Sunday, September 20, 2015

Being Authentic- I LOVE FOOTBALL!

Yes, I said it!  I LOVE FOOTBALL!  I always have.  I think it began as this way of connecting with my Dad...but then I just grew to love it.  I love the crowds, I love cheering on my teams (Go Pack!) and I love the game.

There is just something about sitting down and watching a football game that makes me feel so proud to be an American.  I don't often feel proud to be an American, because I think we really allow ourselves to feel superior a lot of the times, when we shouldn't.  But I will say that while I am watching football....all the American in me really, truly comes out.

Yesterday I went to the watch the football game by myself.  I tailgated with my parents, but then sat on the hill surrounded by people, yet completely alone.  It was the first time in my life, when attending something that huge that I felt okay with being alone.  Now don't get me wrong, I would have loved to have had someone sitting next to me, cheering along with me...talking about how stupid they were playing.  But I didn't have anyone that could go, or that I knew would be there....yet I cheered my team on with the other 70,000 people that were watching the game.

I cheered just like I would have with a crowd of friends around me because that's what you do at a football game.

Last year I don't know that I would have gone alone, and enjoyed it.  I would have been thinking so much about what everyone else was thinking about me that I wouldn't have had fun.

So, what's the difference?  I don't even know that I can put it into words.  I just think that sometimes you have to go it alone.  Sometimes you have to be okay with doing things because you want to do them.  Cheering on your favorite team, in person and enjoying the sun beating down on you.  Sometimes that's what it means to be authentic.  Loving the game, and not caring about what people are thinking.

I hope that I don't have to watch every game alone.  I hope that I have people that want to join me...but if not I will continue to go and enjoy it because it's fun, and I love football!  Also, because sometimes you just have to go it alone.....and live in the beauty of being authentically free. 

Technology Break...

Last week at this time I found myself just really needing to take a technology break.  I had come to realize that I spent all my spare moments checking FB, Pintrest, IG....and left me no time to just think.  I was constantly just being bombarded with all these messages, mostly political and I realized that my voice is being drowned out by all the other voices I hear on a daily basis.  

Do you keep losing your voice?  

I used to know what my voice sounded like.  It used to be a lot stronger then it is right now.  For some reason I have stopped speaking my mind.  Oh sure I like posts, and I share information that I find important, but the things that I have found as offensive, well I just don't do anything with them.  

I am not sure if this lack of voice on my part is okay.  Is it okay to just sit back and not comment?  I have to think that in some ways it is.  I have to think that in some ways it is better just to remain silent because the people that I want to go up against, well I don't know that my voice is going to be heard by them anyways.  

I find that I waste a lot of time reading comments people leave about stuff that doesn't really matter.  Take for instance the comment thread on the grand opening of Chic-fil-a here in Columbia.  

There was literally this guy who commented 3 or 4 times just to say he didn't like Chic-fil-a and he didn't want to eat there, because they weren't open on Sundays and that was bad business.  Okay, that's fine I don't really care if he eats there or not.  Here's the thing though....why does he have to comment 3-4 times saying this each time?  No one was arguing with him, no one even said anything negative to him...yet he felt the need to just keep going.  Why?  Because in this day and age we need technology in order to feel validated.  We need that little click of the button to feel like our voice is being heard.  No one was responding...and so he kept going.  He didn't care whether they responded negatively or positively...he wanted a response.  

Isn't that how we look at our worth now?  Our voice has become clicks of a button, tweet replies, shares.....those are the things that validate us.  Those are the things that have become our focus...

What if we just stopped?  What if for 1-2 hours each day we just said NO TECHNOLOGY!  How different would our lives be?  

I think I might try it.  I said I would, and then I didn't. When I think about I so addicted to technology that I can't give that 1-2 hours a day to something better for me and the world?   I need it though.....I need 1-2 hours a day with only my voice, and God's voice playing in my head.  

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Living in Messy Community

That word...Messy....I feel like it is the new word for this time in history.  I feel like I finally get it, along with maybe a small group of people that I am in contact with.  Life is messy, we as humans are messy.  We are all just going through this life trying to do the best that we can.  We aren't going to be perfect, we are going to fail....but isn't that what it's all about? 

Life is so messy.  

I have a messy life.  Some of it is messy because of decisions I have made, and some of it is messy because of decisions others have made.  

I can't go back and change the past, I am not sure that I would even if I could.  But I also can't continue to compare my life with those around me.  I can't continue to compare what I have gone through, thinking that I deserve so much more.  That's not really how it works, is it?  

It is not about what I deserve.  It is about where my focus is.  So many times I am so focused on what others are doing, or what they have that I lose sight of the goodness and grace that surround me.  I have so much, I have been brought through so much...yet my focus gets lost in all the wishes, dreams and hopes that I have.  

I don't have to measure up to those around me, I can be authentic in my own messiness.  

Tonight I had a glimpse once again of what being in a messy community is like...and I am excited, thankful, scared, and hopeful.  

God never fails me when I am willing to let go of those things that want to be built up around me.  He never fails to give me a loving family around me no matter how far around the globe I go.   I just sometimes fail to embrace it.  I sometimes fail to see past my own messiness and into the design that is that glob of mess.  For in every mosaic, every painting, every play, every experiment....there is so much messiness behind the masterpiece.  

Goodness comes from God.  Love comes from God.  Messiness is a part of the journey that takes us to God.  Community is where we are able to embrace our messiness and see God work. 

Time to be thankful for this messy community and embrace it.