With one Hero of a Hubs out of town for a few days, I’ve been a little “busier” than usual. I’m sorry for the delay in posting part two and blessed that you are reading these words today! I hope you’re encouraged. Thank you for your grace!


In an attempt to not overwhelm you with thoughts on moving forward when New Year’s Resolutions won’t resolve something, I decided to continue the story with a part two… Once you’ve given some thought to what you can do, and given an eye and an ear to considering what God is doing, I have one more thought to share with you on how to move forward when some hard place isn’t changing. {If you haven’t already checked it out, Part One is Right Here.}

Go Find Somebody to Love {Kinda Like the Queen Song?}

Just a few weeks ago, I sat down across the table from a dear friend for a catch-up and a cup of coffee. I hadn’t been out of the house without a kid for any reason except the groceries in weeks and I probably looked like Buddy the Elf when Santa’s visit is announced as I opened the door of my minivan. We chatted for a long time about different situations in our lives. The good things. The hard things. The things we wish were different but don’t know how to change.

As we climbed back into my car at the end of our coffee moment, these simple words seemed to flow out of my mouth without passing through my brain for long: “Gosh, my friend. Having coffee with you is better than therapy! I don’t really need anyone to solve my problems, I just need to be reminded I’m not the only one who has them.”

Can you relate, mayhaps?

So what’s the lesson?

You should absolutely look to Jesus in the midst of the hard places, but remember that He has also given us each other so that we bear one another’s burdens and thus lighten the load.


During those previously-mentioned days at the Pawn Shop, once I stopped focusing on the things about my circumstances that I didn’t like, I opened my eyes and began to see the people hurting around me. God-given opportunities to pray for other people, to share His love, and to show kindness to the people I encountered each day started popping up.  I even found myself in the home of one of my co-workers, leading her in studying the Bible for the first time. I made plenty of mistakes and totally fell short on countless occasions, but still, God saw my heart and was willing to use the humble efforts I could offer for His glory.

Fast forwarding a decade, I’m back in my hometown, homeschooling two of our four children. While the Tank, our second eldest, gets heaps of playtime throughout the day (since he’s 4), the Bear, being the oldest of the crew, has a pretty decent amount of schoolwork to get through each day before he can call it quits.

He’d rather be playing a game or running around outside or illustrating a story (one of his favorite pastimes is writing and illustrating! Be still my heart!) I love him and wish he could be doing what he wants all the time, too. But, I love him enough to know that the Math lessons, the memory work, the spelling and science and history — these hard things are important for him to become the best version of who he is destined to be. 

Could this be how our Father sees it, too? Could the hard things be important for us to become the best version of who we are destined to be? Our own hardships allow us to recognize hurt in the people around us, enabling us to walk with them through hard seasons. And if we can take our eyes off of our own circumstances and look at the hurting world around us, we might be surprised to find that even if our circumstances don’t change, the way we feel about them just might.


Even though we live in the same town, every once in a while we find a good reason to pile the kids and the stuff in the car to trek across to my Mom’s house to spend a night or two together there. And a wonderful, funny thing happens each and every time I go. My pace tends to slow down a little. I feel more relaxed and just have a sense that the whirlwind of things that normally keep my mind occupied are going to sort themselves out and it’s all going to be okay. I linger in the shower. I take extra time enjoying my coffee. My pajamas are on early and off late, and I let the kids enjoy themselves and loosen the reins on our usual rules a little.

What is it about being there that makes it such a happy place for me?

I’m 100% sure it’s because I feel loved.


My Mom definitely has the gift of hospitality, and loves to make things special for us every time we visit. And what her example teaches me is that we gain a sense of self worth when other people make us feel like we matter. When the people around us make efforts to bring us comfort or joy or peace or even just a tummy full of food that makes us happy, the underlying message is truly I’m glad you’re here, and you’re worth caring about. 

Deep down, I wonder if that’s what we all want to know most: that we are loved, and worthy of love.

So, there’s this unexpected way to be surprised by joy in the midst of life at its hardest: Go find somebody to love.

Jesus put it this way:

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. {Luke 6:38}

Lifting up and esteeming other people — taking the time to find somebody to love, and showing love in a way that communicates to them Hey, you matter — can make your life feel like it’s worth living, even in the hardest of seasons. Seeing other people experience joy can so often bring us joy, especially when we know that our actions were the spark of it.

Maybe it’s paying for the order the car behind you placed at the drive-thru, or starting the adventure of sponsoring a child on the other side of the world. Maybe it’s a meal for a stranger in the park or a smile for someone you pass in the street.

Like so many of God’s ways, what seems upside down is the right way up: when we are hurting the most, down in the darkest places, there’s no better time to stretch out our hands and love others.


When we want to clench our fist, we’re better off stretching out an open palm.

When we’re aching to just curl up in a ball, we’re better off stretching our arms wide to embrace someone who needs it.

Maybe your year is already off to a tough start, and maybe there are things you’re walking through that a New Year’s Resolution just can’t take care of.

But you can make a resolution to keep showing up, keep loving others, and keep giving.

Go find somebody to love, and you might be surprised to find Jesus and joy right there — and sense afresh how much God loves you.