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. 😉

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  đŸ™‚ 

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 🙂
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 🙂 ) 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.

Finding Yourself

Confession of A Control Freak Spirit

So I just had to share this little ( or huge) gem I found this morning.

As some of you know, we are in the middle of making some BIG decisions right now. A large part of it is moving out of our ‘temporary’ life into a more settled place. The past three and a half years we’ve been ‘going with the current’, doing whatever needed being done for Kierra. I didn’t want to come to this place in life so quickly, but here we are….so we will deal with it.

This past week, we have been especially praying about our future. By the end of the week, I was like a ticking time bomb.

Before I go farther…let me tell you that ONE sentence in life can make a huge impact on someone. A bunch of them all strung together through a persons days can lead to new sights and understandings.

Like my friend, who asked me, “isn’t that control?” when I was being all bemoany about our situation.

Like the new friend I met that told me her “friend turned into a beautiful strong woman and ‘found’ herself” (or who God had created her to be) through a very difficult time.

I borrowed a book from Sadie recently and was reading through it randomly.

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It’s like God opened my eyes for the first time in years to a BIG ugly problem I had, that I thought I DID NOT have!
Control.
Passively controlling situations in life was my specialty. Using all kinds of ways in my husband’s life and others around me, that would tip the scale in MY favor (hopefully).

Now I know we all have our sides we don’t want people to look closely at or see. But honestly? My side like that was really, really ugly. Guess what? Most times, it was when I felt out of control. I tried for years to ‘get over it’. I apologized and cried and begged God to help me. I promised to do better and sobbed in frustration and self loathing.

On Monday, I realized for the first time, that my way of controlling was SIN. And I needed to repent. So I treated it like SIN instead of an ugly bad habit. I repented and asked God’s forgiveness.

And I will be honest here…Part of me was paranoid of letting go. I had cloaked my control into tidy little words like
“I feel SO responsible!” (So it’s ok to stand firmly on my opinion).
Or “I just CANNOT be happy and OK in this situation right now. ”
Or “I HAVE to be a better Christian”
The list could go on and on.
I would even press My husband to make a decision under the pretence of
” if you decide what to do, then I will know if I should deep clean my house now or later.”
Now there’s nothing wrong with that statement alone, but guess what? I was tying to control him and make him feel like he NEEDS to decide because I, Myself, and ME wanted to know what was happening next in life…not so much wether I should clean now or later!

By the way, my husband has been so kind to me over all these years…even when I was holding back my ‘trust’ but still outwardly submitting. I thank God for him!

Letting go of all my little apprehensions and fears…taking them to Jesus, and not hanging onto them for dear life looks scary. But wow! The FREEDOM and REST!

This morning I found some verses that reminded me of my controlling spirit…

All you who light fires and provide yourself with flaming torches,
Go,
Walk in the light of your fires and of the torches you have set ablaze.
This is what you shall receive from my hands.
You shall lay down in torment.
Isaiah 50:11

Now I don’t think one needs to passively sit through life, or close their eyes to sin, saying it is out of their control, but honestly, it is TORMENT to think you have to be in control and always figuring everything out and looking at all the angles of every situation in fear that God will forget to show you a hidden little side to it.

It is literally peaceful to ask God to show Steve exactly what He wants us to do, and then relax in going along with that decision and not worry that it will be the wrong one.

Here’s a verse in the same chapter of Isaiah that is in stark contrast.

“Let him who walks in the dark
Who has no light,
Trust in the name of The Lord,
And rely on His God.”

That’s my motto today…
Until God shows us what we should do….I want to relax. To let go. To trust in the name of The Lord, because He promised,

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Finding Yourself

Of Coffee, Books, and Art

  Oh wonderful Saturday! What more could i ask of thee then slow hours of quiet wanderings with my Man?

   We needed a breather in this daily routine that so rapidly had become a grind….the early morning darkness of leaving for work, the long days of laboring in the elements and toys and dishes and laundry and whining and tears of kids and wondering

if you are doing enough

and when it is too much

and which direction you should target your energy toward next.

The endless medication syringes and feeding pump checks and reordering of formula and feeding bags and oxygen and more medication. The evenings of keeping our One Year Olds  tears at bay and  from totally demolishing our house until he drops into bed, exhausted. The whimpering and tossing of the Two Year Old as she tries to find a comfortable position in your arms, now on the couch, now in her chair, and finally, in her crib, where she tosses and fusses and flails legs wide until she becomes still, and drifts into fitful silence. Then it’s more meds and more mixing of formula and more taping oxygen to sweet cheeks.

So this wonderful Saturday, we took a break for a few hours. There is nothing like good babysitters to comfort your mind as you escape (in the minivan, no less ) to the downtown Lancaster City in the spring. Blossoming trees entwined fragrant limbs overhead. Springtime wafted white petaled fairy breath down the streets.

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Enthusiastic street musicians played joyously.  Winding Way Bookstore, tucked below the row of Art galleries, was quaintly unique and we could have delved among the treasures and volumes for hours.

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Galleries of art opened their stately silent doors for our imaginations, and the Fork and Spoon cafe on the corner offered  a sugar free Dulce De Leche latte on their plain white menu.

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We hadn’t brought enough quarters for a long period of street parking, so we headed out for Barns and Noble to finish of our little date.

He chose the business section.

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I headed for Art. And got sidetracked along the way in Parenting. There was a delightful section specifically for Children with Special needs. I loaded my arms full, and only had time to grab one Art book before we met in the Cafe for coffee, and the most wonderful moist melt in your mouth blueberry muffin.

We smiled and breathed deeply and sipped coffee and broke off crumbles of muffin and browsed good reads, and suddenly it was 3:43 and we had planned to be back by 4:00! So we wrapped up our happy quiet moments and pulled our heads out of books, and headed back to our minivan and our two car seats.

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 And life all looked so much more doable.

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 We were refreshed and energized and heady with new dreams. Nothing like books to set the imagination on its own boundless marathon.

Our two delightful children were all smiles. The world seemed so right again…though nothing had outwardly changed.

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Give yourself a break, my friend! Take a few hours to do something you REALLY love…for we only have this moment today!

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Happy Spring!