On Monday I took the kids to the pool with a great friend of mine and her kiddos (more on her wonderful friendship another day). I had worked in the yard all weekend and had a sunburn that was just annoying enough to burn while I showered. So as we arrived at the pool and found our chairs, I made sure to apply sunscreen to myself and my kids. Rotten thing is, I didn't apply it well enough. I have several areas where you can see my hand swipe and I missed a fairly large of which is right over my belly button. If you've never had a sunburn on your belly button, I don't advise it.  Its a wee bit painful.  

Today is day two of the sunburn, and as I hopped into the shower today it was like someone whispered in to my ear "You applied sunscreen to yourself just like you apply self love."

But 'they' (whoever 'they' were) were right.  I am still a work in progress and I fail daily on applying self love 100% to all areas.  With love comes grace, and mercy, and patience, hope, and trust.  So many things come with love.  Its all encompassing.  There are days where I slather myself with love....every nook and cranny gets the love.  My dreams, my goals, my passion, my hobbies....they get love.  Other days it takes a bulldozer to shove me off my bed because I'm deep in self loathing (thank GOD those days are nearly non-existant now).  

When we are covered with self love, then comes the grace and mercy...patience and trust, strength, and even hope.  We learn to apply grace to our failures.  We become patient with ourselves and our dreams, and we realize timing isn't in our hands.  We trust our decisions and with that comes this amazing thing called hope. Guess what happens then?  Strength happens. And that strength is what pulls you out of the dark holes in life.  Its what gives us hope.  See there?  Its all connected. Love, and then grace, mercy, patience, trust, hope....and strength.  

Go apply your 'sunscreen' today.  But do it with intent.  Do it with purpose, and make sure you cover all your areas.  We all know what happens when you don't.