Finding Yourself

What Makes You Feel Like A Person

I’m sitting outside of Starbucks right now in my Jeep with a Dragon fruit refresher, my hair tied back (because writing is serious business and I always feel more productive with my hair secured) and rain and hail alternating on pounding my roof. My toddler is asleep in the back seat and I’m curled up front, camping dust tracing my bare feet. My shirt says Wild Love and I put a layer of fresh deodorant on before I left the house. There are 10 more things I could have done to make myself feel more presentable. . Well, actually, probably more like 20 since I’ve pretty much lived outside the past three weeks .

Here’s the point though. I feel like a person again. Not so much like a 24/7 caregiver. I mean, yesterday I removed toilet emergency item number 2 from my toddler’s hands. So yeah, at this moment I feel not so much like a burned out momma. Like there may be some spark under the plain old Anita after all.

We all have busy lives. Sometimes in the busyness, we lose track of who we are and what our feelings really are and how to connect with our inner child- the part of us that God created extra special and extra unique and full of His specific plan for the world and for us in particular.

In the past months of craziness, I’ve felt like I lost touch with who I was.

Moving is hard and takes every ounce of energy. Settling into a new routine is hard and coaching children ( and myself) through the emotions and upheaval that comes along is hard. Waking up at early hours with a ‘rearing to go’ (as my mom I used to say) toddler is hard. Losing someone you love is doubly, triply, quadruply hard. Healing is hard.

No matter what you are facing, I can almost guarantee you that if you are breathing, you are doing Hard.

Its just part of life. There’s not even any need to count points on a scale of 1-10 to see where your Hard lands.

It’s truly so easy to lose ourselves in the hard and busy. To forget that while we are serving and being productive and caring for others and bringing home a paycheck, there is that vital source of connection that, without given attention, will simply dwarf its way into oblivion.

It’s got a pretty quiet voice. But it’s persistent and misunderstood and often ‘shushed’

And honestly? Sometimes its just plain hard to hear. Other voices seem so much more demanding and persistent and authoritative.

Losing yourself is costly though.

Losing the person your Creator made you to be is downright sad.

It’s a paradox- this losing and this finding. Jesus said, “if you lose you’re life for My sake, you will find it.”

I think losing the life that Jesus mentioned was losing the part of us that is full of self and pride. Like our ego.

Only by losing the ego can the core of us come alive and that is the part deep within us that is sheltered in the safety of grace. That’s the part that our Creator calls beautiful. It’s where the gifts He has given to us are birthed and nurtured and grown.

I think part of that true identity is revealed by simply discovering what makes you feel alive. What makes you feel like a person and a human. When we connect with those basic life giving emotions, we connect with the core of our being.

Everything is connected in life.

Maybe its doing simple things like taking a hot shower after a hard day of work, watching the sun set, or drinking a steaming cup of coffee in the morning.

I think it needs to go deeper then that. We need to be still long enough to discover it. To hear new truths. To uncover the beauty. To find something life giving and follow through with it. To not give up on ourselves or our passions.

Often our natural passions are actually staring us right in the face, saying ‘use me’ while we are here tearing around complicating everything with the ‘ what if’ and ‘should be’ and ‘maybe’ and ‘can I?’

Just silence the noise. Find yourself. Know that while you will never fully arrive, until you are in Eternity with your Creator, you will come closer and closer to that fullness. You will be making the biggest difference possible in this world. Living the full calling of your Creator on your Life.

Live in your strengths. Learn from your failures.

Know that even mistakes and problems are chances to learn and become more fully alive and aware of yourself. Let’s just not even call them failures. Just growth spurts.

Don’t give up on YOU! Don’t stand yourself up on your own date with yourself. Go all in. Find your passions and follow through with them.

That’s where the magical, life giving stories happen.

I’d love hear the one thing you choose to do today that is life-giving for your inner core.

Rainbows in the East at 9 PM. Now that was soul food!

Finding Yourself

Remodeling My Soul and Home

Its 2 AM and the burning to write drove me out of bed and into the kitchen.

I brewed myself a cup of tea, and curled up on the couch.

The other night , on my solo time at Barnes and Noble, I wanted to cry more then anything else and so I wept all the way up 10th Ave and drove myself to the Walmart parking lot because that has the best views in town of the Full Moon and the Highwoods.

What ever reason it is that my soul is stirring, I know I will sleep better and be more relaxed tomorrow if I write the words and give them wings.

We are doing this crazy thing. This thing that makes me wonder if we have lost our minds. This thing that my ego ( the perceiving, analytical, logical part of my mind) calls ‘out of my mind’.

We are sorting through our stuff, getting rid of tons of it, finishing up our house remodel, putting it up for sale, and living in a camper for the summer.

Let me back up. Seven years ago, in March, we moved across country to do Doctoring for our daughter who had a severe genetic disorder. Five years ago in January, we lost our only daughter. We moved nine times in the past 11 years of our married life. That’s a lot of change and disruption and well, MOVING. Priorities change when you move a lot. STUFF doesn’t look so beautiful or necessary anymore.

When we bought our first and current house, about 3 1/2 years ago, we never wanted to move again. But deep inside, we knew we might. The house was a foreclosure and needed a lot of TLC. It was a perfect house to flip. We put hours and hours of work into this place. We saved money. Very slowly, over the years, we’ve made significant transformations.

Resodding the back yard, reshingling the roof, remodeling the kitchen. Repainting basically every surface in the house and a lot outside more then once πŸ˜‰ New flooring in our living space. It’s transforming into a sweet home.

Sometimes, I feel like the transformation is happening inside of me as well.

Three years ago, back in the initial stages of remodeling, I sat in the bedroom on the mattress that was laying right down on the floor,and cried my eyes out, with the realization that I was broken beyond words and that Jesus found me.

Like the woman at the well in the ancient days, He FOUND me….I didn’t find Him.

I had searched all my life for a deep identity. I felt like there was a missing key that would magically help me understand myself and life.

So gently, God has lead me along. Never giving up on me. Always taking me to a another scene. A new level in life as I am prepared for it.

I knew I was loved,forgiven, and God’s child, from a young age , but that day, I came to a deep, deep understanding. It was like scales fell off my eyes. The years of my searching and my reaching and grasping…every single bit of that desire was from HIM.

He was there.

All along, when I thought I was finding HIM,

HE was actually finding ME.

I didn’t have to worry anymore about saying or doing the perfect thing.

His finding me had nothing to do with logic (ego) or perfection.

It had everything to do with grace and believing and soul truth and BEING FOUND.

I could stop searching for that inner core that I always thought was missing. My brokenness and my weary heart that never got it right…it could REST because He found me.

From here on out, I have been on a whole new level of JOURNEY. I still ask the question, “Who am I? What is my purpose? What if I miss who I am suppose to be?”

I am learning slowly but steadily. I try new things. Just as our house took years to transform ( and technically, we could go on improving it ‘forever’) my heart and soul takes its own sweet time to grow and blossom.

I am finding that when I start listening to my soul instead of my brain, transformation happens. It’s been a long process. I’ve fallen flat on my face in the most uncomfortable, ungraceful ways, more times then I can count. I’ve misunderstood others and been misunderstood by them and goofed up and rambled off on rabbit trails and cried and laughed and worried.

There is never any level of perfection that I reach in life. I’m learning to be ok with that.

Life isn’t about perfection. It’s about always reaching forward. Opening to the next thing that shows up at your door. Listening closely to see if it’s for you. Trying something new.

Going after dreams is not as risky when you are open to learning all you can from the situation.

Like new coats of paint that totally don’t go with your intended color scheme, there is always room for change.

When my ego is in play, I’m logical and I look at facts and details and decide if it’s a good fit or not. That’s all good, but way too often, I listen to my ego instead of my heart or soul. I miss out on some of the best moments when I let fear and logic creep in and try to keep me ‘safe and perfect’.

I Watch for that deep inner tingle. That thrill of -THIS! This is something I could get into! This is the opportunity I’ve been handed.

When you feel a sensation of excitement and a deep stirring. When you wake up excited to work on your dream. Then you know you are following your soul truths.

Our ego can quickly write it off as ‘wishful thinking’. Snuff it out as an ‘ unrealistic dream’. Shame us into thinking we are NOBODY when we are actually a very real, very breathing, very valuable SOMEBODY.

It’s alarming how many dreams crash and burn before they even have a breathe.

Here’s a truth I’m learning though.

Every single dream you allow to breathe and burn in you, will lead you somewhere. Fear of following the wrong dream does not need to cripple your style or your dream.

One step leads to another.

If you are growing and changing and finding fulfillment and passion in life, it is not wasted.

So how does this play into the whole ‘sell your house and live small’ notion?

A few years ago, my husband and I were captivated by the tiny house living that was popping up all over the world. We watched documentaries, hashed and rehashed the pros and cons. It sounded so intriguing. So freeing. At the time, we had our plates absolutely full, our schedules crammed even while trying hard to enjoy the small moments. We had bills to pay and more renovations to accomplish on this house before we wanted to sell it. At the same time, we helped our friends downsize their home. As much as it looked adventurous and fun, we knew it wasn’t for us at the moment.

Fast forward to a crazy busy summer last year, hours of work put into our businesses and house, a hard season in our marriage, and a hard season in our son’s lives.

We took a deep, straight up look at ourselves over the past months.

Here’s what I found was my personal truth when I dug deeper into my life. I was dying inside. Not because I wasn’t passionate and following a good path. But because I was starving myself of soul food. All the steps I took to get to where I was had lead me to this massive realization. As productive and together and wonderful as life was, my soul was shriveling up inside of me.

When you begin listening to the deeper part of you, instead of covering it up with work and volunteering and more obligations, you will be amazed at what you hear.

Now before you read further, you need to know something about me. I never learned to Say ‘No’. Being a ‘good person’ meant always putting everyone first at the expense of myself and even my family. Ouch.

So here’s what I did. I stopped volunteering. I would not have understood myself if I had seen this version of me a few years ago. Serving is good. Working hard is great. But this was my season in life where I had to say ‘No More’.

I needed to create space for Jesus to find me in a new way.

I had to take care of my own soul because if I didn’t, I would die a bit more every day and eventually, the skeleton of who I was meant to be would rattle in my own ears.

I stopped always being ‘ON’. I started doing little things just for me that spoke to my soul. Like artwork. Reading more. I got myself some Moleskin journals even if I thought they were extravagant. I started writing my story.

God had told me to write it over a year ago, and I had thought about it in my heart, but hadn’t really gotten the words on paper. Perhaps that year of self growth WAS writing my story. I was constantly thinking and analyzing and growing as a person.

One thing I knew. I had to put more time and action into actually creating the life I loved. The life that made me truly feel alive.

I started thinking about how I wanted my day to start when I woke up in the morning. The feelings I wanted to thread through my body and home. The way I wanted to end the evening.

Life is never perfect. Ever. But we can always make adjustments in life and allow space for the things we dream about to exist. Let’s be real. When you are up multiple times at night with a baby, you likely won’t have a perfect face in the morning, a pot of french press coffee brewing and a steaming cinnamon roll with Morning Vibes playing on you iPad.

But you CAN make small changes. You can wash your face and sip coffee while you watch a You Tube video with your kids because you’re still too groggy to string words together. You can choose to spend time on a soul filling project instead of having the bathroom mirrors polished.

Now returning to this whole downsizing thing…

Fast forward several more months. My husband and I had honest conversations. Some heated, some soft, some raw, some healing.

Change brings change. There was a stirring and a movement in both of us.

A busy winter and a crazy February with nearly record snow fall and relentless subzero weather let us both gasping for breath and warmth.

All the tiny thoughts that had been stirring our soul.

All the work we’ve put into listening to what really matters to us.

Coming to a better understanding of our priorities and the steps we can take to work toward them.

They all begin to collide and morph together.

We didn’t just wake up one morning and decide to sell our house and move into a camper. This was a step by step process that took years to come to.

Seasons came and went in our lives and right now, we realize that this ONE life we have will never change, unless we change it.

We are opening spaces for change to come. To Happen.

Our initial plan was to remodel, and Air BNB our house out while we lived in the camper. Honestly, though? That would mean being more busy, and we are trying to get off the treadmill.

The more work we put into our house, the more we realized we were wanting something else. We were wanting freedom. Freedom from our stuff. Freedom from trading one busy for another. Freedom from a mortgage payment. Freedom to work and then to shut off the work and to be fully present with our family, others and ourselves. Freedom to let go of excess. Freedom to live in contentment with less stuff and more of what makes life real and complete.

I am far from living my days out perfectly. I get frustrated at the chaos of this season in my house every day. There is still painting and finishing touches to do all over this place. There is sorting and boxing up and deciding what gets sold, what gets stored (what is truly valuable to us) and what gets taken to our camper home. There are two boys who need love and security and attention. There is the fact that our house may not sell immediately. There is the being ok with that. The plan that no matter what happens, we will be following our deep intuition that this is what we want to do at this season in our lives.

It’s not like we have arrived. This will simply lead us to another place in life ( whether geographically or just through self growth, I don’t know.) It doesn’t really matter. What matters is that we are doing what we know deep in our hearts is best for us and our family right now.

When you are in the best place for YOU, you will be in the best place for those you love.

Not all our questions have to be answered right now. Not everything needs to make sense. We just need to take a step at a time. Embrace the moment , even when it’s uncomfortable, and know that it will lead us to the next thing. And the next thing.

And by the way, if you are looking for a great family home with the option of continuing the AirBNB in part of it, come chat with us….this may be the next ‘thing’ you are being led to πŸ˜‰

Finding Yourself

The Obliger

I’ve been on a bit of an uncomfortable journey the last few months. Sometimes life goes so skippingly along and you find beautiful picnic spots, laughing streams, glorious mountain lakes and sun dampled fields.

Life seems to make reasonable sense, or so you convince yourself. One day, you wake to a strange sensation and you realize that not everything is as it seems, and foreign clouds are rolling in, threatening your brain waves.

What do you do when faced with change and expectations? Those deep inner rumblings reveal so very much about who you really are.

Sometimes sunshine hides the shadows of the soul and only when storms and night take over do the true colors come into existence. Sometimes it’s just a bit hard to actually get to know the person hiding out in those shadows. The person you thought you are and the person you actually are and the person you were meant to be do not always play nicely together. It can be confusing to sort them out and also a bit scary.

Recently I picked up a book at the library that has been on my list for quite awhile. It’s a book that reveals the four general ways people relate to expectations/deadlines.

To do a complete, quick survey, google the website above and check it out! There’s a lot of fascinating information to read through, and lots of great tips in understanding why you react the way you do to expectations.

But back to this whole reaction thing, recently the company I work with had an amazing promotion. You could earn a cruise to the Bahamas, by helping your team members build their businesses and build your own at the same time.

Guys, I was ON FIRE. Years ago, my husband and I had booked a cruise, just the two of us, through a deep discount offer from a credit card company. It was all paid for, and we were going to have an amazing, relaxing time. That cruise never happened because of circumstances that we felt were beyond our control at that time. Honestly? It wasn’t fair. But that is history. 😊

Now this cruise that I could earn, well, it was right down my alley. I wanted to take my husband on that cruise. I knew about hard work and facing fears and dreaming big. I even felt like God wanted me on that cruise in a really big way. I had a talk with Him about it, and He told me to go for it….to jump all in and work hard and He would take care of the rest. So I did.

One of my default modes is busyness. I can stay up crazy hours of the night and run on fumes the next day if I have a fire burning in me. That’s what I did. I worked until midnight and one night until 2 AM . I had goals, baby, and nothing was going to stop me. I could feel it happening. The magic danced in front of my eyes. I tasted the sting of ocean water. I was up early to accomplish more goals. I hired a sitter for my boys once a week so I could have uninterrupted time to work. I lived, breathed, and dreamed work. I bolstered myself up with other people’s hard work as well. I watched videos, took training, planned events and lived my business as whole heartedly as I could.

The weeks slipped by and I realized that only a miracle would get me on that ship. Spots were filling up fast and I still had miles to go. Then the rejections began to set in. It was nothing personal. Just walls and closed doors every way I turned. I was tired. I felt like my family was not getting the care they deserved. The self doubt crept in and one morning, I knew that this was it. I would likely not make it. I sat on the bathroom floor and bawled my eyes out. I was mopping tears from my face, ugly crying, angry, and horribly disappointed in myself. Everything I had worked so hard for seemed to be at a standstill. I heard only silence and the scoff of my own heart. I was eventually asked to accompany my friend as her guest, and my heart thrilled with the hope that I actually HAD heard God correctly and I really would go. Circumstances prevented me from going with her as well, and my heart died a bit more.

Though this painful disappointment, I learned some vital things about myself. As much as I wanted to be on that cruise, I wanted to prove something to myself even more. I wanted to prove that I could do something hard. That I was not a fraud or a fake. When I didn’t meet my own high expectations that were truly a far stretch, I began a mantra of self blame. I felt like a failure and a loser and all the times I never stuck something out came back to haunt me. All the lies I believed as a girl pounded on my mind’s door and I felt like a scared, confused, helpless child who could never measure up to expectations of others. While in my heart, I knew I was going to be ok eventually, my mind was a battlefield of questions and accusation.

One thing became evident. I was feeling worse about ‘failing’ in the eyes of others then I was about not going on that trip. I was more disappointed in myself then I was about not getting on that boat. I questioned the very core of who I was and was ruthless in the pursuit of discovering it. Ironically, I faced a paradox. The more I dove into the core of my heart, the more I discovered that most of all, I needed to give myself grace and space and quiet. I needed to find time to sit in silence and learn the art of stillness. I needed to stretch into the fullness of who I was and let God lead me into who I was to become. I needed to let go of the idea of perfection and revel in the beauty of humanity. I needed to embrace myself so I could embrace others.

Reading the Four Tendency’s was a clarifying reality check for me.

As a general summery, there are 4 ways, that people relate to expectations.

The Obliger- “You can count on me. I’m counting on you to count on me.”

The Questioner- “I’ll comply – if you convince me why. ”

The Rebel- ” You can’t make me , and neither can I.”

The Upholder- ” Discipline is my freedom.”

I am a classic Obliger. It’s why in the past, I have volunteered for things, and then unfairly expected my husband to help out or pick up the slack when I was too tired or overwhelmed to finish. It’s why I have a hard time knowing what I want to do or when I want to do it….” what ever you want is fine with me.” Classic Obliger, Anita.

I am happy when others are happy. I have set expectations for myself that no one even asked me to set simply because I took the responsibility to do it a few times…so doesn’t everyone expect me to continue? I also bury myself in helping others and working my tail off, then crashing into bed, feeling sorry for myself because no one appreciates my hard work or tells me to take a break. If you are not an Obliger, this is likely Greek to you. Why would some one work themselves to the bone and then expect sympathy? Why wouldn’t you take care of yourself so you can perform at higher levels of efficiency ? And why is everyone else’s problem your responsibility?

On the other hand, I am great at caring for others. I can sacrifice hours of my time quite happily and if I know that going to the gym is important to my husband, then I will go work myself into a sweat. I give. I love. I laugh. But I also burn out.

My burnouts are not pretty or glorious. They look like a shut down and feel like a rebel. I have unhealthily buried myself in ‘another project ‘ in the past to avoid feeling that rebel. Part of my struggle over the past months has been a deep disappointment in myself. I found myself saying, ” I NEVER stick to anything successfully.”

Here’s the eye opener. Being an Obliger has that exact tendency. In the past, I was seldom given credit at sticking something out, because I was constantly flitting from idea to idea. One helpful ‘progect’ to the next. Life also threw me lots of curve balls that made long term accountability impossible in some areas. I jumped around a lot. That is prime country for Obligers.

As an Obliger, without accountability and deep mindfulness we can easily fall into the trap of performing for the love of performing for others. Losing our hearts for the expectations of pleasing our family and friends can look like the deepest satisfaction, but one day, we wake up, and realize that we have lost ourselves and our vision in the progress. What started as a good thing has morphed into an unfamiliar sense of overwhelm. That’s where silence, rest, and self care come in. That’s where goals need to be revisited, genuine gifts called out, and lost of praying done. It’s where accountability to oneself and others needs to be firmly established and the curtain raised on a new beginning. It’s where self care is not selfish.

I’m still trying to find my way, but through this whole realization, I came to a fuller understanding of why I have been so disappointed in myself in the past. I have an impossibly hard time of keeping any commitment I make to myself. I need people around me to remind me of my goals and how important they are before I wonder off and get sidetracked in emptying the dishwasher or chasing another idea of service.

I also remembered that earlier this year, God asked me to write my story. That perhaps He wanted me to work so hard and then miss that cruise so He could get my attention and tell me to take time for other important things as well, like following through with His direction. That I need accountability to sit down and write daily instead of doing the 100 endless other things that are never going to go away. That dreams are worth pursuing and my company will have more great adventures available in the future.

I’m an Obliger and I am a romantic and although it’s crazy unhandy at times, I know that I have a job to do in this world that is specific for me. I’m proud of my God. Proud of the work and love He has poured into me. I will shine. It may be a strange glow of rubbing my lamp at midnight, but with His grace, it will be beautiful.

Join me? The Rebel. The Questioner. The Upholder. The other Obliger. ( by the way, we Obligers dominate the population according to research) ☺️

Together we will find our strengths and change the world.

Finding Yourself

When You Get Dumped On

Sometimes life just rains on you and you have no choice but to take the drenching.
On Friday, I helped Steve on his lawn route. Our plan was to quickly whip through them and have a relaxing evening at home and leave early the next morning for Glacier for a refreshing weekend of camping.
It was raining when we woke up but the blue sky toward the east looked promising. We packed Sky and Kobe into the jeep with some snacks and toys and after a bit of tying loose ends up we got started.
The rain wouldn’t stop. In fact, it got harder. I mowed while Steve trimmed. We got wet. Very wet. But we finished that lawn and moved on to another. This time, Steve  used our smaller push mower on the wettest part of the lawn so we wouldn’t leave ruts. I used the big one on the level part. I mowed over a dead bird. It stank. And the mower clogged with wet grass. I had to stop and unclog it. Now if you’ve never unclogged a mower you are lucky. Its discusting and gross and filthy. Not to mention the dead bird. I was afraid I would encounter guts or a leg. Shivers. It was still raining.

Every time we decided to stop, the rain would slow or let up and the sun would shine in the blue sky. So we would keep mowing. And more rain would whip through. Just when I had dried off and warmed up, the heavens would open and rain would pelt again.

We thought about the fun weekend we had planned. We were already wet and dirty and it wasn’t worth stopping, so we slogged along. The mower overheatedwhen the cotton wood trees’ cotton clogged the filter. We had to blow it out. Kobe was grouchy.

By evening we were exhausted but had only one more lawn to do. It was a big one but is usually a fun mow. So we girded up the loins of our minds and got to work. I saw a huge dark cloud covering a few miles radius overhead but I thought I could quickly finish. It started to drench again and I knew I would cry if I didn’t make a joke out of it. So I pretended Kierra was in Heaven with a squirt gun, spraying me down for the third time. That helped. But a half hour later, it wasn’t funny anymore. My hands were freezing. I was soaking and the cloud looked worse. It was raining steady and cool and strong and I just wanted to be DONE. Then it rained harder and harder and suddenly i knew without a doubt that it would hail. I parked the mower and leaped off and ran as fast as my freezing wet legs would take me. By the time I got to the jeep it was pelting hail and rain and the wind was breathtaking. I launched into the front seat as the torrential downpour outdid itself by another whole new level.
Kobe and I hunkered in the back and laughed as the whole vehicle shook.

image

Because that’s all we could do. We couldn’t finish mowing since there was streams of water rushing where there had been dry ground. We went home and warmed up and slept like crazy. This morning Steve finished mowing and a bit before lunch time we left for Glacier. They say it snowed there yesterday. We are hoping for the best and that the weather truly will warm up as predicted!
It may be raining on our parade but that doesn’t mean we can’t choose joy and love the blue sky and Sunshine that’s warming the west today.
No matter what life dumps on you this weekend….your not alone! I had to apologize to my little guy last night for my impatience. Today is new and fresh and we are focusing on here and now and a road trip.  No rain storm lasts forever! There is always now to choose to trust and love and singing in the rain.

Finding Yourself

He Finds Me

I came to a realization .

A slow dawning that is has been a long time in the rising. 

I always thought that WE search and seek for God. That we give our selves to Jesus and ‘find peace’. 

Now I know, there is submission ,etc. but without getting technical with any terms ….

I want to shout it from the bottom of my heart….

JESUS found ME!

Just as The sheperd found the lost lamb. Just as the Woman swept her floor until she  found  coin. Just as the Light streamed down on Saul and found  his darkest needs…..

So I came to realize that JESUS finding me was a totally different situation then ME finding Him.

Because when I am finding Him I am still DOING and SAVING and trying to BE. I am reaching and struggling and finding satisfaction in ME. ( one of my weakness is always trying to be better and never achieving what I feel is enough) (my striving aalways only lasts for a bit until I think I need to do more or start all over again)

But when I realize my need and my brokenness. That He already has been In the depths of my addiction of striving. That He knows the magnitude of my fears. That the only way to true freedom is to stop the struggle and beg HIM to find me. When I choose that, I am giving up and giving Him control and giving Him every atom of glory and power .
And again, I realize that I am broken and incompetent and incomplete, and only by HIM can I be found. 

Only through Him I am worthy to be His daughter.

And even that is a mystery.

This changes my life. It changes my thinking. It changes my future and covers my past. 

This thing of HIM saying I am FOUND!

And when I get overwhelmed and don’t know what to do, then I still my heart and whisper, 

“find me, Jesus!”

And He does. 

Finding Yourself

Who AM I?

It’s when the moon sets all smoky orange and surrounded with darkness.

It’s when the yellow butterfly that has been swooping by my window all month flutters through the sprinkling water.

It’s when the wind blows just so.

When the wire fan whirls over Kobe. And he insists on having it turned on. 

(Just like his sister used to. I can still hear her whining in her bed until we turned her fan on at night for her. πŸ˜‰

It’s when the rain comes and the fragrance of  green permeates the air.

Its when my Steve turns toward me and smiles on purpose.

It’s when my little Kobe spontaneously says ” You’re cute. Would you be my best friend?” 

 (From his car seat in the back of the dark car at 10:00 PM.)

I catch snatches of Kierra and hang onto the love.

It’s when the miles of clouds have such glittering bursts of gold streaked all around them and through them that I can barely breathe. 

When there is sunset all around you in a big circle of sky and clouds and space and every direction has a different splash of color.

It’s when the light and love of His beauty shines through my fear and I can scarcely see for the GLORY He has in store for me. For the blessings He pours out on me. For the gifts He gives me. For the grace that enfolds me. Empowers me.

 Every. Single. Moment. Every. Single.Day. 

I catch a tiny glimpse of my Jesus and His wonderful love.

He created each of us. In His image. No matter what you think you are or are not. 

Child of God,  You are HIS! 

Redeemed. Newly Created. Free.

I am  believing that. I am not who I used to be. I can let go of the past and the mistakes and the fear and the harsh judgment I held myself to. I can leave the keeping of my soul in My Savior’s hand who loves me totally. 

I am new.

I have struggled most of my life with feeling like a failure. With never being good enough. With being ‘a joke’ . Perhaps, being a typical middle child, I never thought I was taken seriously or listened to. I embraced the concept that I could never have a good idea. Or measure up to expectations. That I was a loose cannon ball and everyone was using their arsenal of technics to keep me from misfiring. And so I grew up with a very undecided mind of who I was. I had no idea what I wanted to do in life. “Wishy washy. Wild child.” From saving babies in foreign countries to being a veterinary, I swung into any new thought with abandon. I had almost no self esteem. Desperate for acceptance, I agreed with nearly everyone and could scarcely form even the smallest decisions on my own. Which made me feel more unstable then ever. 

Over the past years….the question still haunts me. Who Am I?

In the moments of “Aw. Yes!” When I see character traits of my Kierra…of my Kobe …my Steve…and my Heavenly Father. ….

And it is So Genuine THEM ,

 I realize again that I am me. I am unique. Genuine. Created by God with a specific purpose and DNA  that is truly me.  

(And my friend, YOU are YOU. Unique. Loved  πŸ™‚ 

Perhaps it will be a life long struggle. Who I am today is not who I may be in 10 years for now. 

But although  our past will always be part of us here on earth, it does not need to define us. 

I chose to believe the strongest, simplest, truth. 

I AM A CHILD OF GOD.

A daughter of  the King. 

Loved by Jesus. 

I choose to embrace the freedom and grace of a new identity. To truly believe the things in the past cannot mess with my mind and make me a life long failure. 

It’s so much easier to say then to actually embrace and  believe. I need to choose over and over to rein my thoughts in and come back to TRUTH. And sometimes I get all caught up in those ‘failure, self achieving ‘ web of lies all over again.

But today, my friend, live like a Child dearly loved by the King.

Let yourself feel His love.

His delight.

Exactly where you are…

In the messy 

Or the barren

The spartan 

Or the full.

The Searching.

Or the finding.

  
You are held and loved.

Finding Yourself

A Solo Date

I am sitting by myself in Barnes n Nobles for the first time in years, or maybe in all of my history πŸ™‚
I brought this…

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And bought this…

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And looked at this…

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Something to eat
(Chocolate)

Something to talk to
(Sometimes my journal is my best therapist :))

Something to do
(Create cards from Michaels clearance rack :))

Something to hope for
(A gorgeous cookbook and a positive note from wheelchairs)

I helped Steve do a lawn job this morning and now I’m having some “quiet, do something relaxing, ” time while he mows another lawn.

Kobe is coming in to town later today with friends. Bless their kind hearts for watching him this chilly morning!

Sometimes when life hands you uncontrollable (or common everyday the same) events, the best thing to do is take some time out and rest awhile in your own space. Maybe that is a coffee shop, a book store, (ME!) a garden, a long hot bath, or an art museum.

Take a bit of time to be kind to yourself. Sit and honestly ask yourself how you are doing. You can even have a conversation with yourself in your journal. Just like you would for a friend.
What would you tell your friend if they were having a rough day?

“I believe in you.”
“You are loved.”
“It’s OK to hurt.”
“Here. Cry for awhile.”(as you hand her a box of tissue)
“Gods not going to let you go. ”
“He won’t love you more or less by your honesty.”
“You are doing a good job in life.”

How about telling yourself the same things?
If you are anything like me, you are your own best critic. (Yep, I’m sure someone else has the original to that quote πŸ™‚ ) but honestly. We are so harsh with ourselves at times. We forget that by being honest with ourselves we can be honest with others. That taking time to understand why we are hurting is more valuable then beating ourselves up because we snapped at our children (again!) for some minor bit of childishness.

Often the “straw that broke the camels back” is actually not the problem. It’s something else that carries much more weight at the root of the load we are carrying. While we can give our burdens to Jesus, and rest on Him, we are still faced with all the elements that make up life. Family. Work. Decisions. Friendships. Grocery shopping. The list goes on. It gets much more complex. Sickness. Wandering souls. Disappointments. Death.

We are so good at holding on to pieces of hurt and pain and fear. Until we break. Thankfully, that’s what our Saviour specializes in. Broken lives and hearts and people.

Today I am taking some time to sit and think about my own life. To do something I love. To get to know myself a bit better. To bring the broken to God. To have my hope renewed through Him.

Because. HE is understanding Loving Hope.
And He makes me new.
Ready to face life a bit more steadily…
Take some time off for yourself, my friend. It is one of the kindest things to can do to yourself and those you love.