Rest. Beauty. Create. Encourage. Repeat.

     If you've been following me on Instagram (, you've probably noticed that I've been on a couple adventures as of late.

     Because of these little adventures, I'm feeling inspired, rejuvenated, and more like myself, but yet better--like a 5.0 version of myself.

     I'd be lying to you if I said it was merely the adventure alone that has gotten me fired up, but it's been a combination of 4 things:

1) Rest 
2) Embracing Beauty, starting with myself-- 
3) Choosing to be creative in some way. EVERYDAY. 
4) And being more purposeful and heartfelt about Encouraging those in my life.

     I had forgotten how beneficial sleep can truly be. I mean. #Gamechanger

     If you didn't know already, I can sleep like an Olympian when I want and need to (10-14 hours). But since the beginning of this year, I was on my grind and definitely not getting proper sleep. It wasn't until about 2 weeks ago that I just allowed my body to really rest. Not only are there tremendous health benefits (#myhairandskintho), but there is an emotional and spiritual rejuvenation that takes place. When we lay our cares, our worries, our unfinished business down and decide to trust God, it's extraordinary what begins to take place.

     I also love that Jesus invites us into rest. "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

     I mean, this is a big deal -- rest.

     And what about embracing beauty?

     Well, have you done it? More importantly, have you embraced your own beauty? Regardless of your size, your height, your skin color, etc. Have you been intentional about celebrating what's beautiful about you? Grab a friend and go out and do an impromptu photo shoot in your backyard, in front your garage, at the park, in your living room, anywhere--be brave.

    And while I'm a big fan of celebrating our own beauty, know that your beauty does not detract from someone else's, nor can theirs detract from yours. Be sure to tell someone today, how handsome or how beautiful they look. Mostly, let's help each other embrace our beauty.

     And then of course, there's the creative aspect.

     We are a creative species, meant to be creative in a variety of tones and shades. We are drawn to beautiful, odd, interesting, mysterious, complex, and simple things. How we understand these things, how they make us feel, and the stories they create, manifest themselves in our lives in different ways.

     Beyond writing, one of my favorite creative expressions is photography. I just love interesting images, with dynamic focal points. I'm fascinated with silhouettes, country landscapes, and people. I have no pressure to be a genius regarding photography, it's simply something I love doing--something I do with a sense of rest, tenderness, and focus.

     An easy way for me to be creative everyday, outside of my writing, is to simply post a photo on Instagram. #Itsthelittlethings

     What's your fun creative outlet, something simple that you can do just about everyday, to express your inner creativity? Scrap-booking, painting, singing along to your favorite CD, working out a complex physics formula? There's life to be had in these often subtle expressions.

     And lastly--encouragement.

     We all need it.

     And we all want someone to give it to us in our time of doubt and need.

     But let's turn this thing on its head.

     Let's be purposeful to encourage those people we are blessed to have in our lives (and perhaps some of the ones you don't feel blessed to have--).

     Because what happens is the beautiful cycle of generosity...

"Generosity begets generosity." - Luke 6:38 (The Message)

And you'll find yourself receiving more love and encouragement than you ever have--Spurring you on, into your calling, into adventures, feeling brave and equipped, rested, and more like the real you, the one who was always destined to come forth.

Wisdom's Knocking: 

Take the time to love yourself well.