A Sparkle of Love

Day 3 is almost done. We are still staying on task with healthy food choices. Today my exercise was more along the lines of house work but still moving! I may get a few more steps in on the treadmill later this evening. Truth be told, we hired the cleaning service to do a deep clean on the house today, but it still requires a good amount of clean up on our part. They do the dirty work. I get to organize my messes! Haha!! Everyone has to do their part before the cleaners show up. We all have our own areas we are responsible for. I make a list for each child. They have to check off each item to make sure everything is done accordingly.

So let’s talk about our weaknesses. We all have them. Do you tend to focus on what you don’t do well and then compare yourself to every other person that you know that does do that well. Then do you proceed to get down on yourself and all that you are not good at. I know over the years I have spent a lot of time envying others for many different reasons. They are thinner than me. They have better hair and skin. They have a successful career. I could go on and on. I always wished I was one of those people who had endless amounts of energy. Those that can’t sit still and constantly have to be moving and doing or accomplishing tasks. Those who can’t go to bed unless there are vacuum lines on their carpet or no dishes in their sinks. ( I live with 6 other people, there are always dishes in our sink!!) I look at people who are constantly out doing fun things and going cool places and I wish I could summon up the energy to plan such excursions. I’m not one of those people! I am actually quite the opposite of that. I struggle to get moving every single morning. I am quite ready to go to bed every night. And I can spend a whole day on the couch in front of the TV if it is an option! Well let’s be honest, I can also lounge on a beach all day with a good book. Okay, I can lounge anywhere all day with a good book. I am very good at relaxing! Matt is the total opposite of me. He is one of those go, go, go types. He can accomplish more in one day than I can in a month sometimes. When we first got married, this was a struggle! He was always eager to go and do and be with people. He can do this all day, every day! I can only go and do and be with people for so long. Then I am exhausted both physically, mentally and emotionally. Now don’t get me wrong. I love throwing a good party, or hanging out with friends and going cool places. But here lies the difference in an introvert and an extrovert. After almost 8 years of marriage, we have found a beautiful balance. I have taught him how to relax and he has taught me the joy in adventures! So where I am weak he is strong. And where I am strong he is weak. Kind of like how God is our strength in weakness. He supplies for us in the areas where we fall short. It amazes me still how well He paired Matt and I in this. We are a balance for one another in many areas of our life and marriage. He is the yin to my yang. The peanut butter to my jelly. The caramel to my salt!

The reality of all this is, I am tired of comparing myself to others. I am good at many many things! I am going to continue to work on celebrating other peoples strengths but also celebrate my own! I am not going to allow areas where I am weak to be an issue where it allows self doubt and anxiety to overtake my thoughts and emotions. God has given each of us specific gifts. Our gifts make us unique. Our gifts make us special. If we all had the same gifts our world would be a very boring place to be. I will work on those areas of weakness that need to be worked on (like my food choices and exercise choices) where it is helpful. Sometimes I will look to others to help me in areas where I need it. Comparison is the thief of joy!

So today’s self love consisted of hiring someone to help me where I am weak! And my house is sparkling! I will sit on this couch and count it all a joy in my clean house, for now! It takes A LOT with a family of 7. Love yourself today! You are strong, beautiful and your gifts matter!

I am NOT good at keeping a house clean. It’s not one of my strengths. It is a huge weakness. In fact right before I married Matt, my brother in law told him there were two things he should know about me before we walked down the aisle. 1. She’s messy. 2. She can spend some serious money! Both of the statements are truth. I won’t even sugarcoat them. I LOVE to shop. And I HATE cleaning. I have done lots of in depth research regarding creative people. We tend to be messy, due to our creative brains. (Okay, we maybe not extensive scientific research, but I have seen some memes about it! hehe) Matt said he was okay with this. Even though he is one of the “a place for everything, and everything in its place.” He has his own messy moments too. q

2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

By Laurel Austin Henson

Laurel spent 8 months caring for her first husband after being diagnosed with cancer in 2010. He passed away at 33, leaving behind a daughter of 7 and 5 year old twin boys. After sowing millions of tears, Laurel sought out God daily and began to plan for a life of being a single mother, but ready to raise their children in faith, hope and love. God gave her more than she could have ever imagined when she brought Matt into her life, along with his 2 children. He was recently divorced and the providence of God had been leading up to this life for more than 20 years! Now Laurel is reaping joy with Matt and their 5 beautiful children. Thanks be to God for all the beauty created from the ashes of death and divorce.

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