… motivation

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What motivates you? What drives you? What inspires you to kick it up and notch and GO?!

I’m curious because I’ve had two conversations today about my hair (I’ll explain) & what the decisions boil down to is motivation.

So, I’m natural. Meaning, I do not use any chemicals on my hair. I wear my hair in its natural state – curly.

20130908-122355.jpg I recently took out my twists and yesterday went to the salon to get a deep conditioner and my hair straightened.

Now, I do not like to have my hair straightened. I’ve only had it straightened once before to get my ends trimmed and it wasn’t even really straight because I asked the beautician not to put much heat on it.

So I had my hair straightened in real life this time, and I love it! It absolutely takes me back to my relaxed hair days and I’m enjoying it. However, by the end of the week, I’m sure, my hair will be washed and curly once again. (Because of rain and humidity and everything Houston will ruin my flat ironed, bone straight hair!)

So, I had a couple of conversations today about my hair and about how my husband likes it straight. Even though he prefers it straight, I wear it curly. Men in particular tsk at this choice (I understand why) but there’s nothing that motivates me to make another choice. (Yes, besides my husbands preference. Gasp.)

So this is the dilemma.

In order for my hair to look as amazing as it looks now, I’d have to spend hours in a salon every week. (Which I do not miss).
Plus,
I enjoy working out and I work up a sweat. I’m not one of those girls who doesn’t work up a sweat when they work out. I know a couple and there are days I envy you. Lol. So, my hair wouldn’t last very long if I were to straighten it. And, by very long I mean a day.

For these two reasons individually & combined, wearing my hair straight would be a total waste of time.

Unless….. Th motivation to do it outweighed my love for my curls, time, & convenience. And, pretty hair.

So far. That hasn’t happened.

Then, (after this long story), my mind started moving towards behavior in relationships. How we’re influenced and motivated.

I’m wondering if we and our spouses knew exactly what motivated us to cook when we don’t feel like it, serve when we’re exhausted, spend time when our favorite show is on, etc – how much sweeter life would be. Now, LIFE forces – not motivates. We cook when we don’t feel like it because we’re hungry. I’m not talking about doing what’s required. I’m talking about serving and submitting when it’s the exact opposite of what we feel like doing. THAT is motivation. Cooking your spouses favorite meal after a long day is motivated by something! (Hopefully, pure reasons & not manipulative ones!) but, it’s more than likely their enjoyment of the meal and the gratitude that’s shown towards you that encourages you to work so hard to please your spouse.

I encourage you to take a time out and figure out what motivates you. I believe that when we realize what moves us, we’re better equipped to ask for what we like and get the support we need. Your friends/spouses knowing this about you will also be a great help in a more peaceful, enjoyable relationship!

This week- I challenge YOU & I’m definitely challenging myself to pay a bit more attention to your spouse this week and maybe have a conversation about what motivates and drives them. Then, put it into practice. If you already know, learn a new way to praise & encourage your spouse.

After all, we see the best in them. We see the good & potential in them that they may not see – as their partner, it’s up to us help them be the best they can!

…. here’s to learning our spouses and becoming their biggest cheerleaders!

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… know your place

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I love this promise. I love how it communicates that God will always respond to us.

The entire scripture says “Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts you double minded.”

At first read, that sounds so harsh! But, then, I hear the grace and forgiveness in it.

I hear God telling me that I don’t have to clean myself up before coming to Him. His grace allows me to do step away from the world and focus on Him.

The entire chapter this verse is pulled from is setting us Christians straight. And, I love it.

James, the author of this book, shows us who we truly are but doesn’t leave us feeling beaten up about our sinful nature but offers us hope in the goodness, grace, & security of God.

Verse 7 tells us to step away from wickedness then verse eight tells us to draw close to God THEN clean ourselves up. Why?

Because he knows how far sin can pull us away from our Father. He knows how vulnerable we are when we are separated and he knows that we can’t clean ourselves up a part from the grace God offers us in His presence.

This promise, this verse should give our spirits rest. It should urge us to go back humbly before The Lord knowing that our sins will be tossed as far as the east is from the west. That our God will always welcome us back and lift us back up.

He will comfort us, and quiet us with His love. He will take us back and lift up our heads never allowing our sins to define us or shame us- for there is no condemnation in Him.

Even if our distance isn’t caused by immobilizing sin but a busy schedule where we haven’t carved out precious moments to be spent with our Savior, illness, or exhaustion – He is still always there. Waiting to restore, heal, and revitalize us.

God is good to us.
Even when we aren’t so good to Him.

And, isn’t it amazing and reassuring to know that no matter what the cause or circumstances of our distance, He is always there. He never turns His back on us. He never leaves us or forsakes us. His grace only abounds that much more.

Could we love like He does? He shows us what true forgiveness and love looks like and expects us to treat others in the same manner.

But, are we willing to?
Would it be easier to forgive and embrace another when you realize how much you (a sinful being) have been forgiven for and recognize HOW you were embraced by your (perfect creator &) Father upon your request for forgiveness & reconciliation? A request you desire to be answered in the affirmative no matter how often you ask?

That perspective will remind you of who you are and what you deserve. This scripture will remind you of who God is and what He deserves.

He is good.

… here’s to a God who shows us how to love and forgive unconditionally with great grace.

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