Five Minute Friday: Choosing to Accept

Linking up with Lisa-Jo for Five Minute Friday…She gives us all a writing prompt and we write, uninterrupted, with very little editing for 5 minutes. Imperfect but real… Today’s word is: CHOOSE.
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We all choose. Every single day, choosing, choosing. Which tea to have for breakfast (right now I’m loving Bigelow’s White Chocolate Kisses), how many chocolate chips to put on the oatmeal (it’s Friday–a decent handful). And the big decisions, sometimes even the subconscious ones: Choosing to show up to work with a smile on your face. Choosing to feel beautiful, even if you’ve been told otherwise by people in your life. Choosing to step out on a precariously thin limb, knowing that God is the one who sways the trees and can make you fly off that branch into blue sky dreams. These are bold choices, sometimes even reckless in the face of the world’s desires.

See God calls us to choose. We must choose. It’s one of the biggest pieces of this glorious puzzle He’s got: We choose. 
We choose to accept Him. 
We choose to accept Love. 
We choose to see with His holy eyes instead of our dusty, earthly ones.

Yes, He can love us through and through but without our choice, it is not a relationship. So, too, it is on earth, here, that we must choose, and choose, and choose again: To accept love. For the more love we accept, the more love we have to give. And that, my friends, makes the world a much more beautiful place.

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Five Minute Friday
      Today’s Linkup

Cocoa Chat

Let’s share a cup of hot cocoa tonight, yeah? See, I made you a special one with homemade whipped cream, peppermint bits, and a cherry Andes mint. It’s rather delicious, if I do say so myself. 
But it’s definitely for you.
Ahem.
My writings here always come from a really authentic place, and I hope you can see that, whether they are silly or deeper-hearted. I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching lately, and I am so excited about the plans I have for this little blog-space of mine. Thank you so much for sharing life with me here.
It is my pleasure to hostess you all here for a moment out of your day.

Today is a time for words instead of pictures. 
Except, one more picture:

For me, this photo embodies my word of the year for 2012: Change.
Every year I choose a Word of the Year that I feel God has laid on my heart as the banner word over my year. I pray about it and often wrestle with the word choice, unsure of what it means or how exactly He seeks to accomplish the meaning of that word in my life. You see, often the words are not pleasant things. They are usually words like 2011’s Discipline or  2012’s word: Change.
On the heels of a rough ending to the otherwise blissfully wonderful 2011, it seemed that there was nothing BUT change left for me. God was preparing my heart. Come mid-year, I was at the end of my rope physically, spiritually, and mentally. I took six flights to visit family in two different states, fighting anxiety attacks the whole way, bursting into tears at random times and in front of strangers, feeling unequivocally beaten down. I made the tough decision to move closer to my family and start chasing some dreams. 
I wish this post were about the healing I’ve experienced, the turning point for wholeness I embraced this year. But as I’ve often said, a testimony is no good without honesty and authenticity. My heart isn’t healed, much as I hate to admit that, because it’s been a year.
 A tough one.

 I know we serve a God whose provisions are complete. He is utterly dependable and overwhelmingly in love with us.
And no matter how much love we may lose on this here broken ground, our God in the Heavens never fails. 

That photo above? That’s me, standing in front of Niagara Falls, during my move. I used to think it was strange that I decided to turn my back on the falls and look out the other way. Why didn’t I face the falls? Now, I think it’s mighty symbolic. My back is to the falls. My back is to the difficulty, to the mighty rushing river cliff of heartbreak.
A year into it.
***
I’ll see you next January to check in on my word for 2013 and how God used it in my life. 
Oh, and one of my blog-friends asked me about my goals for the upcoming year. I have a list, but I’ll share my big one:
Get my poetry published!
I wish you all a marvelous year. 

Proportional Priorities

(I didn’t make this saying up, it’s been floating around. But I did add the last part and then make it pretty 😛 also, it doesn’t entirely make sense with my post, but just go with it, k?)
Sometimes, we spend time a priority-amount-of-time on things that should only be options. We’re spending the most amount of time on the least important things. Ya know what I mean? This goes for people (been there, done that with boyfriends), clothes (can’t I get another pretty impractical cocktail dress even though I never go to cocktails ever?), and commitments (just one more TV show, that’s all!). None of these things are pulling their weight for priority status (they shouldn’t demand all of our time/closet space/energy).
Case in point: I started writing this “deep” blog post about priorities. And then I proceeded to spend OVER an HOUR creepin’ on Facebook photos. I’m not even kidding. Raw honesty. Things be gettin’ real. Ahem. 
Life and closets have a lot in common, metaphorically. I alluded to this idea in the Life:Beautiful article: create a closet that is mostly filled with pieces that work well in the space/place in life where you spend most of your time. Spend the majority of your money on pieces that will serve you well day in and day out. 
Then, too, we should spend the majority of our time on the most important things, and less time and energy on the less important things. Mind-blowing, right? If by mind-blowing I mean, incredibly simple and face-palm-worthy. Which I do. Why is it so easy to let our priorities become disproportionate with our time and energy? 
Consider this, also: The less-important things are not BAD things, in general. They are just LESS important. Facebook is not a bad thing, in and of itself. Have a Facebook check-in now and then with a cup of tea to relax. No biggie.Have a few fancy frocks in your wardrobe that are incredibly impractical for your workaday life. They make you happy.
 But when the majority of your closet becomes impractical frocks, your morning becomes a frustrated routine of “I have nothing to wear!” drama while staring into a packed-full closet. 
Likewise, an evening filled with Facebook-checking leaves a time-crunched, unfocused girl who says, “I don’t have time to write blog posts!” 

Silly Natalie. Of course you have time to write blog posts! But you might not have as much time for Facebook.
And so it goes with other areas of my life, too.
Where are you investing your time? 
Where are you investing your clothing budget?
Do they both line up with your priorities
or are you facing some of the same struggles I am, and needing to differentiate between the things I am letting be priorities, but are really more “option” level?
xo