The February Challenge | Leave

valentines-dayAh, the love month. How many of you dread the avalanche of stories and photos that February brings? How many of you tire of all the advice blog posts? It’s safe to say that most of us grow weary of the endless chatter about love and relationships.

But do you know what exhausts me more than the chit chat? I’m tired of people acting like February 14th is a day for self-pity and entitlement.

Oh easy for you to say! You’re married!

Well, yes I am. But a married person has to choose contentment and joy just like a single person. Differences may exist between us, but at our core, we still have to choose God as the center of our life or misery because everything else (including a fantastic husband) falls short.

So I have a challenge for you as February arrives in all its velvety chocolate glory! This month, look beyond yourself. Don’t dwell on what you think you deserve in love and life, instead, focus on kindness and putting others first.

Make this month one-of-a-kind for someone else.

If you’re married, don’t just go out of your way for your husband. Go out and serve your girlfriends! If you’re dating, don’t focus solely on your boyfriend. Consider your friends and choose them over yourself. If you’re single, look around you. You’re not alone! Many need some kindness and loving.

Don’t view February as a doldrum month with a Valentine’s Day that you dread or idolize. February is a whole month that you can deliberately make wonderful for friends and strangers. This may seem like an overwhelming challenge. Goodness, you just wanted to read a nice blog post and instead you’re hit between the eyes with a BIG challenge.

So let’s break it down into four simple steps that we’ll explore in the upcoming weeks. These steps are designed to reach far beyond Valentine’s Day.

STEP 1:

Leave your friends better than how you found them.

Growing up, my father always taught me to leave a place better than how I found it. This lesson sunk deep into my life and has translated into other areas, including my relationships with others. I don’t want to be the person that makes others hold their breath or walk on eggshells. Rather, I want to uplift and encourage my friends. I want to take a genuine interest in their lives and look for the good in them. This will take effort and require that I find my worth in Christ because hard days will come when kindness won’t be the easiest route to follow.

But because God loves me, I must love others! I must show my friends kindness and walk away having done my best to leave them better than I initially found them.

February will be the best when I look beyond myself and love others! So, I challenge you this week to quit thinking about yourself. Quit obsessing about what Valentine’s Day will look like, and make an effort to leave all your friends better than how you found them!

Sierra Straightforward

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