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This last year my faith was tested so much I felt it was an endless on my knees in prayer type of year. Looking back I wouldn't change nothing for my journey now as it drew me ever so close to my Lord in a way that only that type of breaking and building can do. 

In the midst of it all, so many promises came to pass. My sister, mother and I crossed the pond to share space and time with our beautiful family in London. Love you Beany and Robey! We experienced the most epic flight ️from London to Paris. It was a hoot. The Polish know how to party on a plane. World Cup! We ended each evening in Paris with a smorgasbord of treats spread across the bed as we binge watched Peaky Blinders. If you haven't watched, I suggest you go do that... Fell in love with Venice and met and were blessed by Pope Francis in Rome. What a moment of living out destiny! To see the look on my mothers face as he approached was a gift far beyond words. So grateful. 

Solange's album gave me LIFE. I made it through the election. Had brunch in a castle, made some crosses, adopted two bunnies, drank a lot of tea, celebrated my mothers 70th birthday, sketched and painted on a terrace in Rome, Celebrated my fathers 77th birthday, stopped to smell the roses, prayed I'd make it to the gas station before I ran out of gas more than once and laughed a lot. 

Having those joyous moments were equally matched with times of sorrow. Losing dear family members and friends, health scares, challenging moments of faith to see the other side of the enormous mountains that lay before me.  Saying goodbye to people and having the courage to say hello to new ones. 

Where I lacked, God filled in. When I was tired, he orchestrated shifts in my life to accommodate me. He shook things up, woke me up and held a mirror to my face time and time again to remind me of who I am, who's I am, where I'm headed and how far I've come. 

2016 has come and gone and I'm so glad I didn't build a house there. Just pitched my tent on the way to what's mine to have. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! 

The Instinct To Grow

TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS to break out of your repetitive life. Your instincts know there's more so honor them. This is why we admire bravery. It takes courage to speak up, say no, let go, be silent, serve, sacrifice, humble yourself, lead, let go, say goodbye, say hello and tell the truth. 

Sometimes we go through seasons when we must trust our instinct to be silent.  You can't "do life" with anyone but God.  Not all of your friends and family will understand, they may even give you a hard time but that's ok. You have been charged with a focus and plan. Some parts must be held close and you must proceed alone with great discernment. The biggest mistake people make is giving away too much information either before the journey begins or while in process.  Remember Joseph and his dream? 

Give yourself time to live out and process your season before you go telling people all the details of your life.  There will be a time to share but at that time it will be appointed and fully ripened to be used as a testimony and for healing.  Living and testimony, that's what it's all about, right? We don't experience our lives for ourselves. We are here to go through things, come out on the other side and then reach back to bring others along. There's nothing more sacred than the connection experienced between people when they truly see each other and pour into one another from a place of knowing, pure compassion and love.

Are you growing? When a person is truly changing they don't have to make a public service announcement. The evidence is in the life lived.  So I ask, are you going to keep telling and living out the same story or follow your instincts and be about the business of doing it differently this time? You've got too much hope and a future to get comfortable. 

Happy Saturday everyone! Be blessed and a blessing to others.

 

Billie

 

 

 

Drinking At The Fountain

Rome, Italy 2016

I poured myself a glass of water this morning.  As I was drinking I was suddenly taken back to my 8 year old self at Turner Elementary drinking at the fountain right after recess. I remembered how refreshing it was and more importantly how sweet. I never could understand why the water was so sweet. I had drank it enough to know that it wasn't sweet all the time and that it didn't always refresh me.  Now here I am 30 years later and the answer to my "sweet water" question just up and splashed me right in the face. 

There were times I'd drink from the fountain just to wet my mouth, nothing more nothing less. But when I had come to the end of my physical energy level and exhausted myself, I had to go to the fountain to rehydrate and refuel.  As for the sweetness of the water...  I couldn't figure that out.  What I did know was that the water was the only remedy to my thirst, no other drink would satisfy me. I remember holding my breath just so I could get more gulps. I had become an expert at this as it was very important to get the timing of breaths in perfect sync with my gulps to prevent from chocking. I was so thirsty the water couldn't come out the fountain fast enough. It was everything I needed, desired and all that mattered in that moment. 

On the surface it may seem as though I've been talking about an 8 year old, recess and water fountains. That is true. But more importantly I am also talking about a huge life lesson I just gained new perspective on through the experience of remembering that young thirsty girl. What this gift of a memory has given me is yet another truth about life and Gods order of things. When there is a need, we must utilize and tap into the source of that need, no substitutions will suffice. We must rejoice in the moments of lack because plenty will surely follow.  We must honor the young child we once were. It is a blessed gift to go back and see the world through those inquisitive young eyes. Pieces from our past can serve us and speak directly into our present and future. Last, nothing is as "sweet" as when you worked for it, endured for it, sacrificed for it and ask for the wisdom and grace to see it through to the other side.  Do not just do things because you can. Be intentional regarding everything, even the little things.  I'd pass the water fountain in the hall to take a drink when I wasn't even thirsty. The result was always the same, a waste of water. When I really needed it, when I had run my little heart out in that hot Texas sun until I could run and play no more, the water came out perfect, cold, refreshing and "sweet" every single time. 

Moral of the story...There has never been or will ever be a circumstance you will find yourself in that the appointed solution for that particular problem can't fix.  Substitutions will always leave you thirsty. Be about your business of accessing and utilizing the specific things designed to build you back up and then step aside and let the next man/woman in line have their turn at the fountain. There's not enough to waste but plenty to quench everyone in need. 

Have a beautiful blessed Saturday everyone. Remember, love liberates. 

Love,

Billie

 

Journals Of Journeys

Question...Do you ever just stop and observe?  I mean really observe.  There are so many levels to observation.  There's the overall life observation, the personal friends and family observation and then there's self observing. 

As for observing my overall life, I try to do it on a regular basis.  One tool I use which lends itself to be extremely helpful is journaling.  I've been doing so for as long as I can remember and I must say that journaling has been such a gift to me.  It helps me see my story. The story God is writing with my life.  It helps me recognize and understand my patterns, reminds me of what I've been through, reveals my strength and predicts my future.  Journaling has been a key component to my relationship with ME, the one sitting inside observing my WORLD,  THOUGHTS and GOD. 

I love going back and reading where I was a year ago, two years ago even ten years ago. I am so appreciative and thankful that as I read back over SEASONS, TRAILS and TRIUMPHS written on pages, I'm now reading from the other side and I'm fine. I got through. I'm right on schedule. When I started to look at my life as a book/story, I began to understand the chapters and why they had to be in the order in which I had lived them. It's really simple, right?

While I was living out some of my not so warm and fuzzy seasons, I wanted them to go faster or even skip them entirely. Now I'm able to appreciated the gifts they were. The details of my journey have been beautifully and meticulously woven together in perfect timing with perfect approach. Our life journeys can be so complex and yet so very simple if we surrender to them and become STUDENTS of OUESELVES.

Through the years I've gown and changed tremendously but in a lot of ways I'm still just Marion and Judy's youngest daughter and Alesha's little sister, Billie. 

 

Blessings,

Billie

 

P.S.  This is why you'll always find a journal or stationary of some kind in my Billie Boxes. Here's to journaling the journey.