A few weeks ago, we talked about what to do when our faith needs a wake up call. But if you ask me, I think our faith isn’t the only thing that finds itself needing a wake up call from time to time. More often than not it’s our attitude that needs to be refreshed and realigned, too.
Instead of watching the ball drop this New Year’s Eve, I spent most of the night in bed nursing my fourth sinus infection of the year. (I’m getting surgery on Feb. 1 to fix this problem!) To the outside world I probably looked weak and pathetic, but if you could’ve seen the condition of my heart I guarantee you would’ve felt no pity for me.
I was livid. Thankless. Discontent. Indignant.
And yet, amid all of this fury I knew something wasn’t right. I knew I shouldn’t be feeling such wretched emotions. I knew I didn’t want to be feeling what I was feeling or thinking what I was thinking. But I didn’t do anything to shift my focus.
Seeing my despair, my husband offered me some of his nasal spray to help me breathe better. But while he meant this for good, it only made my symptoms worse. Within seconds of using the spray my nose and throat felt like they were on fire. My head and heart starting hurting. I lost my sense of taste and smell. And my mood went to a whole new level of crazy. I was having an allergic reaction to the medication.
I knew better, but in the heat of the moment, I didn’t think twice before opening my mouth.
“You did this to me!” I said to my husband. “This is all your fault.”
Oh, what love … or lack thereof in this case.
The most soul-crushing thing about NYE was that just a few days before I got sick, I decided that my focus for 2017 was going to be loving others well. Although it wasn’t 2017 yet, as I scolded my poor husband I couldn’t help but feel like I was already failing.
Thankfully, for you and me, God’s mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). So on Jan. 1, instead of wallowing in shame, I came up with a tangible way to help me live out my focus for 2017. I’m calling it the 365 Love Well Project, or, #365lovewellproject on social media.
We were created by love, from love, for love, but that doesn’t mean loving others is always easy, or a priority, for that matter.
I believe this is because we live in a fallen world — a selfish, “what’s in it for me?” world where we’ve been conditioned to put our needs before the needs of others.
But it’s never too late to turn all of that around. It’s never too late to learn how to love well.
That’s where the 365 Love Well Project comes in. For 365 days I’m committing to love others, God and even myself to the best of my ability. Practically speaking, here’s what the project has looked like in my day-to-day life so far:
- Every morning when I wake up, I thank God for another day to live. I pray for friends, family, my community and the world. I look in the mirror and remind myself that I am a Positively Lovely daughter of God — a beautiful masterpiece who was created on purpose for a purpose.
- Every morning and night, I spend 10 minutes reading and meditating on love-focused Scripture.
- Every day, I take care of my body and work to keep my heart, words and thoughts pure.
- Every day, I try to make people a bigger priority than what’s on my phone.
- Every day, I look for opportunities to love others in a unique and personal way.
- Every night, I journal about what God is teaching me about love and how I chose to love others and myself well that day.
- The last thing I’m doing is a secret that I will reveal at the end of this year … so stay tuned!
I’m sharing this with you today because, if you’re interested or maybe feel God nudging you, I want to invite you to join me on this 365 Love Well Project. No matter how much we try to put others first, there is always an opportunity to love better, deeper and wider because we are called to love like Christ. And I don’t know about you, but my love is nowhere near Christ-level yet. I have some growing to do. We all do.
One day at a time, we can learn to love God, others and ourselves well. But it takes a lot of intentionality on our part.
Over the next year, I will be posting about my experiences with this project here on the blog and on social media via #365lovewellproject. Whether anyone joins me or not, I don’t know. But I do know this: my heart will be forever changed by this journey, and I’m so excited to see what God will do along the way.
I long to love others well. To put others before myself. Not just sometimes but always. This is what I want for my life. What about you? If you’re raising your hand in agreement, will you invite your friends to join? Your Bible study group? Maybe even your family? You don’t have to start the project on Jan. 1 for it to make an impact in your life. You can start it any day of the year.
If you haven’t subscribed to the blog, be sure to subscribe today so that you can stay updated on what’s happening with the project throughout 2017.