Spreading love and cheer, giving of yourself on Valentines day, this is how I want to live life everyday.
Ideally, putting yourself out for God to use constantly, at any given moment, making conversation with strangers and to not worry about the comfort of oneself, this is how I want to teach my children, how I want my life to be. Not always shadowing a friend, but boldly going where God says to go, being friendly when the circumstances are unknown, these are the things I desire this year, for the rest of my life.
Many times I hide behind Corey, his boldness and friendliness is large enough for both of us and he has carried me for more years then I would like to admit. If he isn't there, then I have hidden behind bold friends, letting them lead and allowing myself to follow. I would prefer to be in the background, hiding in the shadows, enjoying the pleasure of others without the light glaring on me. Call it shyness, lack of boldness, or whatever word best describes people that fit in the same folder as I do, but I am beginning to see it as a weakness where God is shouting, "Hide Behind Me." It scares me to even say this but I feel like God is calling me out, whispering to me to be friendlier, to start conversations, to be more welcoming, and to show my children how to be. Yes for some, you say, "this is easy!!"but for me it is very hard and something I didn't think God would ask of me. Yet He always knows and He always guides, leads and loves us through it.
As we walked into a nursing home today, I had fear creeping up my body, who knows why. I knew these people loved visitors, children especially (I have 6 who were with me), I know they have lived life, have seen things far worse then someone who has a hard time conversing. I pumped myself up, gave motivational talks all week, and on the way to "the home" for my kids. Telling them how to introduce themselves, making suggestions on how to greet the people when handing them cards and what to say when they were walking away. I reminded them to talk loudly and clearly, to answer questions and to show themselves friendly. Some of my children are naturals, some of my children are not, yet when we walked in that door, I felt 12 pairs of eyes on me. No matter how many motivational talks, how many times I say be friendly, show yourself welcoming, start conversations first, if I don't do it, they don't know how. What God shows us through the ones he has blessed us with and how loud of a shout it is when he does.
I am praying this year for more opportunities, even more then the monthly nursing home visits which I have committed to doing. I am praying for moments where I am uncomfortable, where God says, "Let me Lead and you Follow."