I sprinkled some sunshine today.

Yesterday, I was fortunate to spend some time with my girl gang [it's a thing], and we talked about some incredibly exciting upcoming things, our hopes and dreams and fears, and there were a whole lot of tears. We've created such a safe space for hurts and frustrations and doubts, and it's beautiful to lay it all out on the floor of our friend's living room and just process out loud.

My sweet friend was hurting and it was everything I could do to stay seated on the couch. I wanted to jump up and right the wrongs and change hearts and fix all the problems and hug her and cry with her and remedy the world's problems. Instead, I settled into the couch, and I listened. And she felt heard and loved and cared for. Through this entire night I realized I'm in a good headspace right now, but so many of my people surrounding me aren't.

So I decided to be a dose of sunshine and sprinkle it all over the place today. I was adamant about being a blessing to those I serve in ministry with, and I'm not telling you this for a gold star. I'm not telling you any of this to get a pat on the back or a hurrah, Brittney! I say this because you have people who need your sunshine, too. And in our own insecurities and fear and drawbacks, we cling to our sunshine because what if we GIVE IT ALL AWAY!? Does that mean we have none left? Nope. Not how any of this works. I always kind of roll my eyes at the whole "blessed to be a blessing" thing... and honestly it's because of the cliche it has been turned into. My motivation wasn't to be blessed, it was to genuinely love my people the best way I knew how... and part of that was writing the words, since I have so many.

So I picked a big ole handful of people and wrote emails this morning. I spoke out what I saw in them, what I love about them, how they impact my life and my heart and those around me. I wrote about their care and love and concern and how important and needed and necessary each and every one of them are.

Can I tell you what every single response I've received so far has said? Something along the lines of: I needed this so bad today. Holy Spirit timing. What an encouragement at just the right time.

It cost me nothing but time and effort to sprinkle that sunshine around. Time I took to invest in people who have spent so much time investing in me, even if they do so from afar. Sometimes we're so busy living life and doing the hard things that we forget real people are actually watching what we're doing. We are building into those around us whether we do so intentionally or not. Someone listening to me at an event changed my entire perspective. A friend who loves other people well and shows up with all the grace trickles down into my own life and how I love and treat others. We're a walking, talking life lesson, and that's freaking terrifying. What kind of lesson am I teaching those around me? Not everyone would say it's joyful things, or positive things, or even Biblical things, unfortunately. Some people were on the receiving end of a really bad season, and while I can't change how I reacted in the past, I can change how I respond now. And I respond with sunshine.

Now before you think I live in this everlasting happy-clappy moment, know my heart - I totally don't. I ride more emotional roller coasters than you do at Disneyland. But the reality is, in my effort to grow in love and grow in stability, part of that is forcing myself to choose the happy things, the Kingdom mindset... and it's so hard. 100% absolutely. I get frustrated and cry, I get discouraged and wallow in self pity. Just last week I had a pretty epic meltdown and thought I would have to pack my bags and move to Antarctica [I'm also pretty dramatic]. But more than all of that, I really push myself to be real and transparent and consistent. I want to be a friend that shows up.

I have a friend that shows up, all the time, even when she thinks she doesn't - she's pretty fantastic like that. And she's teaching me how to love people out loud, because that's exactly what she does to me. Her grace is contagious and the way she is establishing her roots is helping me be comfortable in establishing my own. My favorite thing about this is while I was loving on my people, she was doing the same darn thing. Sprinkling sunshine all around, too, and knowing she was spending her morning blessing her people? That blessed me.

One tiny little email that you think is insignificant because it's not a gigantic grand gesture? That does so much more for someone's heart than we can realize. Your gift of encouragement is needed and necessary and important. When we choose to edify one another, we breathe life into their souls. I don't know of one single person who doesn't need to hear someone speak something kind over them. You're not going to weird them out, you're going to bless their hearts.

So, if you've gotten this far in my rambling, 1. Thank you! and 2. Pick three people. Being challenged or reminded to do a good deed or go out of your way to say a kind thing doesn't make the impact any less - so do it. Choose three people. Text them, call them if you're weird like that (ha!). Send them an email, mail a card, drop off flowers or food or even a post it note that says "thanks for being awesome". The gesture doesn't have to be huge, it's the intent - the love - it's in showing up.

P.S. - don't be super surprised if all the tears start flowing [from them and you]. Sometimes getting encouragement in a really dark space is super overwhelming, and no matter the size, it feels like Jupiter.

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