fulfilled.

Living a fulfilled life shows itself in so many different areas. I enjoy things that I haven’t for a while, photography comes easy, friendships aren’t work, healthy choices come naturally, and crazy hours are no big deal.

All of this has been true for me over the last few weeks. I’m seeing changes in myself that I didn’t expect. I’m lifting my eyes up more and enjoying the world around me, I’m looking around at all the beautiful things, I’m taking time to stop and enjoy a beautiful sunset or just let the wind blow through my hair.

I’m still amazed as I stroll through Pike Place Market and realize that work in one of the most iconic parts of the great Pacific Northwest. As I walk to the ferry I am in awe of the buildings around me. I’m so full of gratitude of this life I’m living and the opportunities that I have.

Today as I was driving to the ferry I was just praying for my day, praying for those I work with and those that I serve as I work. It’s amazing the difference it can make if your day starts out in the right foot. Granted I did get a full night of sleep and even got coffee and breakfast with my mom, but still having the right heart makes a huge difference! Being fulfilled by my maker and not looking for it from anyone else has been such a huge blessing. Apparently when you really are too busy to worry about all those other things they seemingly fall into place, but because they are habits that I have been working on before life got busy.

Being fulfilled doesn’t mean that everything is handed to you, I work hard day in and day out, and life choices have been made and practiced for years, I just feel like all of the pieces are fitting together, the puzzle is taking shape and it’s so much easier to see what the picture is, it isn’t just a mess of pieces everywhere, it a picture of my life coming together – and turning out quite beautiful!

If you’re looking to live a fulfilled life, you have to start with the life giver, know Him closely, talk to him daily and even more importantly listen to Him daily. Those are my thoughts, dive in head first and don’t look back!

thriving.

I’ve always said that I want to not just survive in this life, but thrive. I want to do everything with excellence, not just a mediocre pass. I strive to be the best at everything I set my hand to. I don’t always succeed, but I try!

These last couple of months I’ve found myself thriving like never before… sure, I’ve had my moments of frustration, but I’ve pushed through those to find my way. I read a bumper sticker of all things a few months ago… it was probably this last spring. It said “Don’t let a man be your financial plan.” When I read that I realized that I wasn’t thriving at the moment. I was living paycheck to paycheck, working really hard but not always feeling appreciated. I was surviving. I knew that I had so much more in me to be in a place of thriving, I think that is what started this whole crazy journey that i’m in the middle of. Yes, I said the middle. I’ve made a lot of changes in the last 6-months, but I don’t think I’ll stop here. I want to keep striving for more, keep finding what i’m made to do. Keep pushing myself to be my best. There are always ways for me to improve in everything I’m doing. Really in everything we’re all doing.

I keep asking what’s next. What else can I do? Who else can I impact? Who will I see that I can make a difference in their life? I think these are all questions that we should each be asking, never being satisfied with where life has you, not a level of discontent, but a place of going deeper. Every year as I read through the Bible I read the same scriptures over and over again, year after year, but new things are illuminated to me as I read and go deeper in relationship with God. It’s similar to this in everyday life, I might be doing the same things day in and day out, but I appreciate new things or see different things that I didn’t see the day before. I’m pretty sure it all has to do with thriving in every situation I’m in.

All this to say, let’s go deeper. In every aspect of our lives, we can dig deeper, go further and be greater.  With the help of Jesus all things are possible!

friendship.

I’ve often found myself in a place where I’m content with the friends that I have. Surrounded by great people, not really needing any new friends. I realize now that is no way to live a life, you have to be open to new friendship all of the time. You never know what someone can offer you, what they can do to make you a better person. Even those that you feel you can’t learn from, you can. I believe that as soon as you think you’re done with someone, that’s when you’re really getting started with them. I know that I’ve been written off before, it doesn’t feel good, and I never want someone else to feel that way.

I have some amazing people in my life, this journey that I’ve been on has been backed by so many people, so many prayers, so many friends. I left friends in WA state and hung out with some in CA, made some new friends in CA and came back to WA leaving those new and old friends behind. Even just being gone a couple of months, people change and move on. Lives move forward like they have to and all of the sudden you find that you’re not in the same timeline anymore.

As I have come back home to WA, I’ve found that there are many more friendships for me to have. It’s crazy that just a month ago I hardly knew any of the people that I now spend that majority of my time with. My life has changed so much even in just the last month, getting a new job, meeting tons of new people, going through a very intense time of training and learning along side each other. With all of the time we spent together, it’s no wonder new friendships were forged. We were welded together in a way that I know I didn’t expect.

As our training came to an end and we started opening new shops, we all went to different locations. They split the family up! They had to, but it all happened so quickly, i don’t think that any of us really knew that our time together would be over so quickly. The cool thing now is seeing each other in action. Going to each others shops just to say hi. I know when friends come in I get so excited and give them big hugs!

Friendships are so key in life. You need the new friendships that keep your story fresh, that keep you open and vulnerable in ways you’d probably like to close up once people know your story. On the flip-side you still need those friendships that you’ve had for years. Those friends that come and go, but you’re always able to pick up right where you left off. There is so much security in those friendships, people that know what you’ve been through and have loved you through it. There is a balance of nurturing all of those friendships, and as my pool of friends has grown exponentially this last month, there is a lot of my story that needs to be told. Be thankful for those friends around you, and tell them how much they mean to you!