They say that overcoming challenges brings the greatest blessings.
And, 2017, was just that. Full of challenges.
Good challenges. Fulfilling challenges. Life-changing challenges. But, hard challenges, nonetheless.
Sometimes, it's easy to get caught in the season of feeling hardships. Feeling like you didn't make the right choice or feeling like you're not in the right career or relationship or home life. Feeling like you're "stuck" and don't know where to turn next. Feeling like there will never be an end to the storm.
It's in those moments that you press in and press harder to what your future testimony will consist of. You envision the bright side of the tunnel, the calm after the storm, the moment of being overwhelmed with the peaceful feeling of "making it."
Well, my friends, after a lot of changes this year, above all, we were challenged in 2017. And, through every hurdle we were faced with, God showed up in a powerful way.
We were challenged to open Dynamic Athletic Performance, challenged to celebrate our 10 year anniversary, challenged to encourage a newfound skill with Photoshop and finding direction in Elizabeth Ruth Photography, challenged to bring another Ruth Baby into the world in just a few short months, challenged in our faith by stepping in to our callings, challenged in our parenting and above all ...
challenged to trust Him in the process 🙏🏻
At the beginning of 2017, I chose the word freedom to represent my year.
And, a few days ago, I didn't feel free. I felt tired and overwhelmed and not motivated. How was this freedom? Stepping into each of this year's challenges were the answers we prayed so hard and so long for.
All of our challenges were hard this year. They weren't easy and surely didn't make us feel free. They were tough decisions and ones that relied us to lean in on each other and our faith more than ever before.
But, in my reflection of 2017 today, I realized that even with the challenges we were faced, we are, in fact, now experiencing freedom in a whole new, and unexpected, way.
Even when we don't feel like it.
As entrepreneurs, we are free to speak our hearts and make decisions that lead others to a healthier lifestyle. As husband and wife, we are free to love each other hard and support each other through every hurdle we crossed in 2017. As parents, we are free to raise our girls with kind hearts and compassion, while also embracing their God-given talents to be world changers. And, above all, as leaders. Encouraging freedom to others so that they may experience the joy that a healthy lifestyle and following your heart's passions can only provide.
So, 2017, you tricked me. 🤔
Your challenges made me think that freedom wasn't the right word for us this year.
When in reality, you made us more free than we have ever been in our lives.
Free to be us.
Free to live the way God intended us to.
Free to speak our hearts.
Free to take on 2018 with gusto and passion and encouragement.
Free to live.
Freedom was more than perfectly our word for 2017.
So, now with confidence, I can say ... Bring it on, 2018. We're ready for you. ❤️