A few years ago, one of my best friends and I created a writing club. For one of our assignments we wrote an essay titled "Things I Do, Things I Don't" modeled off an essay we read by Shauna Niequist. I've included it here as an introduction of sorts. 

Things I Do:

  1. Try, try and try again to see Jesus in EVERYONE. In the most frustrating, irritating, unkind, judgmental, naïve people I meet, I try to see Jesus there. And I try to remember that I too am frustrating, irritating, unkind, judgmental and naïve. And thank the Lord God Almighty for Grace because we really are all more alike than different and we all need every. last. drop.
  2. Create. With pen and paper and paint. With words or photographs. Making things with meaning gives me so much energy, so much life.
  3. Speak up when my feelings are hurt. I try not to harbor resentment or stew over something I find offensive, cold or even unintentionally hurtful. I would rather be seen as sensitive, or told to “lighten up”, than live a tight-lipped, inauthentic life.
  4. Dance. Even if I'm the only one and it makes everyone feel awkward, because life is short and asses were made for shaking.

Things I Don’t Do:

  1. Bake. No yeast, dough-from-scratch, kneading, cookie-cutters-in-cute-shapes. I only find joy in eating baked goods, not creating them.
  2. Shop at WalMart. I would rather go to five separate stores to hunt and gather my goods, than spend an hour in WalMart.
  3. Say “I’m sorry” often enough. I’m practicing, because I never want to be too proud to acknowledge when I’m wrong. And I want my children to know that I am imperfect, that I mess up, that I fail regularly and that they will too. I want them to be able to say “I’m sorry” and know that they are still loved. 
  4. Fret about who likes my work. My work pleases some and others feel it is not their cup of tea; and that is the beauty of life and freedom and not something I allow to take up negative space in my head or heart.