We all need people! Loved ones, friends, peers, even those we disagree with, mentors near and far, and those that we influence.
Our family didn’t toast glasses of sparkling cider at midnight like usual this New Year’s Eve.
I love traditions like this as they somehow connect us to the past, present and future all in a moment’s time. However, making space for new memories makes our life full and beautiful.
This year we headed out of town the day after Christmas. With suitcases and snacks piled in the car, our adventure began with a road trip to Orlando, Florida to meet friends for vacation.
Leaving on this trip reminds me of how much we all need people, more than we know, who get us and those who stretch us.
There are people whose personalities tend to chase the fun, and I’m convinced we all need a few “fun chasers” in our lives. Those who more naturally make us laugh, or go after what might not even occur to some of the rest of us to try.
They surprise us and bring unexpected joy our way, through their heart for good news, their desire for creating fun, and their love for doing life together.
This trip brought so many fun and unexpected experiences. Like our friend asking to ride the new Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure (the best ride in Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios in our opinion) again, times three, and the ride attendant agreeing.
Who thinks of that? Who does that? And who says yes to that person?
Apparently people do.
People who squeeze the thrills out of life, and are comfortable with hearing no, in hopes of hearing yes, that is who.
Why not ask, right?
We rode rides with express passes that multiplied as our friend made inquiries and we experienced the “flying” Harry Potter ride twice in a row as we deemed it our second favorite ride.
Maybe most things in life are possible with Jesus, using wisdom, throwing a little caution to the wind, investing in others, chasing fun, and asking more questions.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-12).
When you find yourself in the same place and time as others, over and over again, pay attention. You never know the gift of trust and friendship that can develop over time, and in ways you don’t expect.
Especially when you decide to lift people up and encourage them in their gifts, instead of the temptation to criticize, or compete against them.
I recently listened to the Bob Goff Podcast with his guest, Mark Batterson. Mark shared the story of how a mutual friend of theirs said that there are two kinds of people in the world. The ones who walk in the room and say, “Here I am.” And the people who walk in the room and say, “There you are.”
“I have no one else like Timothy, who genuinely cares about your welfare” (Philippians 2:20 NLT).
I want to be the person who is genuinely interested in those around me (#goals), and I want to be around those kinds of people too. We have so much to experience and learn from one another.
Be open. Be curious. Be generous. Assume the best. This is living.
Doing life with others gives us new experiences, opens our eyes to fresh perspectives, and enriches our world in ways we may not think of on our own. We all need people!
Pier 60 at Clearwater Beach, Florida was bustling with vendors nestled under colorful beach umbrellas, a couple of street performers, vacationers on the beach relaxing and tourists walking to see the sights.
We were enjoying the sun setting over the ocean while walking off our dinner along the pier. The guys stopped to watch a street performer juggling and performing illusions. I sat back on a little brick wall to watch from a distance as my husband, daughter and our friends gathered in close to the show.
All of a sudden someone who I have been following for several years online casually walks by with her son. I’m looking at her face to face. I smile. She smiles. In a minute she walks back the other way to her husband on the pier.
It was the weirdest, wildest, and surreal thing.
Okay, as a total introvert who struggles with introductions and small talk, I’m thinking that I have to go meet her, but what will I say? Getting tongue tied is frustrating especially when you want to have intelligent words to say.
God, what should I do, and tell me what to say please? I ran up and whispered in my husband’s ear, “Jennifer Allwood and her husband are standing over there on the pier.”
Paul turned around and said, “let’s go.” Thank goodness for husband’s who get you and support you, and say with their actions, “let’s do this together!” We all need each other. We all need people, right?!
I can tell you right now this was such a gift to my heart and such a fun surprise, almost like a little nod from God, saying, “Keep going, I see you!”
Not because Jennifer might be “internet” famous in some circles, or because she was just interviewed by Forbes Magazine recently, but because I have watched her overcome obstacles and courageously grow a business online, as a woman following what God has put in her heart to do.
She’s done this while navigating being a wife and a mother along with balancing the many hats that women wear. Jennifer has taken on the territory of living out her faith in a very public and inspiring way in spite of some naysayers.
Mentors in our lives can be face to face; people we meet and learn from in our corner of the world and those are priceless!
Other mentors can be those we watch from afar and learn from as we listen to their Facebook lives, podcasts, Insta stories, YouTube channels, and read their books (Jennifer’s is Fear Is Not The Boss Of You).
Mentors grow and stretch us and tell us hard truths we need to hear so we’ll not stay stuck, so we’ll push through fear and become okay with being uncomfortable in order to live out our purpose.
We all need mentors. We all need people!
“Jennifer, you don’t know me, but thank you for all you are doing online and for boldly sharing your faith in a positive way.” These words, or something close, tumbled out of my mouth and I can’t remember much else of what I said.
My husband introduced himself, and she introduced her husband, Jason, and her oldest son, Noah, to us. We chatted about hair, vacation and my husband took our photo together.
She may not know how much she has impacted my life in a powerful way, and that’s okay. This is how God works. He uses what we give him, what we’re willing to trust Him with, and multiplies our efforts to bless others. What we do in life is never just about us. It’s about other people too. We all need people!
No matter where you find yourself, know that others are watching. You are making a difference in your world!
We all need people!
Paul and I walked back to the pier where he ended up being volunteered, by our good friend, Coach Art, to be a part of the street performers stunt show. Just like that life moves on. Special moments end, others begin and we know God is at work!
The last days of 2020 have brought so much joy as we rang in the New Year with friends on the Florida coast. We ate at the Taco Bus, had delicious crepes at Holy Crepe, and ended up at an ice cream shop for the kids.
We talked about possible ventures and adventures yet to occur in 2021, leaving our hearts expectant.
Back in the hotel room I may have dosed off before midnight until the Fireworks brought me to. Our family jumped up and ran out on the deck to see the lights sprinkling down and new ones bursting forth in the night sky above.
2021 has arrived!
The future is bright because God has got us friends! We all need people! We all need each others ideas, experiences and stories! Keep going. Keep asking. Keep showing up. God is faithful! He is looking for ways to multiply what you are trusting Him with!
Happy New Year friends!
With much love and grace,
P.S. If 2020 has left you feeling a bit unsettled and you could use a little more encouragement as this New Year begins, the post Keep Showing Up may be exactly what your heart needs to hear.
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