but did not quite manage. Spring has also felt long, but gentler. It would have been hard if he had left in spring. My body responds to the hope and life that seems to bubble up out of the earth through apple blossoms and new grass and baby calves. And now poised at the start of summer I feel so ready for heat. Purifying heat. Unavoidable heat. It feels like its been an eternity. But again, that's probably just me.

People have been incredibly kind, loving and understanding towards me these last 8 months. And so so generous. I truly have incredible friends, and especially family (new and old!). I have so much to be grateful for in this season. I've received trips and vacations, part time work that fits my crazy schedule, opportunities to do things I love, letters and cards, the weekly family update letter from Aaron's precious grammie, and lots of grace.

Grace, wow. I thought I was a pretty gracious person, until I got married and he deployed. I have needed so much grace. Bucketfuls of grace. Sometimes I felt like a wounded, feral animal lashing out at those trying to help me heal, so blind to my own pain I didn't even see they were trying to help. It was mostly my family, my husband, who had to deal with that. The ultimate grace-givers.

I have learned a lot. Learned that I'm not as strong, as tough, or as independent as I thought I was. Or maybe I still am all those things but I don't relish them anymore. I don't hang them up like an award I'm proud of. I may get back to being that way, but right now I just want to be needy and dependent. Not a good trait for a new wife whose husband works 18 hour days every single day halfway across the world.

But I learned grace for myself. I'm not good at it yet. But I am also learning grace for others, especially him. Its a slow process, made more difficult by the situation. I think I'm moving in the right direction though.

I stopped pinning angsty quotes about deployment on my pinterest boards and have instead put my focus on decorating and organizational ideas for our first home (rental). I have (almost) stopped mourning over what was lost and past, and instead started hoping for the future. I can even joke about my uncharacteristic hermit-like behavior of this season, along with how hard its all been.

Its been hard. Really hard. Harder than I ever imagined. And for a lot of different, unexpected reasons. And I learned that while I may have gotten pretty good at giving God the glory in some areas or challenges of my life, there's quite a few more that I'm a complete disgrace in.

But grace, oh grace...how sweet the sound.

I know I don't have much to complain about when I personally know people who are broken-hearted over being single, or battling a debilitating disease, or facing a cancer diagnosis, or reeling after a loss. I know I'm not in a season like that. I know I'm still technically only 9 months out from my own perfect wedding day. I know I have been gifted more than I will ever deserve. And I know other women in my same situation who seem to have really enjoyed the deployment season. And I'm happy for that, truly.

Thank God that hard things come to an end. They have to, because He promised they would. I trust Him, I do, even if I don't always act like it.

So this present season as the spring blossoms turn to summer promises, I'm breathing lighter. I'm laughing a little more easily. I'm even starting to sing again. And it feels good. Really good.

He's still not home. Won't be for a little longer. But that's ok. I'm ok. We're going to be ok.
And that yellow ribbon reminds me to keep going. And for goodness' sake to stop being so melodramatic! (Yeah.....right...)


I'll leave you with this little gem. Phil Keaggy played this at Wheaton College chapel at the end of my freshman year in college. I remember I cried when I heard the line "its been a long cold lonely winter" because my freshman year was probably my hardest of my life until that point. But the hope in this song was tangible and life-giving. So it has been in this season as well. This is the exact clip! You can hear us all cheer when he plays that line. So good!



P.S. I don't write any of this out of a need for pity or because I need to be validated. I am sharing my experiences, and hopefully in a month or two I'll write again about the joys of homecoming and how maybe this all wasn't as bad as I thought ;)

Its the hard stuff that makes all the good stuff that much sweeter though. I have learned that.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Post-Wedding + Pre-Deployment


I married him on a warm August afternoon with the sun and big gorgeous clouds overhead and the people we adore all around us. It was beautiful and hot and I didn't even get to talk to everyone that came. I felt so incomparably happy, as if I was living a surreal fairy tale, but it was real and it was my life! So many incredible people made it happen and we are humbled and blessed by the whole event.

He whisked me away to the southern Caribbean for a blissful tropical cruise with horses and dolphins and islands. Then we moved into our first home in Manhattan Kansas. The little apple. And we lived happily by the grace of God for two whole months. We immediately found a great little church that we love and made some wonderful new friends.

But all good things must come to an end. Or as in our case, a hiatus at the very least. My soldier's nine month deployment to Kuwait became real once we received his Orders. We rented a storage unit and started packing up the things I'd just finished completing our home with. I stopped buying groceries and starting making weird composite dishes of whatever food was in the fridge.

And last week was the hardest yet, for a few reasons, but we survived. I decided mascara was futile and went without. There were some hard, dark nights where I questioned a lot of things, including things unrelated to this army life. But I learned grace and forgiveness in my marriage, and I'm continuing to learn how to exhibit both.

I'm living the final few days of semi-normal life with my brand new husband. They bumped up his leave-day, so he leaves earlier than we had planned. And I plan on leaving the day after him, so all the packing/moving/storing will be done. Those wonderful new friends we made are helping to make that all happen.

I am learning a lot about this military life. I'm very proud of my strong and capable Lieutenant. He works very hard and represents the best of what America has to offer. But that doesn't make this whole process much easier. Quite frankly I expect to cry a lot at random times.

Many of you have asked how to pray for us. I cannot express to you how powerful your prayers have been in the recent weeks. Thank you.


Things to pray for:
- Emotional stamina these next 6 days
- Aaron's safe passage to his base in Kuwait. For quick layovers and arrival.
- Kelly's safe journey back to South Carolina
- That all 247 days apart will only enhance their love and unity
- For Aaron to find good, godly community at his base in Kuwait
- For Aaron's purpose at his base to keep him and his soldiers busy
- That this would be a special time of individual growth and spiritual maturity in both Kelly and Aaron's lives
- That Kelly would be productive in her Master's program and various pursuits while staying with her parents in NC
- For Kelly to be able to find them a good home in Kansas next summer to move into before Aaron gets back
- Safety: physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. 


If any of you would like to send Aaron a care package, or contribute to my regular care packages for him, please let me know! I know every little thing from home means so much to them.
Aaron is missing our first holidays as husband and wife:Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and my birthday. Any chance to make the roughly 7,000 miles between us feel less!

And because I like to drown my sorrows in humor...



Wedding photos by Julia Laible Photography


Friday, January 30, 2015

Go live it up!

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,
      Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
      For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
      I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
      My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
      Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
      Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
      How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
      I am the captain of my soul.


I'm pretty obsessed with this poem. It's always been a favorite. I love the cadence, I love the imagery. I love the power of it. This poem inspires me, and I hear Braveheart music playing in my heart whenever I read it. Now I don't necessarily agree with everything in the poem, but its a call. 
It is the horn of Rohan calling the Rohirrin (me) out of complacency and mediocrity into adventure and passion. This scene gets me every time:



Sometimes we all need a little inspiration pick-me-up. After a long work week, when the heart is weary and worn, we need this. This moment of decision. The decision to live FULLY right now. I've already talked about how I live in a fantasy world, but this is simply letting in some of the characteristics of the fairy tale into the true story. It's so worth it!

Fight the good fight, finish the race, and keep the faith! (paraphrased from 2 Tim 4:7) 

This life is beautiful and tragic and awe-inspiring. You don't have to go to the movies all the time to be reminded of glory- you can choose to live it out every day! As a Christian I am called to this, and as humans we get to experience this stunning world in ways no other living thing can. It's your life! Go LIVE IT!

So go out an conquer this weekend! Do all your chores, or do none! Get ahead on your homework, or procrastinate! (actually don't do that). Go outside and breathe and be alone, or spend the weekend with real, living, thinking human beings! Get off your computer and go talk to a face! Put down the remote and pick up a book! Call your family and email a friend! Worship God besides Sunday morning! Watch the Superbowl, or just enjoy the food, commercials and national anthem like me! Don't spend any money, or decide to blow a little bit of extra cash! Don't STRESS!

 THAT is how we live out an epic, inspired life. Relationships, experiences, Truth. Go get drunk on that this weekend. And your Monday will be like a new opportunity instead of a hangover. 

And you can take THAT to the bank!

(...but only if it's SunTrust...since I'm a banker there now....and only if you let me open your account..)





Sunday, July 20, 2014

Table for One

"How many?"
"One, please."

I take my seat at a table for two. Or maybe the bar, depending on the crowd.
I don't mind it, you know. It comes with the territory of a job where you travel. I see so many beautiful places and lovely people.

Cocktails on the patio at Castle Hill Inn, overlooking the ocean filled with sailboats in no hurry.


An evening soiree for fancy people. All the ladies wear hats, and we all pretend we're important for some reason or another.


Breakfast at a roadside bakery and produce stand. If only I could bottle the aroma that fills the air there.


A late sunset at a country estate in rural Rhode Island eating fresh cherries, and figs wrapped in prosciutto with a squeeze of lime. Dinner at a seaside diner with the breeze seasoning my meal.


Quaint back roads on the Island I take a ferry to reach. The power went out at my bed and breakfast. Nothing brings strangers together like a power outage in a public sleeping house on Nantucket without wifi.



 Solo evening strolls along the docks reading boat names and looking like a mystery woman with red lips and no rush.

A group of fun-chasers invite me aboard for a drink. I decline, but part of me wishes I hadn't. I'm not as bold as I thought. If I was, perhaps I'd be writing about the night I met a fascinating man on a boat in the Nantucket harbor watching the sun sink into the sea. So many possibilities with "what ifs".


Like I said, I don't mind it, the alone-ness, really. This is my life, my adventure. The people who share it with me do so over the phone, mostly. They are my anchor, even though I never stop moving. Thank you, Verizon.

I miss my friends and family when I'm away. And my dogs. Life on the road isn't all glamorous.

I'm happy being me. Sometimes traveling can be lonely. But for me loneliness isn't exactly the empty seat staring across at you, judging you. Its not lacking something. Its just the hope that it won't always be an empty seat, at a table for one.

I don't stay sitting for long, anyway.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Friend of Sinners: How I saw Jesus in a bar

The Son of Man (Jesus) came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’
Matthew 11:19


You could say I grew up pretty sheltered and safe. And I am so thankful for that childhood. I had a wonderful family, a great church, and a safe Christian school. I went to the premier Christian college in the country, and there received an invaluable education backed by a truly incredible Christian reputation. I don't begrudge one cent of my student loans. It was completely worth it.

But despite the Youth Camps and events, and the missions trips to Europe, and the unbelievable Christian training, I've never had to share my faith in an environment that wasn't already receptive to it. I've been primed to be a light to the world, but I have really only been to places that are pretty well lit. This is not to say I haven't encountered challenges to my faith in the world. But when I finally got out and started working, I suddenly found myself faced with a clear decision to either speak up about my faith, or stay quiet. Its not always an easy decision, and it requires constant communion with the Holy Spirit. 

I'm not a shy person. I enjoy articulating what I believe. But I've always been surrounded by people just like me, similar-minded. And believe me, it has been wonderful! I've experienced true community more than most people have. Yet I've always felt that although I contribute much to the Christian community, I haven't really invested myself in the larger community of humanity. 

However, since leaving Wheaton, I've been blessed with opportunities to push my faith and prove to myself and others that 
" I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes." (Romans 1:16)

Maybe it was pride. Maybe I feared corruption. Maybe I was scared to fail God. Maybe I didn't think my faith was strong enough. Whatever the reason, I haven't been obedient to God when he said to take the Gospel of salvation to the world. 

Until now.

It started with statements like "I will pray for you" when someone was going through something. Then it was asking to pray with them at that moment. Then I started seeking opportunities to pray for people, and asked God to give me his eyes to see people the way he did. It is so much easier to love people through a lens of unconditional grace. And then eventually, I started to dialog about my faith. And whenever those opportunities have arisen, all my lifetime of training and scripture memory and the prayers of generations before flow through me, and I don't sound like a complete idiot. And I get to see God softening hearts. 

Mark 13 says, "You must be on your guard... On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. 10 And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. 11 Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit."

Now I haven't been on trial, nor have I stood before governors and kings. But in opening myself to the opportunities that He gives me to share why I believe what I believe, it is easier than I thought.
[Dr. Jerry Root would be so proud of me. That Evangelism class should be a requirement to graduate.]

I have traveled all over the country in the past 3 years, and hung out with fewer Christians than ever before. Hanging out with "sinners" has been exactly what my faith needed. I've been to all manner of "ungodly" places. And when I've allowed Jesus to remain the center of my life, I suddenly see that I didn't bring him into the bar or music venue or modeling session or trade show floor or restaurant with me. He was already there. He was already working on the souls with whom I was graciously allowed to interact. I am part of the "sinners" he was hanging out with!

A little while back I found myself at a venue late in the evening that I otherwise would not have been to. I'm not really a late night, bar-scene kind of girl. But here I was, a bit uncomfortable, out late with a guy I barely knew. There are good, Godly people I know who would have judged me at that moment. But I was in control and I wasn't putting myself into any bad situations. I was safe, so I let myself lighten up. And suddenly I started seeing people through His eyes: their brokenness, their joy, their passions. It was humanity, pulsing and dancing and glowing like the plants in the movie Avatar. It was beautiful, and heartbreaking. I saw the need, and I was reminded again why Jesus had to die. And  in that moment Jesus pulled the veil of self-righteousness off my eyes, and let me into his heart. I left that evening thinking that Jesus isn't just in our prayer groups and Bible studies. He's at the bars and runways and restaurants and beaches and airports. He is "drawing all mankind to himself" (John 12:32). He isn't just MY saving grace. He is the world's, for those who would believe.

So my name is Kelly. I'm a sinner. I've been saved by grace. And I'm a friend to sinners who are and are not just like me. I don't want to be known for what I'm against. I'm following humanities' biggest advocate. He is for us!

Jesus, Friend of Sinners, open our eyes to the end of our pointing fingers. 

I was the lost cause. I was the outcast. 
He died for sinners just like me. 










(Disclaimer: For any young people reading this, I am not advocating close companionship with people who share different values than you. I have a tight community of people who are in constant communion with me, to encourage and challenge and hold me accountable. In my opinion, you MUST have a solid Christian community if you want to be truly effective in living a life in pursuit of holiness and obedience to sharing the Gospel.)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

I'm Not Saving Myself For Marraige

I had this conversation with someone a few weeks ago.
“Are you single?” She inquires nonchalantly.
“Yes.” I reply.
“Have you dated much?” I can tell she felt this was a benign question.
“No, I haven’t.”
“Have you had a boyfriend?” She’s interested now…intrigued.
“No, not really.” I’m not sure I like where she’s headed…not sure I know how to respond.
“So…are you a virgin?” She asks me almost tentatively, as if the suggestion itself was offensive.
“Yes I am.” I say without hesitation. My attitude is a bit edgy, daring her to shame me. But my stomach flutters at the pity in her tone.
“Are you saving yourself for marriage then?” She’s confused. It was the only excuse she could think of to help herself understand.
“No, I’m not.”

Because, as I went on to explain, abstinence isn’t the alternative to sex-before-marriage. Abstinence is an act of obedience to the God I believe in, whether my life involves a future marriage or not.
And guess what? It doesn’t define me.
(I understand that many people don’t live their lives as a Jesus freak. So be it. This blog post isn’t to you. But if you have professed Jesus Christ as your Savior and made a decision to accept his fathomless Love, this blog post will hopefully hold some encouragement for you.)

I’m (almost) 25, unattached, and a virgin. What is the first thing that you think? Here are some options:
  1. I’m ugly and awkward and can’t find any action.  
  2. I’m scared, or have trouble experiencing emotional intimacy, much less physical.
  3. I’m too good for men; I intimidate them, and may be a lesbian.
  4. I’m a good Christian girl waiting diligently for my Boaz.
  5. I’m not interested in sex or a lasting relationship.

If you thought any of these, you’d be wrong. Well, at least I hope you are wrong…I suppose I can’t be a judge of my own appearance or social awkwardness. I don’t believe myself to be ugly or awkward though, so I guess you are still wrong.
In our culture however, those are the main responses to my “condition”. And they feel sorry for me.
The truth is that I am NONE of those things. I am not defined by my singleness. I am not defined by my virginity.

I want to propose that we should not view singleness and virginity through a reductionist lens. As a Single I am more than the sum of my experiences, or the lack of them.
I am in my mid-twenties. I have experienced tragedy and triumph. I know what it is to have deep spiritual and sexual longings. I know the battle to refuse to participate in a pornography-glorified society. I have not always wanted to be single, and I have not always wanted to be married. I am not sexually repressed or confused. On the other hand, I am intensely sexual because it was how I was created. My sexuality doesn’t depend on your definition of “sexual expression.”

To the jaded, disillusioned woman who was once a hopeful little girl: You have not failed life. You haven’t missed out, and you are not less because of it. Nor are you invincible and above needing men. You were created for intimacy, and sometimes it’s just hard when that isn’t fulfilled. But the hard times don’t last forever. And sometimes we get to see the freedom in the gift we have. And both are ok.

You see, people tell me all the time to be patient, that God will bring “him” when the timing is right.
And I do believe that. But I prefer for people to focus on what God is doing in me right now. Because sometimes it is just too hard to hope for the wedded future that isn’t necessarily promised.

Being a virgin, and happily single, is hard. Actually, I don’t know of anyone who has always been a happy single virgin.  I mess up a lot. I get scared, and lonely, and I stop trusting God. Don’t assume that my glorious “freedom” is somehow easier than whatever situation you are in.

Because marriage isn’t the be-all end-all.
And neither is sex.
And neither, in fact, is life.
Which is why none of it, or the hope of dreams-fulfilled, is enough to keep me sexually pure.

I’m not a virgin because I’m single. I practice abstinence because marriage and sex and life aren’t enough to fulfill me.
I’m abstinent because God commanded it. And He alone is worth my vigilance.

Marriage, while a good goal, isn’t enough of a reason to “save” myself. I haven’t been promised marriage. I don’t have a concrete assurance that my sexual abstinence will result in a glorious, perfect, sexually satisfying union with my would-be husband.
Sex, as I’ve been told, is wonderful. If God had waited till the 8th day to rest after he had created Adam and Eve, I feel like the Bible might have said “And on the 7th day, God created sex. And it was very good.” But, as it turns out, he didn’t use his 7th day for that (although he did create sex). And sex isn’t the crown of creation. Thus, it shouldn’t be my crown of happiness either.
Life is wonderful and hard and sometimes terrifying. But I’m here on this earth to make the most of it, not let it define me.
And thus, marriage, sex, and life are not enough reasons for me to stay sexually pure. Because being sexually pure in our culture is so. Dang. Hard. And I’m not doing this for nothing.
I’m doing this for Everything. I’m doing this for the God who saw fit to have his flesh ripped and nailed to some wood, suspended above the ground, until he experienced Death for 3 days. So I wouldn’t have to. And then he took back Life, and became Life to me, and gave me Life. And nothing is as important as that. No amount of satisfying my flesh or sexual appetite can compare with the Holiness that he offers me in Jesus.
It is a simple request really, to keep myself sexually pure. When you think about what he went through to remove my sexual impurities, so I could be with him, my abstinence is a small issue by comparison.
But I forget about him sometimes. My flesh craves and my mind drives me towards the less-than-holy. And sometimes I regret my singleness. And my abstinence.

And who ever said it would be easy? In case you were wondering, it’s not. But it can be done with grace, and joy, and hope. I know people who are doing it, and doing it well. And its messy.
But God, when you really know him and his love, is Enough in the dark, scary, desperate moments. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it. But I promise you, I’ve been there, and He is.
Don’t feel sorry for me. I’m not suffering. Yes, sometimes being single is hard. And sometimes being sexually pure is even harder. But my life isn’t less than someone who isn’t either of those things. I’m not less of a human, and I haven’t missed out on life. It may mean less romantic comedies and fewer romance novels, but I’m sure I’ll survive.
If anything, I’m more fulfilled. I’m living for something larger than myself. I’m living in obedience to the one who is Love. He rescued my life! How easy it should be, and often is, to thank him with my obedience.
I’m not saving myself for marriage. I don’t have to. Marriage and sex aren’t what I live for, so I don’t think my life should be reduced to that end.

Living a life worthy of the calling of Christ is what I live for. I’m not saving myself or holding back anything and waiting. I’m surging forward—free. I’m pulsing and dancing and singing and breathing and living and laughing and loving with freedom from the restraints of a culture who says I’m not a full, real woman.  

HA!


I prove them wrong every day. 



Friday, September 20, 2013

Don't Pursue Happiness

Learning to live life well is hard. 
Our nature is prone to self-comfort, self-promotion, and most assuredly happiness.

We get wrapped up in ourselves. And let me tell you, it’s harder to clean up a house that has been TP-ed in the rain than to take our focus off ourselves.

But isn't life all about us anyway? Don't we matter?? Is it not ALL ABOUT ME?? Who's going to make me happy if I don't?? What if things go WRONG and God forbid, I'm UNHAPPY??

I’m fighting against the foundation of American culture here, but it must be said.

Do not pursue happiness. #boom

Before you stop reading, let me say that you can still be happy even if you don’t pursue the euphoria.

Actually, you will find yourself much, much happier when you don’t.

Not passive, situational happiness. This is a happiness by choice.

How do I choose happiness?

I focus on living life well, even when I fail. And having grace for myself and others when I do. (Side note: I can't do it in my own strength. There's this omnipotent being that I have a personal connection with...you could call it a soul-link....He helps me out.)

I always try to say the right things, do the right things, and be the right person. Don't get me wrong, I truly desire to do right. But the past few years have shown me that there is so much happiness, nay JOY to be had if I simply took the time to choose it...to LIVE it.

The fascinating thing about happiness is that it is not an end unto itself, but a lovely and delicious reward for pursuing the things that REALLY matter.

God.

People.


(Side note: Guess what isn't listed? Things.  Fight back against the materialism in this world! Live more simply. It will make you HAPPIER! Fact.)

I think we can all agree that life is messy. And hard. And often ugly and not anything like we thought it would be.

That’s ok. I think you’ll find that the happiest people aren't the richest, or the best looking, or the smartest.

They are people who know that happiness isn't found on Ebay, or in that one elusive perfect relationship, or even in their own accomplishments.

I stopped looking for happiness, and decided to make it, for myself, by living a life of purpose beyond me.

What does it look like?

Right now it looks like this:

Being a foster mom to rescue puppies from a local shelter.
Taking people to lunch just to share life.
Dropping off needed supplies to local non-profits.
Calling people on the phone instead of stalking their Facebook.
Reading books that challenge me intellectually, even out of school.

This list isn't mean to glorify my current endeavors. The point is this: living a life on purpose is so much more fulfilling than jumping from one happy high to another.

Take some time to think about how you can do things you enjoy with a purpose.

Love sports? Sign up to be a volunteer coach. Or support a local team. Or join one.
Love animals? Contact your local shelter and see where you can help out.
Love people? Pour into the ones you live with first. Then be intentional with the ones in your community. And graciously love the people you barely come in contact with. Remember: “You've never met a mere mortal.” (C.S. Lewis)
Love food? Start a “Foodie Club” with your friends and try new foods!
Love traveling? Plan a weekend retreat and invite anyone who wants to come. Be a tourist in your own town, if you’re on a budget.
Love music? Support local musicians by actually going to their gigs. It means so much to have a friendly face in an audience.
Love art? Learn to appreciate it by going into a studio and asking the artist questions on how they create. They will really appreciate it.
Love feeling good about yourself? Take time for self care. Find an exercise you love to do. Eat healthily. Learn to dress your body type, and how to wear makeup well. And remember: you are not just a physical being.
Love spending money? Spend it on other people.


You get the idea. Take what you would usually pursue as a happiness-entity, and go beyond that. Push your expectations, and broaden your horizons. It could be life changing, for you or someone else.

Be cognizant of opportunities to bless people. And TACKLE those opportunities #likeaboss.

Good things happen there. God things happen there.
Be a blessing. And be blessed.
Create happiness.