Thursday, May 26, 2016

Fear and the place it used to have...

It's 10:37pm.  I have to get up at least by 6:30, so I can get to the store to buy things for our last day of Week 1 of summer school.  Yet I am compelled to write.  I am compelled to tell a little bit more of my story, and be pretty vulnerable tonight.  It is what helps me to grow, it is what I need to do in order to truly work through all the things that I have going through  my mind right now.  

I have had a realization this week.  Much of which I knew was coming, but it still just blows my mind the way things work in my soul and heart.  

What I have come to?  

The truth that.... I AM ENOUGH.  

For the longest time, actually I think probably since before I even knew how to successfully be a friend to anyone I have been comparing myself to those around me.  I have been putting myself down, and I have been feeding into the lie that I will never ever achieve success by anyone's standards because I am not good enough.  I don't know that anyone ever specifically told me those words, but circumstances for as long as I can remember them have led me to develop this inner feeling that I will never, ever measure up.  

It caused me to keep people in my life that only wanted to destroy me.  It caused me to not take chances in relationships, in jobs, in life.  It caused me to run the opposite direction and hop from place to place, all in search of this ideal person that I thought I was supposed to be.  The idea that I would never be enough.  I was constantly searching for the other part of myself that would be enough.  I was constantly looking for others to approve of me, so that I could finally fit into the mold that had been carved out.  

I allowed myself to believe that because I didn't date anyone until I was close to my 30's that I really was not enough.  I convinced myself that I was stuck with the only person that had shown me attention because I was not enough.  I convinced myself that all the other rejections were clearly because I was not what the typical "ideal" woman was like. I convinced myself that I was the worst representation of what anyone would want for a wife, and mother.  I convinced myself that I had messed it up, and that I didn't deserve anyone in my life to love.  I convinced myself that I would never be enough because I might never have everything that other people have.  I convinced myself that the only way I was worth something was to have a husband and family. 

So, all this convincing that I did... you want to know how it has shaped me?  It has turned me into a person that keeps people at a distance.  It has turned me into someone that thinks people are only using me to get to someone else.  It has turned me into someone that uses my trust issues to push people away.  

My realization came a few days ago, when I thought about how I allow my trust issues to be an excuse for me.  How I allow myself to sometimes be a martyr because of trust.  I understand now that I have allowed my trust issues to define me.  I have used them as an excuse to push people away. I have used them as an excuse to not open myself up to love.  To not open myself up to people that will in fact build me up instead of tear me down.  I have allowed these issues to cause me to believe that I screwed up royally and that I do not deserve God's best.  You know what though?  

I choose to not give in to this lie anymore. I choose to take on the love, grace and mercy that has been offered me. I choose to open myself up to whatever it is I am feeling, even if it means I am wrong and even if it means I might get hurt.  I can't live life authentically if I am hiding behind a mask that refuses to trust.  I can't allow myself to breathe in the community around me and allow them to change me if I am locked away inside my world of bubbles. I must choose to embrace all that I am.  I must choose to see myself through the eyes of my Creator.  Knowing that I was created for a purpose.  That my purpose may or may not include being a wife and mother.  But that doesn't define my worth. 

Fear can get the best of us.  It can hold us so tightly that we are choked.  We are unable to breathe, and then we just think that is the way that we have to live.  With shallow, raspy breaths.  It isn't the way we have to live.  In fact it is so much the opposite of how we were intended to live.  

We were intended to live with freedom that comes only from knowing that we are Created beings, made in the image of our Creator.  We were intended to love, and trust.  We were intended to be open and not fit the everyday mold.  We were intended to be our own unique selves.  We were intended to be an example of His beauty.  We were intended to change this world.  

I can no longer live with the fear that I will never measure up, and that I have to hide who I am because I might get hurt.  I can no longer allow those thoughts to be the driving force of how I live.  There is more to this life than that.  So much more.  I choose to trust, I choose to believe in the community that I live in.  I choose to open myself up to show people what love is.  I choose to break down walls, and I choose to not allow my own insecurities define my worth.  Most of all though, I choose to see myself as I was created.  I choose to know that my soul, does not depend on what others think.  My worth does not even depend on the good that I do in this world.  My worth has already been bought.  I am worthy because He is.  I am worthy because I choose to believe.  I am worthy because someone loves me.  I am worthy without proving anything.  

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


Do you ever feel like you are just checking things off of a list?  Like you just need to get these things accomplished and then it will be fine.  Sometimes I find myself in that state when it comes to worship, when it comes to the view that I feel like we have all had of worship.  If I just check it off the list, then I have done what I am supposed to do, and I can go along my merry way.  

That's not really how it should be though, right?  I shouldn't just be checking it off my list.  It should be a part of my whole entire being.  My focus throughout the day should be so in tune with my Creator that my essence breathes out worship.  I don't think I'm there yet.  I think distractions and life get in the way of me being grounded in a mindfulness of constant worship.  I long for the day when worship is just radiating from my very soul.  I long for the day when that is the thing that people look at me and say that I  value.  I long for that day.  


Life's Distractions...

Do you ever find yourself distracted?  Like truly distracted.  You find yourself analyzing every single thing that people say and do, so much so that you lose sight of what you should be focused on.  You are so lost in other people's stories that you forget that God is writing one of your own?  I have found myself distracted a lot lately.  It is causing me to analyze things that I just have no business analyzing.  It is causing me to over think actions that I don't need to be over thinking.  It has caused me to not spend time reading, journaling, and writing.  This in turn has caused me to lose part of myself.  I am truly at my best when I can spend time writing and creating.  I am truly filled up when I can stop myself from being distracted by everything other people say and do to me.  My focus has to be on the Creator, because without that focus I lose who I am. 

There are so many things that we can get distracted by.  We can get distracted by the busy schedules we lead.  We can get distracted by our marital status, or our lack of a marital status.  We can get distracted by comparing our lives to others.  Determining who has been through the most "stuff."  We can easily allow ourselves to be distracted by the fantasies of future life that we build up.  You know that new job, finally having a family, moving to a new place, building a life in a community.  There are so many distractions that allow us to move what should be #1, into the #2 spot.  

One of my biggest distractions lately has been my work.  I have been putting my heart and soul into a new opportunity I have for the summer.  It has pretty much consumed me.  I was convincing myself that I was doing it to glorify God.  In the end though, the past couple of days I have had to check my motives.  I have had to ask myself why I am really working my butt off, putting in so many hours.  The conclusion I came to is not that I was really truly trying to glorify God....I really truly was trying to glorify myself.  I was trying to make my voice known.  I was trying to prove my worth.  

That's the biggest thing isn't?  When we realize that we are once again trying to prove to others that we are good enough.  We work so hard just to prove that we have what it takes to be part of their lives.  Proving ourselves, becomes a huge distraction.  It takes us away from the purpose of the job or activity in the first place.  When I recognized what I was doing, and laid it down, and admitted that everything probably wasn't going to turn out perfectly.  Well....that is when I was able to not be as distracted by proving my worth.  That was when I realized that I could humbly ask for help from others, and that was a part of my growth.  

My worth isn't based off of how others view me.  It isn't based off of me being the best at everything.  I don't have to prove that I am good enough, because that has already been proven for me.  

The best I can do is allow those things to not become a distraction.  The best I can do is constantly acknowledge that I am doing the best I can.  That I am a person that was created and designed for good things.  The best I can do is not put my worth and value in any one thing, but in the LOVE that was shown and given to me.  That is the best I can do.  And that... is enough!  


It has been over 10 days since I have been able to take time to sit down and blog.  There has been a lot that I have had to work through in those days, and a lot that I have just been distracted by.  I find that there are definitely seasons of life that are busier than others.  There are also seasons of life that I make myself busy because it is easier than thinking through things that are hard.  It is easier than dealing with the feelings that I have tried to push away for so long.  

I find that the past is always something that we have to heal from.  There are always situations that bring up pain from the past.  There are always triggers that we know in our own hearts and souls that will cause us to begin spiraling downward so far that we miss all the healing that we did to get us into the new place.  There were some things that triggered my own past hurts and pain, and I almost just gave up.  I almost left everything that I had been so excited about being a part of because I got hurt.  Because expectations didn't meet reality.  Then, I was reminded of my role in this world.  I was reminded that we truly live out life to the fullest when we are open to hurt and pain, because it is through that hurt and pain that we truly become more of ourselves.  It is also through that hurt and pain that we learn how to truly love.  Expectations will never be reality, because perfection is obsolete except through Christ.  There is nothing that will turn out exactly how I want, because I am not in control of it.  My healing process these days looks a lot different than my healing process used to.  I am thankful for that.  I am thankful that God's grace and mercy has brought me to a place where I do not have to fear rejection as much.  I am able to be vulnerable enough to let people in knowing that there will sometimes be hurt and pain along the way.  In the end though I come out with a greater knowledge and love of Christ, because of that vulnerability.  

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Trust, Walls, and Brokeness...

I don't know that I can even explain all of the thoughts that have been plaguing my mind this week, but I am going to at least try.  

Trust is not easily given to anyone, by anyone.  We find ourselves in a cycle of continuously letting down our walls only for them to be built up once again.  We find ourselves asking if it is worth it.  Is it worth breaking down those walls and becoming vulnerable if our heart is only going to be broken time and time again?  Sometimes its breakage is our own fault, and sometimes it is a result of that authenticity we so long to live out.  

There are many different forms of trust in our daily lives.  The trust that we have for our family, those that have been there through all of our ups and downs.  We know that they are going to be there for us no matter what, and even if that trust is broken most of the time it is repairable.  Trust that we have for those long-time friends.  That trust that comes only from going through the deepest mud pit with each other.  It is a trust that has been broken a few times, but has always found a way to mend itself up again.  The trust that we have for our employers.  Trust that they always have our needs in mind and that they are kind of in control of our provisions in some ways.  Trust that we have for our colleagues.  We have to trust them to a certain extent because we are all going through the same things together.  Trust that we have for those friends that we meet that we have an instant connection with, but don't necessarily have the history with. Every type of trust has a role in the moments of our day, the stories of our life.

There are so many different kinds of trust.  Each kind has a different level of authenticity attached to it.  The hope is that all trust would require and give the same level of authenticity, but unfortunately that is just not the case.  

Do we ever come to the point where we let go of the hurt and pain that it takes to trust, and just trust?  Do we?  

How many times do we have to get hurt?  How many times do we have to get burnt before we realize that we are in fact always going to be let down by human beings.   

Does there come a point in life where we just let other people hurt us because that is all that is left of us.  The expectation is that the only way to not be too much for someone is to just allow them to hurt you time and time again by not being trustworthy?  

Does it mean that you have to stop being your true, authentic self?  

I don't know.  My trust and walls are broken.  I have fought so hard to be so authentic, and to try to place myself really in a community of love.  But what if I was just kidding myself.  What if this isn't the community that I belong in?  What if I made a mistake?  What if I don't fit.  

Maybe none of us ever truly fit.  Maybe that is why it is so hard.  We try to make ourselves fit in, when really no one ever truly feels like they can let their guard down.  No one ever truly feels like they are a real piece to the puzzle.  

How do we live?  How do we be ourselves, when the self that we feel is judged and disliked by the world around us.  How do we break down walls, when there is someone on the other side of the wall just waiting with a knife to stab us in the back?  

I don't think I really have the answer tonight.  I feel pretty broken, and unsure.  I feel pretty lost in a community that I thought I knew.  I feel pretty sad that my expectations aren't reality.  

I long to be the best version of me.  I long to make a difference in this world.  I think the fear that I have, is that all of that means being willing to be hurt by those around me.  Being willing to allow my truest self to be exposed to those that could cause the most hurt and harm.  Is that sacrifice worth it?  Is it?  

Thursday, May 5, 2016

A Year's End Reflection

My teacher brain is beginning to turn off, even though I am going to be leading Summer School, we are coming to the close on another school year.  It amazes me how quickly this year went by.  I am thinking back to the very beginning.  There was so much uncertainty in my heart.  I had no idea what this year would hold.  I only had last year to compare it to, and last year was horrible.  

This year has been a year of healing.  I have had to work through a lot of the hurt and pain that I didn't realize was embedded deep within my soul.  I have had to break down walls that I had built up around me.  Some of those walls have yet to even be scraped.  I have had to give up on some expectations that I had for myself and others.  I have had to give myself grace.  

In the end though I have learned so much this past school year.  Sometimes I wish that I could make New Year's Resolutions in July, instead of January because I kind of feel like that is how my year goes.  Every school year feels like a fresh start.  Like a time to begin again, to reflect on past mistakes, and look forward to a new future.  

This school year has been by far the best one yet.  It hasn't been without struggles, it hasn't been without pain.  Yet the journey that has taken place has been one that I will forever be thankful for.  

I feel like this year is the year I got myself back.  This is the year that I truly understood why I was called to this job, in this community, and for this time.  Maybe it is not about being happy 100% of the time, but instead about living life to the fullest.  Finding your niche and not letting go.  

This has also been the year that I have had to take a hard look at myself and where my value comes from.  My singleness is sometimes overwhelming for me, most of the time because of the expectations that others put on me, instead of those I have on myself.  I oftentimes feel completely fine with being alone, and not in a relationship.  Most of the time I feel content with where I am on this journey.  This year though I had times where I had to deal with those feelings of inadequacy.  Not that I haven't felt that way in the past, but I had to deal with them this year in a completely different way.  

I had to take a step back and ask myself what my life is truly about.  Is it about finding someone else, or is it about living and doing the best I can to make this world a better, more loving place?  I had to come to terms with the fact that the world, even among my church family sometimes sees me as a burden because they don't know what to do with me.  I don't fit any of the "norms" for someone my age and relationship status.  I also had to admit to myself that my relationship status might never change.  I think that was the hardest part.  To say that being married, and having kids...  it might never be a part of my story.  That season may never be a season in my life.  Do you know how hard it is to deal with that fact?  To work through that expectation that has been a part of your psyche since birth? 

Here's the thing though, I don't feel like I am not living out my purpose if that never happens for me.  Because I was able to realize that there are so many people out there just like me!  So many people that aren't feeling valued or loved because they are not part of a "couple."  They are seeking after that status more then anything else and it is causing so much hurt and pain in their lives.  I realized that the greatest gift I can give to this community that I find myself in is to be okay with me.  To encourage those around me that feel less than and make a way in this world, to bring change.  We need to be a community of people that embraces everyone, no matter what their life journey is.  We need to be a community that is authentically real in what we say and do.  We need to be a community that has a niche for everyone, that works together to bring people closer to genuine love, and farther away from surface condemnation.    

This year has been such a growth year for me.  I was at one of the lowest points in my life last summer.  I felt truly alone, more so than I have ever felt before, even when I was halfway around the world.  I felt alone because I felt like I had been deserted by everyone.  I felt like God wasn't real in my life and heart, because I hadn't been given the things that I desired.  I felt like everyone was moving forward and I was just in a steady stream of water, not going anywhere.  

I am so glad that I got out of that funk.  I am so glad that I was able to push past that hurt and pain, and allow people back into my life and heart.  I think sometimes we get so wrapped up in how we feel, and feeling like we are the only ones that feel this way...we forget to look around us and embrace the messiness of those that are actually just like us.  

I found community this past year, I found purpose again, and I embraced truth.  I was able to take a year to heal, which is exactly what I needed.  I was able to look back at the things that were said and done to me, and find hope in what is to come.  More importantly though I was able to understand the parts of my journey that were tough, exhausting and heart-wrenching that brought me to this place.  When we are in the valley we sometimes get so caught up in looking at the trek up the mountain that we forget the valley is there to build us and grow us for the next hike up.  I have had so many valleys, it is crazy to think about.  So many growing experiences, but I wouldn't change any of them.  I wouldn't take them back.  It is those times of growth that have gotten me exactly where I am today.  

As I look back and recognize the journey I have been on this past year, I recognize that it truly is about looking at the whole path, not just a section of it.  Sometimes we have to look at the big picture to see just how much growth and grace has been given to us.  

I can't wait to keep going.  I think the next mountaintop is just around the corner.  It's going to be epic, it's going to change my life!  


Monday, May 2, 2016

A to Z Challenge Reflection..... #atozchallenge

I survived, even though my last two blogs were late!  I still did all 26 blogs, and for that I feel proud! 

This year I did things a little differently with writing my blogs.  I was part of the reveal, and that really helped me because I got to visit a lot more blogs then I did last year. 

I have learned a lot from this challenge.  I have made connections with some pretty awesome people and I am excited to keep blogging away. 

Next year I am going to start writing my blogs in February, so I have more time to read more! 

It was a great challenge!  I am thankful for those that stopped by my blog and commented.  I am thankful for those that inspired me to write more! 

Can't wait till next year!!!!

A to Z -Authentic Inspiration: Zest #atozchallenge

My last post in this inspirational a to z challenge!  I am a couple of days behind.  I almost made it, but life got the better of me, and I went hiking instead of writing to clear my head, so that I could write!  

Zest has a couple of different meanings.  The one that inspires me is to have zest, or great enthusiasm.  I think life is about living authentically.  I believe that the only way to truly do that is to be full of enthusiasm for what is going to come next.  

I don't ever want to tire of living.  I don't ever want to tire of changing lives, and doing the very best that I can.  

To live a life of zest is inspiring to me.  It means that I am choosing energy and happiness over the alternative, which often times puts those around us feeling lost, angry and afraid. spice to life.  Zest inspires me to live each day to the fullest!!!!

A to Z- Authentic Inspiration: Yesterdays #atozchallenge

Yesterdays....they inspire me because they show me what I have been through. 

I have spent a lot of time in the past couple of weeks thinking about a lot of people and memories that have gotten me to this point.  Sometimes I get lost in what it means that I have been through so much.  Sometimes I forget that it means I am a survivor. 

My yesterdays inspire me to keep going.  They inspire me to keep pressing forward.  To be about what I say I am about. 

My yesterdays show me that there is so much strength inside of me. 

Do yesterdays inspire you?