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WHEN WE LOSE OUR JOY

Somewhere along the way, we take our joy for granted. The very thing that we worked so hard for – that would ultimately bring us joy – is what we lose sight of along the way. The desire to do something bold, the urgency to make a difference or get noticed, the excitement in the journey. We take it for granted, and it slips through our fingers without us even noticing. How is it that we lose our urgency to do something we are inspired by when it is the very thing that excites us to our core? When did passion and purpose become a sublety that we learn to push aside?

It is so common in our fast-paced world nowadays for someone to feel a conviction for something, only to turn around and put it in a jar and stick it up on a shelf for awhile… deceiving themselves that they’re just in a season of life and they’ll come back to that aspiration someday.

Maybe once the kids are in school.

Maybe after I have been with this employer for a year or two.

Maybe when life slows down a little bit.

They never come back to it though. There are so many brilliant, talented and inspiring women – just like YOU – that ignore that inner voice because there is too much noise around us. I’m convinced that the inner-voice, that passion-turned-conviction inside each of us is trying to take us down a path toward unlocking our true potential.

For me, I felt as though I lost my sense of urgency when I had children. Don’t misconstrue what I am saying because I realize it is a bold statement. Did she just blame her kids? No, I didn’t. They are my world. But I allowed them to become my excuse when I stopped chasing after my goals. Many of us hit the pause button when we have children. Our focus shifts entirely to this new human we’re responsible for: feeding the baby every couple of hours, changing diapers, endless laundry and sleepless nights. In time, that turns into morning scrambles to get out the door and to school, homework, soccer practice and birthday parties. It seems as though each year gets busier and busier. That motivating voice inside of us gets quieter and quieter. Life gets louder. Life flies by. Their happiness and joy becomes the only joy that we’re chasing after.

In those quiet moments though, we think back to the aspirations we once had… to travel, to climb the career ladder, to volunteer, financial freedom. And as quick as the thoughts crept back in, we suppress that untapped potential and put it back up on the shelf again.

Why is it that we love to hear speakers or read books and blogs that empower us, but rather than acting on the fire they ignite within us, we instead remain seated and live vicariously through them instead? That’s not what they’re there for.

You have it within you to break down the barriers and make room for whatever it is you are after, I promise. What sets your soul on fire or tugs at your heart strings? What do you feel called to act on? Is it volunteering your time? Traveling the world? Is it becoming a foster parent? Is it going back to school? Is it a complete career change? Is it to work an 8 hour day vs. the 12 hour days you have been grinding through for years?

There is something that brings a smile to your face when you allow yourself to dream. It invigorates you to your core, and brings about a peace you cannot explain.

But I’m too busy.

But what if I don’t have enough experience?

What if my spouse doesn’t support me?

What if I fail?

Trust me, I know those voices too. What if you’re not too busy? What if you’re the most capable person and your spouse wants nothing more than to see you happy? What if you don’t fail?

Don’t mistake what I am saying. It will likely be hard. It might be scary. It’s probably going to be a journey without a roadmap. But it will be invigorating. It will be fulfilling. And it will be impactful. We have no idea how much untapped potential God has put inside each of us and what he can use us for. Most people will choose not to take the leap of faith.

Remember those kids of mine that pushed aside my own sense of urgency? It wasn’t them, after all. It was me all along. My mindset and my own distractions are what held me in the same spot for several years. Those distractions stole my joy and sidelined me for several years. I realized those little girls are my WHY. They weren’t the distractions. I know deep in my heart that our girls will learn so much more from watching their mama write, coach, and speak to other women than from me choosing to share it only with the two of them. It’s a dialogue we will get to share, and I pray it resonates deep within them to not withhold their inner voice and dreams. To know to never let go of their grip on joy. To never settle. To never give up.

I pray, too, that you don’t silence that voice anymore. I want you to reach up and pull those aspirations off the shelf. Whatever it is that you want for your life, grab hold of it. Take one step, and I promise you will want to take another.

You’re meant for more.

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