Thursday, May 24, 2018

How My Authentic Life is About Honesty....

Sometimes the same circumstances seem happen over and over again in our lives.  Ha... who am I kidding.... ALL the time the same circumstances happen over and over again in my life!  I trust someone I shouldn't, and then I get hurt.  I'm in the middle of another pain that if I'm honest was some of my own doing, but really it could have been avoided if the other person would have just been honest with me, and then didn't lead me on.  

So, here I am in the midst of this pain that feels deep, and too hard to understand or bear.  It feels a lot like a betrayal in a way that I have never experienced one before.  Yet at the same time I know that this pain is only just a moment compared to things to come, right?  I know that this pain is temporary.  I know that even though it feels pretty permanent, it will get better and I will be stronger because of it. 

What I don't understand is our need to be dishonest with each other.  I try my very hardest to live out my most real authentic self.  That means that I am going to be real with my feelings.  Sometimes my feelings are too much for some.  Sometimes that means that I love when I shouldn't.  Sometimes that means that I have deeper feelings than someone else does.  But I'm always honest about them.  I'm sure there are moments that I have tried not to hurt someone else, and thus masked some of what I feel because I didn't want to come across too harshly.  But that's not what I am talking about.  I am talking about when we hide things so that other people won't see the real us.  You don't like me that way?  Be honest.  You just used me for your own selfish desires?  Be honest!  The worst that is going to happen is I am going to be mad at you for a little while.  I'm a pretty forgiving person though, and I usually will just let it go.  Unless... unless you lie to me.  If you lie to me, I have a really hard time letting that go.  If you pretend that we have a friendship or something even beyond that we don't really have.... well I'm afraid that is where I have to put up some boundaries, and that is where it takes me some significant time before I am going to let you back in my life again. 

I live my life full of love.  I feel hard for others that are in tough circumstances, and I don't make excuses for that at all.  I'm glad that I was created with a compassionate, caring heart.  Sometimes it gets a little damaged, because as someone pointed out to me not too long ago I take things personally.  Honestly at first I thought that was a negative thing, and some probably think of it that way, but I don't see it that way at all.  I am glad that I take things personally.  I am glad that things people do penetrate my heart.  I would much rather care so much that it impacts me, then walk around not understanding anyone's struggles and just looking out for my own interests. I want things to change me, I want to feel what others do, because it makes me love them more.  

I'm going to continue to live the most honest, authentic life that I can.  I know that means that my heart is going to continue to get broken.  But I refuse to build up a wall and not let people in.  I refuse to be anything but genuinely caring, compassionate and loving towards others.  Even those that pretend they care when they don't.  I will always be there for people.  I won't continue to let the same person hurt me over and over, but I will always love.  Because my love doesn't come out of the depths of myself.  It is overflowing from the love that has been given to me.  For that I can be thankful. 

I hope that we can all be more honest and authentic in our lives. 

Monday, May 14, 2018

Worthy, or Not?

Every now and then I get in this blah moment when I feel like circumstances are beyond my control, and I question my worth.  It seems like I am always that girl that won't be anything beyond a good friend.  I am good enough to be friends with, maybe even good enough for something beyond friendship for a little while.  But never good enough to commit to.  I fight the urge to go after what I want, because the few times I have tried, it has turned out to be heartbreak and devastation.    The few times I have allowed myself to be pursued it has turned out to be nothing but pain and heartache.  I don't want to lose hope in having that "best friend" in my life, but I can't help but feel like I will never be good enough.  I can't help but feel like I'm not worthy of being pursued. 

It seems like timing is never on my side, and maybe I am just beyond the time when it is even worth opening myself up for it. 

In my mind I know that this is just me being in this negative space, not allowing the truth of God's love to overcome how I am feeling. 

I know this, yet I continue to just feel like if I was this way or that way then it would be different.  We are our own worse critique, right?  I don't just want anyone.  I want someone who is going to push me to be the best that I can be.  Someone that is going to text me first, and make a point to plan and go on adventures with me.  Someone that loves Jesus more than anything else.  Someone that wants to learn together.  Someone that wants to be my best friend.  Someone that makes me question hard things.  Someone that can help me put me in a good mood.  Someone that knows their life is better with me, than without. 

I know that I stink at life sometimes.  I overthink things, I am emotional, and I let people walk all over me.  I need to work out more, and when I don't wear make up I sometimes feel like the ugliest person in the room.  But with all of those faults, I love hard.  I would literally do anything for anyone.  I go out of my way to help others.  I am trying to make this world a better place, and share what I have with those that don't have it.  I am a good friend, I love adventures.  I care about people.  I want people to succeed, and I love learning. 

So, why is it that I continue to feel like I am just not good enough?  I don't want to hear anything about God's timing right now, or all the other things that people so often want to say.  Because I know just like everyone else that sometimes you have to live in these blah moments.  Sometimes you have to go through the motions, and feel the things so that you can work through them.  Sometimes you have to let circumstances hold you for just a little bit, in order to wrap your mind around the truth of who you are and why you feel the way you do. 

How do I cope with this blahness?  Do I choose to let my guard down, and be open to that "friendship" or do I just put everyone in a category only sharing a partial side of myself?  It is a definite struggle.  Not one I am going to probably answer today.  So, instead I try to focus on the truths I know to be solid, and don't overthink or let my feelings get too bombarded with the things I can't control. 

Here are some truths I am focusing on today:

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."  -Isaiah 41:10

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."  Matthew 6:33

"You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit- fruit that will last and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.  This is my command:  Love each other."  John 15:16-17

"Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.  For the Lord is a God of justice.  Blessed are all who wait for him!"  Isaiah 30:18

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

When You Think You Know Me

Let me write for a minute about the world of dating and relationships.  So, about a month ago I had someone message me on IG.  It was a nice message, he had just seen my posts, and thought I was a fun person.  So, we chatted a little bit, mostly just like how are you... blah blah stuff.  Then all of a sudden he is asking me to "be his woman."  What the heck?  How in the world did dating and relationships get to be so messed up?  How do you think that you know me, because you follow me on IG? 

I guarantee you don't know me.  I guarantee that you know the me that I put out there.  The me that shows just enough.  Yes it is in truth who I am, but there is so much more to me than pictures on IG.  So, when you claim to "know me."  That you don't want anyone else to "have me."  Frankly you sound like a crazy person. 

I am so tired of hearing about the "friend zone."  Maybe it is true for some people, but you know what?  All the successful marriages I know have started out as a really close friendship.  All the people that I look up to have been able to be friends first through the ups and downs, and developed something from there.  Sure there has to be a certain level of attraction, and flirting, but you know what?  I guarantee you that if you aren't trying to be my friend, and not trying to walk beside me through my day to day, you are not going to make a good husband for me.  I don't want someone who just comes in and sweeps me off my feet.  Sure, romance is nice, but  I want someone that I know I can count on.  Someone that is going to be there when I need to just cry it out, someone that is going to protect me, stick up for me, be proud of me.  Someone that is going to push me to break down the walls that I have built up.  Someone that I can trust, someone that lets me see Jesus in the way he serves others.  Someone that doesn't just want to "claim me." 

I think that I am okay with being single if all that guys want to do is pursue, and then when they get what they want they are done.  If you aren't  willing to put the time and effort into being my friend, getting to know me, caring about what I care about, and letting me be there for you.  Well, then I don't really want to try to make a life with you. 

I feel like there is a different way to do dating than what we have turned it into.  Swiping pictures, going to dinner, and then deciding if it's worth our time and effort.  I just don't buy into it.  I don't think that is how we get to know the messiness of someone's life.  We have to be willing to really dig deep.  To be vulnerable, and to ask the hard questions.  The questions that help us to understand where our differences are.  The questions that helps us to rethink our views, our stance on certain issues.  I don't want to go through life with someone that is exactly like me, or that agrees with everything I do and say.  What fun would that be?  I want to go through life with someone that is going to stretch my beliefs, push me when I want to give up, and love me despite the mess that I am.  I want someone that is going to put me first, after their faith.  Someone that I can help, that I can turn to.  Not just have mediocre conversations with.  Let's get messy, dig deep, and not be afraid to be vulnerable.  Vulnerability takes time, at least for me.  So, let's stop jumping into things, and thinking that every person is our next husband or wife.  Get to know someone, the real person, be there for their worst days, and then decide if it's someone you want to be there for through all their worst days. 

Let's stop the swiping and leaping.... be authentically vulnerable and see what happens after that. 

Friday, May 4, 2018

40 Before 40... Update!

I haven't looked at this list in awhile, and so I thought I would take a look at it, and contemplate how some of the things might need to change....  It is after all my list, and so I am able to make changes.  :)  Here's the update....

40 before 40 update....
I know you all have been dying to see this list again!  Ha!  But I have some things to add to it!  :)  I know, I know..... you can't wait!  My latest updates are in Purple!  :)

 #1  Attend a Renaissance Festival  Completed last Fall!  :)  Hope to get to another one soon! 

#2  Celebrate New Year's in New York City and watch the ball drop!  Maybe 2018 will be the year!

#3  Pay School Loans down   I am not doing great with this.... hoping to put some things into place to help make this better! 

#4  Go Skydiving  Next summer! 

#5  Get a tattoo  I have TWO tattoos now!  Yippeee!!!!  Love my elephant and owl!   I really want another one!!!!!!  I already have the next ones picked out!  Ha!  :) 

#6  Drive the Pacific Coast Highway all the way down California  Maybe next summer (2019)

#7  See a show at the Fox. 

#8  Get to know 5 good wine and cheese pairings, and host a wine tasting  This is happening after I get my new apartment!  Yippeee! 

#9  Hike some of the PCT  This is going to be the trip for my 40th birthday!  Get ready! 

#10  Get in the best shape of my life  Blah... I'm sucking that this! 

#11  Go skinnydipping  I have high hopes for this one happening by next summer!  ha!

#12  Go to an Art Museum once a year (Yikes, I need to get on this one for this year!)  Ummm.... I really need to start doing this...

#13  Visit Napa Valley 

#14  Go on a cruise

#15  Learn how to cook Risotto    I need to get on this! 

#16  Go to a race track that has cars, not horses! 

#17  Meet a hero (Mandy Hale, Glennon Doyle, Cheryl Strayed)

#18  Be open to new dating opportunities  (I did well with this!!!)  I am going to change this one.... Be open to new dating opportunities, but don't just take any of them, because some of them are CRAZY! I completed this... checking it off the list! 

#19  Take the ultimate U.S. Road Trip Not solo.... I need a friend or two....

#20  Read every book by C.S. Lewis  Still at work!

#21  Learn to Knit  (Still working on this, but I am a great loom knitter)  Work in progress

#22  Take Spanish and be able to hold a conversation  (Ugh, not so great with this)  Hmmm.....

#23  Read 100 books  (Need to make my list) 

#24  Get a hair cut at a fancy salon

#25  Cook/Bake all my gma's recipes

#26  Do one kind deed everyday of my life. 

#27  Read the Bible Cover to Cover each year

#28   Drink tea instead of coffee in the afternoon  Changing this  #28 Drink MORE tea!!!!! 

#29  Run the Bolder Boulder

#30  Watch every film on AFI top 100

#31  Go to the doctor/dentist/eye doctor as recommended  (Getting better with this)

#32  Complete a 1/2 marathon

#33  Write a short story

#34  Take a 24 hour solitude/no phone retreat 4 times a year  (I didn't do this at all)

#35  Pray everyday  (More work needed with this)

#36  Donate 2% of income each year to charity

#37  Try yoga

#38  Send 10 letters a year to friends far away  (I will do this)

#39  Make something crafty and sell it  (Yay!  I did this!  )

#40  Step out of my comfort zone at least once a day.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

My Image of You

When I look at you I don't see what you see,
the flaws don't stand out like they do when you look in the mirror
I don't see the bags under your eyes, or the extra skin that you say is there
I don't see the bruises and scars that you try to hide

I don't see what you see

I see your light, and love
I see how you take care of those around you
I see how true you are to being the person Jesus wants you to be
I see your genuine love for serving
I see the dedicated worker you are

I don't see what you see

I see the love you have for your family
I see the way that you include people you don't even know
I see how you put others before yourself

I don't see what you see

I see how you prayerfully consider what road to journey down next
I see how you move mountains for those that need help
I see how you work to bring about change
I see your strength in your beliefs

I don't see what you see

I don't see the tears that you cry at night for the love that was lost
I don't see the heartache you wear everyday because you think you are not good enough
I don't see how you question and analyze if you will ever be loved
I don't see the way that you put yourself down, over and over again

I don't see what you see

I see you through the eyes of our Father
I see how you were created for good
I see how He works through you to touch others
I see how He molds you to be more and more like Him each day
I see the change in you, I see your light

I don't see what you see

I see you the way He meant you to be

Monday, April 16, 2018

A to Z Blogging Challenge: N is for Never Living Up to Expectations #singlenessmyth#14

My A to Z Challenge is a blog about singleness.  Some myths, some thoughts, some of the things I have been learning as a 30 something year old single American woman, in a culture that sees this as something that is less than... join me on this journey! 

N is for Never Living up to Expectations.   #14:  Single people never live up to the expectations of their family. 

I'm taking this blog from the perspective of someone who doesn't necessarily feel this way, but has friends that do.  I have heard more than once from people that I love.... "Oh I can't wait till my son/daughter makes me a grandma one day." 

I cringe EVERY SINGLE TIME I hear this.  I cringe because I have parents that know what it is like to not be grandparents.  Sometimes things don't always go as planned.  Sometimes your kids don't have kids.  Sometimes your kids don't get married.  Is it okay to teach kids how to be mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles? Of course it is!  But is it okay to make that their only role in life?  Like if you never become a grandparent are they going to wonder if they have let you down? 

I hesitate to even write this post, because I think that sometimes we want to make excuses for our expectations.  It is cultural, or whatever excuse we have to make expectations of others. 

I am going to tell you this though.  Your kids... they may never get married, they may never have kids.  What are you going to do if they don't?  How would that change the way you parent them now, or would have parented them when they were younger? 

We put enough expectations on ourselves without having to live up to the expectations that others put on us too. 

How can expectations change your relationships with others? 

This post.... I think I just want to leave it there... something to think about.....  do we allow our kids to grow up knowing that they are worthy even without ever getting married or having kids? 

Saturday, April 14, 2018

A to Z Blogging Challenge: M is for Moving Past the Friend Zone #singlenessmyth#14

My A to Z Challenge is a blog about singleness.  Some myths, some thoughts, some of the things I have been learning as a 30 something year old single American woman, in a culture that sees this as something that is less than...join me on this journey! 

M is for Moving Past the Friend Zone.  Singleness Thoughts #14:  How do you live in the friend zone? 

Okay, so in my lifetime I have had a handful of men that I have come to know as good friends.  Not just acquaintances, but the kind of guys that I could go to and I knew that they would be there for me no matter what.  I knew that they were there to help me through life.  You know what though....  I don't know that I have them any longer.  Something always happens to create this wall between us.  Either it is me that has stronger feelings for them, and they don't reciprocate, or they have stronger feelings for me, and I can't see them as anything more than friends. 

So, when feelings are involved that go beyond friendship on only one side, is there a way to still be good friends?  I have had to think about this a lot lately, because I recently had this situation come up.  Without going into too much detail, I had to ask myself how I was going to protect my heart.  How was I going to make sure that I kept the friendship, but didn't lose myself in the process.  It is so easy to let our feelings get the best of us. 

As a single person I feel like I have to be extra careful with the boundaries that I have.  I am not sure that I was ever taught how to guard my heart.  The safest friendships that I have had have been friendships that have ended up hurting me so much because I let my guard down and then I got damaged. 

So, do we live in the friend zone well?  Maybe some people are better at it than I am.  For me it is a learning process.  I believe in being vulnerable, but I also believe in protecting my heart. 

I guess I will continue to try to live in the friend zone with those that mean a lot to me, but I have to set boundaries, right?  Or else I am just going to keep getting a broken heart.