Monday, January 2, 2017

2/2017

Community is what you make of it, people are in your life for a reason.  Tomorrow my life could take a drastic turn.  I am not actually sure what might happen.  All I know is that 2017 has given me the opportunity to make that turn, if I need to.  I want community.  I want people in my life that want to be there. 

Tonight I had the opportunity to catch up with an old friend, and chat with some new ones.  The conversations I have had these past few weeks, have been conversations that have shown me how my life can and should change. 

Maybe my life doesn't look like yours.  I don't have kids, I'm not married.  I never thought it mattered that those things weren't part of my life.  But, as it turns out I think that there are just certain people that once they get married or start to have kids, they just don't want to be in my life because they feel like we have nothing in common, or whatever the reason. 

I would pretty much give up anything for people that have been there for me, and that are in my life.  In fact I have.  My heart was a little hurt tonight by something I found out, but I will get over it, because I'm not going to make this year about loss.  I am going to make this year about risks and gaining.  I am going to make this year about adventure, love, and surrounding myself with people that bring me strength.

So, here's to the second day of 2017.  Here's to community, and love.  Here's to investing in those that want me, and letting go of those that don't.   Here's to community. 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

1/2017

My first blog of the new year.  Today I was able to start my New Year off with so many great things!  3 year olds, an amazing church, a hike, and lots of reading, journaling, and creativity.  I'm so thankful for the new beginning that this year is. I am so thankful that no matter where I go, God will always be with me.  I am so thankful that I can begin new things in 2017. 

I was talking to some members of my family tonight, and they were like, why make resolutions?  To me, it isn't really about the fact that my whole life is going to change.  It is the fact that I am trying.  I am trying to do things that are going to enhance my life, and make me a better person.  Resolutions to me are about examining where I was this last year and where I want to go. 

I know that I won't meet every one of my goals.  I know that there will be times when I won't want to read before I go to work, or before I go to bed.  But I think that making goals is a great start. 

This year is about Jesus for me.  This year is about getting to know Him in a greater way.  This year is about opening up my life to risking whatever I need to in order to fulfill what I was meant to do, where I was meant to do it.  I don't think that means playing it safe.  I don't think that means having the "American Dream."  I think that means that it is time for me to move forward.  It is time for me to be authentic in my quest for those things that will truly enable me to love in a greater way. 

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2017.....A Year of Risks.....


I took a look back over my posts from this past year.  2016, it was supposed to be my year of being Intentional, Grateful, and Authentic.  As I reflect on these things, I have to wonder if they were really what drove me.  If every interaction I had was really about these three words.  I have to admit to myself that it probably wasn't.  I don't know that this was my best year of authenticity.  I was real, but I also wasn't.  I hid behind a lot of insecurities in a lot of different situations throughout this year.  I'm not going to put myself down for that, because I don't think we can fix everything in a year.  I don't think we were meant to.  I think that we are just meant to live better than the year before.  Sometimes there are years filled with lots more darkness than there have been in the past.  Sometimes we get stuck in that darkness for most of the year, but then we begin again. 

So, I'm not going to let go of being authentic.  It is still very much a part of the core of who I am.  It is still very much a part of the process that I want to work on.  Being authentic isn't about always being so open and raw.  Being authentic is about caring about others, developing community, and being open enough to risk. 

My word for 2017 is risk.  This year I want to risk all that I have to live life to the fullest.  I don't want to stop having adventures just because I think that everyone expects me to stay in one place.  I don't want to stop seeing the world, experiencing life on every continent, being a part of cultures that cause me to examine my life and share the grace that I have been given.  Risk isn't about giving up on dreams, or people.  Risk is about not being okay with living a mediocre life.  Taking chances, applying for that job that you might never have applied for before.  Not staying in an environment that is toxic.  Risk means moving mountains and going after the things that I'm passionate about.  Living my life in the most authentic way that I can, and being willing to let go of those things that only cause hurt and pain. 

This year might not be epic, but it sure is going to be a year for a lot of changes.  It sure is going to be a year for me to decide what makes me happy, what fills me, and go after it with all my heart. 

I have a lot of resolutions, and goals for this year.  Drinking more water, reading my Bible more, taking time to hike, writing real letters. 

The most important though is that I refuse to be stuck in a life that is convenient, or a life that doesn't challenge me. 

Here's to 2017....may the risks be worth it! 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Darkness helps the Light...

Never in my life would I have dreamed that I would be in the place I am in, or actually was in because I can say that I am definitely on the uphill climb to this valley.  Sometimes though you have to be in a dark place, in order to see the light.  Sometimes it isn't about the people that surround you as much as it is about getting up out of that hole, allowing yourself to be okay with your truth and letting yourself wallow for just a little bit. 

 I think oftentimes we want everyone to be happy, we don't want to be around sad people.  We don't want to be around people that are depressed, lonely, and unsure of the steps they are taking next.  We just want happiness.  I get it, because I have been one of those people.  I have been a person that didn't want to be around the "Eeyore's" of the world...that is until I was one.   Until I was so deep in darkness that I honestly didn't feel like getting out of bed most mornings.  

I had convinced myself that I was worth nothing to this world.  I had convinced myself that my life wasn't actually worth anything, that when I was created...there was something in me that was created wrong.  I had convinced myself that everyone was only hanging out with me because they felt they had to.  That I had no friends, that I was unlovable.   Then I hated myself for doubting all those things.  And...the wall was put back up.  

I am a strong person.  There aren't a lot of people that have broken the wall down, and I hate to admit, but sometimes the wall goes back up.  It shouldn't, but it does.  Isn't that the case with all of us though?  Okay..maybe it is just me.  Maybe I am the only person in the world that constantly has trust issues.  I kind of doubt it.  

Here's the thing though....if we don't trust people in our life, because they have shown to be untrustworthy over and over again...do we continue to allow them to be a part of our lives?  Do we continue to allow them to hurt us, or live in fear that we will be dropped without a moments notice?  Do we allow that anxiety to continue to drive us?  

That is where the darkness comes in.  Sometimes I think we have to walk in the darkness for a little while.  Sometimes we have to let the world swallow us up, not in a destroying kind of way, but just a way in which we allow ourselves to journey inward.  But then.....we let the light back in.  

We talk to people about our struggles.  We open up, and try to figure out why the world looks so dark.  We realize that we were created for good things, even if it seems like the world and people in our world are against us.  We let people in, reach out even when we don't want to...and we allow ourselves to be loved.  

We all have moments and times when we are walking in darkness.  Even a candle has to be in the dark sometimes.  I think the most we can do is understand where people are at, and admit where we are for ourselves.  Admit when we don't have it all together.  Admit when we are having days where we just don't see the hope, joy, and love.  Then after admitting that we do things that will help us know our worth.  Whether that is passages from the Bible, songs that have worthy messages, or just sitting down to coffee with a friend.   

My light has been pretty dim the last couple of months, but I think that I am finally by God's grace on the journey to full brightness again.  I am not perfect, and the best that I can do is to grow on this journey, search hard for where God wants me, and live out His daily truths.  My days are not always going to be happy, but they can always be full.  My days aren't always going to be full of light, but they can shimmer with hope...always.  

Darkness is necessary...because if there wasn't darkness...we wouldn't understand or need the light. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Hate doesn't Win....

As I watched the election feed last night, I felt this overwhelming sense of dread and horror at the fact that Donald Trump was actually winning.  I thought, it would change...somehow he would not come out on top.  I watched as my newsfeed showed family and friends that I consider to be loving, welcoming human beings rejoice at the fact that the "evil" witch wasn't winning.  "The lesser of two evils." 

It hurts me that this is the state of our country.  It hurts me that I had to walk into school this morning, knowing that many of my students were going to be coming from this mind frame.  That I was walking into a place where a majority of people voted for the man who now holds the office of President-Elect.  It hurts me because I see how much hate has been created because of this process. 

Whether my Bible believing friends want to grasp this or not.  EVERY single person is made in GOD's IMAGE!  Every single person!  So, when you go out spouting how evil one person is over the other, are you really sharing God's love with the world? 

It is funny to me how people who are spouting hate, and making fun of Hilary or her supporters are the same people that think it is a sin to dress immodestly, to drink, to smoke, and to cuss.  I don't get how those two can go together.  You talk about Jesus' love and sacrifice in one breath, while you spew out hate for another in the next breath.  Doesn't she deserve the same love and grace that you are willing to give to him, or to each other?  Doesn't she?  Don't we all???

There are some people who will never grasp what it means to be a minority.  There will be some people who never understand what it means to be grabbed inappropriately, almost raped, called names based on your skin color or sex.  There will be some people that think that it is not a big deal. I am here to say, it is.  It is a big deal how people are being made to feel.  It isn't just something that we should accept.  I have had a  man look me in the eyes and tell me he wanted to rape me.  I have been touched by someone in places I didn't want to be touched.  It isn't a joke to me.  Being treated as if I don't matter, isn't a joke to me. 

It is hard for me right now to understand how people I love can be putting so much pride into the world.  So much gloating is going on.  Like I actually saw a meme where someone posted about the witch being gone.  I can't, you guys...I just can't.  Because, if the roles had been switched, and it was her that had said/done the things that he did.  It wouldn't even be a discussion.  What we need right now is not gloating, and pride.  What we need right now is humbleness and kindness.  How would Jesus be leading?  What would he be posting? 

I will respect Trump as President.  I will pray for him, and support him as much as I have other Presidents, but I will not accept his view of people.  I will never be okay with the words he has spouted against those who are different.  I will never give in to the fear that he has created about immigrants, and refugees.  I will never allow my views to be dictated by fear.

So, if you are reading this...I urge you to pray.  Pray for our country, pray for our future President.  And love.  Love the person that is different from you.  Love the immigrant down the street that is afraid for his/her life.  Love the woman who found out she is pregnant from being raped 2 months ago, and she is considering having an abortion. Love the gay man you met on the subway that feels like he will never be able to be understood or accepted.   Love those around you like Jesus would.  Love till you understand their hurt and pain.  


Love....

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Being Broken, and becoming Stronger...

Two months ago I had something happen in my life that literally almost broke me.  I tried to tell myself that it wasn't a big deal, that I was making it a bigger deal than it needed to be, and that I should just get over it.  But then I realized that I needed to deal with it.  This thing that happened to me literally rocked me and made me not want to be alive.  I have often wondered how one situation can make someone want to give up on life, want to not be around.  I used to actually judge people that thought that way...and then it happened to me. 

I lost everything that in the last year I had come to rely on.  I lost my best friend, I lost a group of people that I had come to see as family.  I lost my community as I knew it, and I didn't want to be here anymore.  I allowed myself to believe the words that were written to me.  I allowed myself to believe that I had nothing to give anyone in my life.  That all I was, was this toxic waste of a human being.  I allowed the words to penetrate my heart, and everything that I had worked hard to change about myself especially in the last couple of years.  I allowed myself to believe that everyone in my life felt that I was unnecessary.  These feelings caused me to push people away that I had come to consider family. 

It has taken me a couple of months to work through these feelings, to find the path to where I want to be again...and to see beyond the words written down to me, and the actions taken against me.  I will never think that I am perfect, but without a doubt I know that I am worthy of friendship and love.  I know that the person I am is someone who cares about others, would literally lay down my life for anyone... and matters to this world.  I know that sometimes my sarcasm hurts others, sometimes I am selfish, and sometimes I judge when I shouldn't. 

I can't make anyone want to be around me.  I don't understand why sometimes people choose to only see my weaknesses, but I can pick myself up and say that I have worth and value in this world.  But it is a daily choice I have to make.  No one can make it for me.  No one can make me feel differently....no one can even really help me on this journey.  It is one that I have to walk alone. 

I have to choose to deal with what I feel.  I have to look at things as truth or not.  I have to understand that even though I may feel like people don't care about me, it isn't true.  Not everyone is going to be in my life forever.  We all know that friendships go through seasons.  The best I can do is allow situations to break me, mold me, and make me into a stronger person. 

The walls are slowly being chipped away again.  It will probably take awhile before my heart is ready to allow someone in to the inner parts of me, because I am still bruised and tender.  But I will.  I will let someone in again.  I will also be a better friend because of this. 

Sometimes I get tired of trying.  Sometimes I get tired of putting myself out there, but the only way to understand being truly broken, is by diving into sacrificial love.  Love that will do anything, for anyone.  Love that sees weaknesses, and accepts them in spite of.  Love that opens up doors to new rooms, rooms that have never been touched before.  Mostly though, love that doesn't keep record of wrongs, but gives grace.  Love that shows just how much value and worth each of us have. 

My brokenness is a part of who I am, and who I will be in the future.  I have to wake up each day and embrace it.  If I pretend that it isn't there, then I lose a part of who I am.  My strength comes from being vulnerable, and weak.  My strength comes because there is someone greater pushing me, and molding me.  My strength.....is from my brokenness.  


Monday, October 10, 2016

Giving Up

The wind tosses me to and fro
I am not sure which way to go
I want to live up to the goals in my life
But I continue to feel nothing but strife

Why do I get so lost and confused
Everyday brings me a different mixed-up view
I want to be confident, soar all the heights
I want to let go of the demons inside

I feel like I am lost in a storm that keeps brewing
I feel the waves crashing, eroding, and moving
My life doesn't seem to make sense at all
Am I alone, alone in this walk

This wall that I built back up around myself
Because I kept getting hurt by  loneliness and doubt
The wall is unbreakable, unmovable, without bend
The wall is continuous, it knows no end

I wanted it to be broken, I wanted to let you in
But I can't give in to the vulnerability
The vulnerability for sure has an end

I want to be brave, and face all my fears
But it seems like I just keep falling into the depths of despair
It seems like my moments are prolonged and chaotic
It seems like I read things wrong all the time and can't stop it

Maybe I am worthy of the walls to be broken
Maybe I have what it takes to be successful and outspoken
But inside what it feels like is that I should just give in
Let go of the hope, and expectation within

Inside I feel like I need to give up
Let go of the hopes and the dreams that I have built up
I don't want to let go, I want to keep living
But what if I don't have what it takes to keep believing