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Archive for January, 2012

We use the word passion so much in every day life.

I crave passion.

But do we talk about passion so much because we are afraid of what we will be without it? I can’t imagine how exhausting it must be to be passionate 100 percent of our lives. There is something sacred about rest.

Do you know any body who is a work-a-holic? How often do they get sick? Their body is telling them to slow down, take a deep breath, and relax.

Of course passion is something that should be a part of our lives because without it we are living lives lack of spirit, but getting caught up in being passionate can be our down fall.

It is perfectly fine to enjoy a moment or two of silence away from every body else, errands we have to run, and the people around us who may need us. Revel in the beauty of life for a moment and then get back to your hectic day. There is always time to rest, we are meant to do it and we need it.

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“we can write with ink and pen but we will sow our seeds instead. Starting with words we’ve said, we will all be changed.” –Seryn 

The power of our words is immeasurable. A positive word can lift someones spirit and a negative word can ruin someone’s day. everything we say and do leaves a wake behind us, you never know who those ripples may reach. today, let’s remember the power our words have and let’s speak joy into someone today.

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Friends change throughout the course of our lives. The essence of friendship, however, stays the same. Friendship is sacrifice. It means giving you the benefit of a doubt. A friend will hold their tongue when you need to figure life out on your own, and will speak the truth gently when you need a reality check. A friend worth keeping  will not try to force their opinions on you, will not put “business” before you, and no matter the distance will always make time for you when you need it. Friends will be able to have fun with you one moment and sit silently with you the next. Sometimes having something in common is not enough to be a friend. Like love, friendship is a choice. We choose to be a friend worth having and we choose to let some friends go when we realize that nothing is beneath the surface.

We all need friends.

Today I am thankful for the true friends in my life. For the friends who have lived life with me. For the friends I have had for years and for the friends I made yesterday. I am thankful for the friends who love me enough to give me the benefit of a doubt and for the friends who will always find their way by my side.

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The final message for the generosity challenge was on giving to the church.

 Pastor Scott challenged us to commit to an amount for an entire year. He challenged us to actually give a little more than what we are used to. Micah and I knew we had a very unknown future, we were living on one income now for a couple months, we were already giving money every month to two babies in Uganda , BUT we still had a huge stirring in our hearts to give way more than we knew we could. We committed to an amount that scared the crap out of us, but we were so excited to see what God had in store with it. I don’t want to wait to tell you that throughout that year we stuck with it. There were months that Micah and I almost recoiled, months where we had unexpected expenses and $17 in our bank. Doubt certainly had a grip on us at times. However, we looked at all the times God provided for us already, and we remembered those supernatural moments that just couldn’t be a coincidence. We knew we had to just trust God. The only reason we chose to give what we were giving is because we felt convicted to do so. This meant that God was there, with a plan we just couldn’t see. So we stayed faithful, and some way somehow, every need of ours was met. Sometimes God used someone we knew personally in our lives to bless us, sometimes it was a surprise check from a company, and sometimes it was as mysterious as the deep blue sea. It was so mysterious I started to think He was just adding money into our bank account.
And I tell you this, Micah was out of a job that whole year of our commitment. But the month our commitment was over is when, after two years of being unemployed, he finally got a job.

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For my sisters and the rest of my family. I love you, but I can’t let your love make me who I am.

I would love to tell you that I don’t care what people think about me. I admire the rare few who truly can brush off  what other people think and move forward in their lives. Specifically, I recently realized, that out of all the people in the world, I care so much what my family thinks of me.

In the last couple of weeks I have experienced conflict from some family members. Some of it was small and seemingly insignificant, and some of it was a bit larger in scale. I have spent a few weeks trying to process the feelings that I have had since these conflicts and I have come up dry. As an aftermath of this conflict, my days are filled constantly with disturbing thoughts, sleepless nights, nightmares when I do sleep, and a general apathy in life. Call it temporary depression.

Part of what I have been trying to process is if my family really knows me at all. I can think back to when I was much younger and I can remember censoring myself any time I felt like there would be a conflict. I don’t think my sisters would agree with this because I was also very passionate and emotional. And of course conflicts still happened, especially with my sisters. But as I have grown older I think the only difference is that I am more clever at masking myself. I do this simply, by keeping my mouth shut. A couple years ago I had this huge revelation that when my sisters hurt me I would completely dismiss what they had done and I would keep letting them hurt me. The problem, I realized, is that I would forgive them without ever telling them how they hurt me. And I would forgive them because I was so afraid of what would happen if I didn’t. My sisters are everything to me and I finally realized that this attitude wasn’t exactly healthy. So I started by letting myself feel angry when they did something that angered me, feel pain when they hurt me, and in my own small way I started setting boundaries. But soon after this revelation I moved away from them. Our relationship didn’t seem to be any different, in fact I think I may have gotten closer to them.

After I moved away I had another revelation. This is when I figured out that I cared so much about what my sisters thought of me that I was blind to who I really was. I went through a small identity crisis. I had been removed from two people whom I deeply cared for and respected  and whom I have always wanted to be like (sometimes I hate being the youngest sister). Things started to change in small ways. At first I had a real problem shopping for clothes. I had always gotten approval from my middle sister on what clothes to buy, and when I didn’t get exact approval I would pick something out that I knew she would pick out for herself. Well, all of a sudden I didn’t know what she was wearing and I couldn’t ask her to tell me what I should wear. Things with my eldest sister didn’t seem to change much, for the six months before I left we lived just minutes away from each other. This allowed us to grow much closer and we seemed to always be around each other. When I moved, we would “hang out” on the phone. We talked for hours and hours. For the first year I was gone we would talk like this once or twice a week and then that slowed down, which is ok. She even has taken the time out of her busy life to visit me. I have seen her more than any family member or friend since I have moved away.

But I digress. Recently I have been forced to re-evaluate our relationship with one another. And I have discovered that I am not sure my sister really knows me. This isn’t all her fault because, once again, I have allowed her to only see what I wanted her to see. The other half to the equation is that I think my family still sees me as that broken, awkward, angry, twelve year old whom they have to “appease” just to have a decent relationship with. I wasn’t the easiest to grow up with. I always demanded my own way, little things would set me into a rampage, all the while confused and wondering why my parents weren’t together anymore. Well I have news to my family, I am not twelve anymore.

I don’t really know where to go from here. Any time I have been vulnerable I seem to be met with opposition. I care so much about how my family feels that I still censor who I am to them. My parents, my sisters, my cousins, my aunts, my grandpa, etc…. Only know pieces of who I am.

Recently I have been prompted to think about “community”. My conclusion is that being a part of a community means being supported, accepted, and walked along side in life. It means compromise. It means vulnerability. It means truth and grace. And for the first time in my life I feel like I have found a healthy community. but I find this somewhat sad. I can’t seem to figure out why I can not have this with the people who are closest to me. Family has always been the most important thing to me. When my other sisters dreaded visiting my extended family in New York, I was ecstatic. At least until I was in high school and I realized that most of my family was rude and I shouldn’t have to put myself in that position. But I digress again. The point is, I love my family. I basically bring myself to tears when I think of my grandparents, my aunts and uncles and my cousins, my sisters and my parents.

I guess I am slowly realizing that my feelings for my family are not exactly healthy. In fact I think they are somewhat co-dependent. I don’t think that three weeks of feeling disturbed just because of a conflict is natural. Especially when the conflict is because the person basically just misunderstood me and judged me. Either I should have had the confidence to respond honestly, or I shouldn’t have cared what the person thought in the first place, since they were wrong about who they think I am.

I am moving forward from this point on. Acknowledging my unhealthy behavior and co-dependency is the first step. I am at peace knowing I have a God who knows me and calls me His beloved. 

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Lesson learned.

The other night Micah and I decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and take a walk.

We were walking peppy and a woman with another dog was walking toward us. All of a sudden the dog comes running to peppy and gets in her face growling and barking. The dog was not on a leash and as I pulled peppy back I couldn’t help but feel a protective surge go through me. The woman was kind and apologized for her dog’s behavior. My response? “you really should put your dog on a leash. It’s kind of the law.”

I know that when I say things in an outburst like that it embarrasses Micah, but he was calm and just let me have a moment to regroup. As if to avoid any guilt I was about to have, I started justifying my reaction. “That dog was attacking peppy, I couldn’t Just let it go, anyway I have to keep my mouth shut all day at work when people are being arrogant or rude so when I get a chance to say something, I will.”

Micah responded with “yes, I think that’s what all the customers think when they come into your work, they can’t say anything all day so when they go to Starbucks is where they get to vent”

Micah was right. I was doing the exact same thing to this sweet woman that customers do to me, I could have responded with grace. I could have kept my mouth  shut long enough to think that maybe her dog got loose and she was trying to catch it. And admittedly, I don’t really know Texas law enough to know that the leash rule applys here even though it has in other states I have lived in.

As I thought about this today the message from Sunday popped in my head. The message was about how, no matter what we are doing in life, we are doing God’s work. I may be pouring coffee but what I am really doing is working for the kingdom. So when I am at work and I choose to keep my mouth shut it shouldn’t be for fear of losing my job, I should be careful how I respond to people because I am called to show the same grace to others that He has shown to me.

Lesson learned.

What is something you have learned this week?

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