Seventeen Pieces of Advice For 2017

1. We are called to respond in both love and kindness regardless of if we are being treated with these. With no exceptions, we are called into love. 

2. Every man of flesh is infused with stories, joy, pain and anxieties of their own. Despite how high or low they place their own worth, they are holders of strong emotions and the necessity to be fully heard and loved. 

3. Being a friend means keeping the ones you love accountable and loving them identically whether they listen to your words or not. You are only responsible for loving those near to you, not changing them. That role has never, nor never will be yours.

4. Being a friend also means being able to be held accountable as well. You are human and are not the only one who has noticed. Let iron sharpen you. They only tell you because they love you. Let the words in. 

5. Keep in mind all relationships will only be as permanent and life giving as what their core is. 

6. You will become the average of your five closest friends. Make sure you enjoy that person and plan accordingly.

7. Tell your story from your perspective but kill the pride and speak it with grace and humility and vulnerability and openness. Tell the human version story. Always. And know, “It sucks,” “I was stretched a whole lot” are welcomed as partners in storytelling. Also know every story doesn’t have to end with, “But it’s all okay now,” if it’s not okay, let it end raw. 

8. No one cares about your political views half as much as you want them to. Have them but don’t let your prideful opinions be the master of your heart. We overflow with what we are filled up with. 

9. Don’t ever buy something simply because everyone else has it. In the same breath, don’t ever not buy something you enjoy just because everyone else already has it. 

10. Make a list of five people whose opinions you truly trust. When in doubt or lost in a season of dryness or decision making, ask what they think and take the responses to heart.

11. You don’t need to have an explanation ready for the rest of the world at all times. “Because it felt wrong,” and “It just wasn’t right,” are always both applicable and acceptable. 

12. When it comes creativity, just do whatever it is. Even if it’s crappy or messy, just make. It will do your heart well, oh so well.

13. Never compare your real life to someone else’s social media appearance. It’s not real. It’s not helpful. It’s not good. Just leave that at the door.

14. Write down a list of the ten people that fill you with the most joy. Write down a list of the ten places that fill you with the most excitement for living. Write down the activities that remind you of goodness. Combine them. Meet with these people. Go to these places. Do these things. 

15. Who you are is not who you are dating. Who you are or who you are not dating is not your value. You are complete in your own being. Act as such. 

16. Books will always teach more than your Instagram feed. Flip more than you scroll. 

17. Listen to the music that you truly enjoy. Wear outwardly who you are inwardly. Speak with the words you believe. Be willing to come closer to your true self and let it flow naturally as you travel there.