Friday, June 15, 2018

Sometimes You Have to Just Say Yes

I'm pretty well known for my sense of adventure, and moves across the world.  It is kind of what I do.  So, when I found myself in Columbia, Missouri for going on a 5th year, in July I wondered what the future might hold.  It wasn't that I was doubting God, or wanting to flee, probably for the first time in a long time I was content with staying.  It was just that I knew there was something more.  I felt it.  I knew that this year was just a transition year.  That things were changing.  I think my first sign of change came when I lost some friendships that were really important to me.  They were friends that I thought were going to be there for a very LONG time, and instead they were kind of just taken away.  Then next I just got this feeling of being unsettled in my current place.

I am all about looking for ways to embrace life, and be a bigger part of my community.  I have absolutely LOVED volunteering for all the events that CoMo has to offer, and being a part of this amazing work environment.

So when moving to JC came up, I just decided it was what I should do.  Knowing that I would be commuting 3 days out of the week, it wasn't a bad thing at all.  In fact I was looking forward to the time in the car.  But the more I thought about it and prayed about I felt this tug that there were more changes on the horizon. 

So applied to a couple jobs in JC.... and I got one. 

The difference in this than any other time before is that it just seemed so easy.  I'm not second guessing myself.  I'm not wondering what would happen if I stayed.  I'm not thinking that I am ruining my life.  Maybe it is because I am only moving a half hour away and every other time I have moved it has been across the freaking ocean.  Maybe. 

But this time just feels different.  It feels like I am on the verge of some great things.  It feels like I am getting ready to embark on this grand adventure that even I am not ready for. 

Sometimes you have to say yes to things that you are unsure of.  You say yes because you just know that it is the right thing.  You say yes because God's ways are SO much bigger than your ways. 

I don't know what this next year has in store.  But I sure am excited about it! 

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Grace.... and why I need it....

I have a lot to get done in the next few weeks.  Next week I am leading a class for Kid's Club, on top of working my full time job.  That means that I will be gone from 7:20 AM till 9:00 PM everyday.  It is going to be a fun week, but I already know that I am going to be exhausted. 

The past 2 weeks have had some really big ups and downs.  I have been able to process a lot of it though, and realized where my mistakes were, and perhaps understood a little bit more of why things had to happen the way that they did.  I still don't like it, and I wish that I would have made better decisions a long the way, but ultimately I know that it happened the way it needed to, so that I could learn a few lessons. 

I am doing the #100daysofgodspromises book from Dayspring. 

It arrived today, and I am already loving it! 

Today's topic was grace. 

Why do I need God's grace? 

I need God's grace because I am horrible at loving others.  I need God's grace because I am constantly judging, being sassy, looking down on, and ruining what God could be doing if I would let Him. 

I need God's grace because on my own I mess up a lot. 

A couple of weeks ago I had someone betray me probably in one of the worst ways that anyone has ever betrayed me before.  I really didn't want to give this person any kind of grace.  And if I am honest I still don't actually.  This person basically took my heart, and trust and stomped all over them.  I know that this person probably doesn't even care that they hurt me.  They were just playing their cards, keeping me on the side just in case something else didn't work out.  I get why they did it.  It doesn't mean that I agree or like it one bit.  But I get it. 

It's hard for me in instances like that to understand grace, and how to give grace, while still keeping boundaries.  But you know what grace doesn't mean that people get to do whatever they want, right? 

God's grace isn't even like that.  Yes, He gives me grace.  My weaknesses are made strong through that grace.  But that doesn't mean that His grace is a free ticket to do whatever I want.  I think that goes with others too.  I can give someone grace without allowing them to damage my heart.  I can love someone with God's grace without allowing them back in my life. 

We give each other grace, but that doesn't mean that we let people act however they want.  Love means boundaries.  This is something that I am just learning.  It would have been more beneficial if I had learned it a long time ago, but sometimes you have to go through some hard things in order to be ready for what God wants to teach you next. 

My next is boundaries and grace.  I'm excited to see how He uses this on my journey. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

It's Okay to Let Go....

This past week I had to block someone from FB, and it hurt me a lot.  It was one of those times when I knew that I needed to take that action, but I knew that it would come at a cost.  I have a hard time with boundaries.  I have a really hard time with letting people go.  Especially people that I have come to love (as a friend) and care deeply for.  People that I would do anything to help.  Those are the people that I just want to keep giving over and over to, but in the end I know that sometimes we have to let people go.  We have to take a break from those that continue to use us and cause us more harm than good.  It doesn't mean that they are awful people, necessarily.  It just means that our lives are better lived a part for awhile. 

One thing that I have made a practice in my life is that I don't become good friends with men that are dating someone, married, engaged, or best friends with another woman.  It makes life messy, and I also don't ever want to be the cause of a relationship getting broken, damaged, or becoming non-existent.  I have enough friends in my life that I don't need to be in the middle of someone else's drama if I can help it.  Sometimes I can't because people are not always truthful, and they aren't always transparent.  But when I can help it, I take myself out of the situation, even if it means that I lose a friendship. 

Friends keep leaving my life here lately, and it is hard and it hurts.  For awhile I put a lot of the blame on myself.  Even this last friendship my first instinct was to question what I did wrong.  Why wasn't I enough?  What about me caused him to want to choose her over me? 

Here's the thing, if I constantly question the way that God made me, if I am constantly questioning my worth and other people's motives, then how am I allowing God to shine through me?  If I am constantly putting myself down, then I am doubting that He created me for good purposes, right?  So, I had to come to a point where I just let it go.  I let go of the lies, the deception, the thoughts of not being good enough.  I let those go, and filled it with the truth.  The truth that I am a created being.  I have a compassionate heart, made for love.  My heart sometimes gets hurt way more easily than others.  Sometimes it is too sensitive.  Sometimes it holds on to something when it needs to let go.  But God made my heart, exactly how He wanted it, for the purposes that He has for me.  My heart is unique in what it feels, and how it understands this crazy messed up world. 

I don't want to just give my heart to anyone.  And that's what I have been doing.  I am not going to be okay with just handing over my time, energy and love because someone shows me attention.  I think that is the culture that I have grown up in though.  We are so convinced that people's lives are better married, or in a couple than not that we put so much pressure on our single society.  If you are not with someone, then there must be something wrong with you.  You aren't good enough.  It's just not how I am going to live my life ever again.  I refuse to be with someone that is not going to treat me like I am worth his time, energy and effort.  I am not going to put energy and time into someone that is not pursuing me with his whole heart.  I'm just not going to do it.  If that means that I spend the rest of my days single, then I am okay with that.  Because I have learned a valuable lesson.  I'm worth it.  I am worth fighting for, sacrificing for, moving mountains for.  I am worth the effort that it would take to win my heart.  Just like his is worth it to me.  But I refuse to be just another girl to anyone ever again. 

My heart, my life, my love... it is worth pursuing, and if it's not then I will probably let you go.  At least for awhile.  Because in the end....  I don't just want a mediocre kind of love.  I want that walk through the storms, muddy waters, and climb mountains kind of love.  The together kind. 

That's going to require me to let go of people sometimes, and put boundaries in place.  This is day 1 of some new boundaries, and better view of my worth and value. 

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.