Tag Archives: authenticity

Seasons

Phew. September was difficult. After a summer of flying high, late August and September were the months that grounded me. Feeling thrown back into something I sprinted from left me bitter and searching for focus and gratitude. I welcome this month with arms fully extended, blissful at the thought of leaving the rest behind.

October, you son of a bitch, where you been hiding? 

In an effort to hold myself to writing more freely and more often, I’ll be including my “currents” at the end of my posts:

READING: Put Your Dream to the Test by John C. Maxwell

LOVING: my new functional planner by Dana Bowman @functional15

LISTENING: to Lewis Howes School of Greatness (podcast) & Derek Webb’s Ctrl album + random songs by Audrey Assad

MOVING: to those beats above & my p90x3 routine (you need inspiration to move? see me)

ASPIRING: to make this routine

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Photo: by me @Cheekwood; Artist: Juame Plensa

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When Plans Change or When Everything Goes Exactly as it Should

Years ago I thought God had forgotten me. From my own perspective, my closest friends were being heard, prayers were being answered, and there I was.

I felt so lonely.

I thought maybe these rules, thoughts, and ideas didn’t apply to me. Surely not. I couldn’t see the evidence anywhere. While I’d cling to the hope in my tears being repaid tenfold in joy, I’m not confident I believed it was true.

The feeling came back again, a year and a half into marriage, when I felt all my dreams were shut down and my hopes were put on what could be a permanent hold.

“But I thought we were supposed to do this – together; and here I am feeling all the weight and all the burden and none of the joy,” were thoughts that consumed my mind. It was really tough. It was difficult to keep my heart and mind focused. I reacted and broke my own heart in the process. I felt stuck and resentful and hopeless. It sounds heavy but it’s true and that’s why I think it’s important to share.

My problem then and sometimes now, was my lack of vision. I couldn’t see past that month or year or past my own hurt. I couldn’t see this work that started years ago will be continued, and it will be for my own good.

I measured my life in nearsighted-ness, ignoring the decades I had yet to evaluate.

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Fast forward to now. I still feel lonely sometimes. I think we all do. But any and all of my feelings have been transcended by this thick, comforting blanket of peace. Almost ten years post endless nights of tears and my hurt doesn’t come from those feelings any longer. Almost five years post committing myself to Nigel and all we’ve experienced, through my fault or not, has been sobering and messy, but nothing I’d trade.

Sometimes all of these life events seem ironic. They aren’t. I think it’s more the beautiful detail that is woven through every interaction, pain, conversation, song, missed opportunity. It still leads me here. Those deep gut feelings or passions reside in me to be pursued, and those hurts I’ve caused are ways to learn and experience, and seek forgiveness and redemption.

When plans change, so do we, because we are meant to be more than we think we could be, and to make mistakes, and to work together and learn from each other, and be edified – and eventually made new.

So thankful for this story.

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A Second Thought on All of My Goals

A second thought on all of my goals.

I was reminded today. Even though I plan to push myself and reach higher, become better, do more, I was reminded that I am enough. All I have is enough. No matter the slip-ups, the set-backs, the mistakes, the small things that make me feel week, worn, and so far from who I want to be – it is finished. It’s already done. I’m forgiven. I’m free. I am holy in the sight of a loving and holy God.

He poured out all of His goodness on me, leaving me spotless.

Guys, I’ve (we’ve) already won.

I say this just because I was reminded of it today. And because I felt like it’s something worth saying 11 days into the new year. How are those resolutions? If they are going well, then wonderful! That’s great to hear! If they aren’t going so well, guess what, you are more than your resolution. You are more than 2015. Your story is precious and unique and woven into the greater story of Grace.

Do not give up hope. Keep trying and pushing (and praising!) I promise you, this story ends well.

you are enough

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Week Two

To be vs. to do – an update on my recently, purposefully un-busy life.

So far, since I have put to rest the driving force of the acquisition of money and the desire for productivity, I have been able to savor the tranquility hidden in the act of being versus the act of doing.

I’ve put focus on a holistic, healthful approach to intake and time consumption. I’ve lost five pounds, lost a nasty head cold, lost the headache and pressure of a rigid schedule.

What have I gained?

I have gained the time and space to pursue relationships. Time to wake-up and feel thankful and alive. Time to appreciate my husband for all that he is and how hard he is working as I reflect and recoup. An appreciation for the now, each moment…an appreciation for all that God has created: the raw, the community, the inspiration, the quality, the transfer of energy, true joy, perspective, semantics, knowledge, wisdom, beauty, potential, art in all of it’s forms, love, the ability to love.

Mostly, I’ve gained a deep appreciation for the ability to live. To live imperfectly but fully with everything I’m given at every moment.

 

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Vulnerable

(This is not easy. I’ve shed the days of bearing my soul since Xanga was no longer popular).

Here is the truth: I’ve traded what is authentic and heart-felt for what is simple. Life moves too quickly to reflect in ways I have before. Pretty soon, August will be September; Summer will be Fall; and all of my concerns will have morphed into new concerns or simply multiplied. Here I am heaved forward; running as quickly as my legs will take me as not to fall under the imaginary bulldozer (which even still, pushes me forward). I’m trying my hardest to not be “flattened,” by life.

In fact, I’ve become pretty good at this running, this moving. I’m good at juggling busy, and being productive. My pace has steadied. My feet have blistered, then calloused. Focusing my eyes forward and becoming unaware of others now comes naturally. I’ve traded thinking for doing and it seems to be working.

I’ve made horrific mistakes and experienced what I shouldn’t have, but at least I’m moving … right?

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I stopped running today. I turned around, looked behind me … nothing.

Safe from the dozer, I sat down. I stretched. I slowly inhaled. Am I truly experiencing? Have my experiences made me bitter? Hard? Cold?

Have I been running so hard for so long, that I’ve forgotten the way rest feels?

Have I traded authentic, joyful depth for robotic production?

What does productivity truly accomplish?

Do I appreciate the now? My blessings? My life?

Sadly I don’t often stop and reflect. I don’t rest and chip away at my hardened heart. Heck, I don’t take enough time to tell my husband how much I appreciate him. This will change … it has to change.

For now, I need more time to rest and reflect. This world has cheapened my soul.

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