I don’t quite have a vivid first memory of you, like you do of me. My life never existed without you. When I took my first breath, you already had a near six-year head start on practicing breathing before me. When I came into this world, you already kind of had yours established, and I threw yours for a loop. No longer was it the “just you and mom” show, or even you and mom plus dad, who arrived on the scene later. But now you had to share your world with this new creature… This girl! This tiny human that required so much attention and could do nothing on her own.
I was different than everything you had known up until this point. I didn’t talk. I made a mess of everything. I dressed quite differently than you were used to. “What are these frills and lace? What is all of this PINK?!” I touched everything. I ate weird foods. I smelled funny. I didn’t have any hair! And to put the cherry on top of the “my world will never be the same again” sundae, I liked playing with YOUR toys! …of which I know I ruined my own share of things. (Let’s not mention the Beastie Boys tape unless it’s absolutely necessary, capiche?)
Despite all of those things, you got used to me. And though I know I have annoyed you more times than I can count, or probably than you can even remember, all I know is how much you love me. All I can recall through the years is you always having my back, no matter the circumstances, and if you were there, nothing could go wrong. But even if it did, it didn’t matter, simply because you were there. I knew you’d figure out a way to take care of things.
In all of my thirty-two years, to your now thirty-eight, we have been through a lot together. We have laughed and been stupid together. We have our own language and mannerisms. Sometimes we don’t even have to say a word and we completely understand the signal the other is giving. We have experienced a great depth of grief and unashamedly poured out such through our tears. We have been each other’s cheerleaders through our victories. And through all life’s ups and downs, we have stuck together and our relationship has only increasingly grown closer as we have matured and grown. That’s how it should be, but not everyone is blessed enough to have a built in best friend. You have been my rock, my comfort, my shield, my safe place and I’m thankful that I also get to call you my brother.
If I open up my heart and really ask myself if I’m happy
I’ll probably say no.
It’s not because I am not alive,
but because I have not allowed myself to really come alive and actually live.
It isn’t because I don’t have amazing people surrounding me,
but because I have tried to let them be the sources of my happiness
and in turn I have just found my disappointments…
It is not because I am not loved.
for I am far more loved than I could ever imagine or hope
…by the One who created love.
…by the One who is LOVE.
It is not because I do not have endless potential and a world full of possibilities at my fingertips,
but because I have not let go of the “what ifs?”
…the “could have beens” and the “might have beens”
…the “why nots?” and the “whys?”
Because I have not let go of the excuses and the fear that failing is a bad thing.
Failure is merely learning cloaked in a happenstance we don’t (or didn’t) want to go through.
Because I have not believed in who I could be…
…who I am supposed to be… …in the me I already am, but have not embraced,
…as is evidenced by my actions…
…by my life.
No. The only way I can become who I really want to be
…the me I see in my head…
the me that is written upon the tablet of my heart…
…written upon the very fibers of my being…
…is when I let go of control.
If I continue trying to hold onto my “desires,” (whether good or bad) I do not have room in my life for who I am meant to be.
If I continue trying to write my own story, I will not see the greater one that is being scripted for me.
When I let go of control and embrace His vision for me
I will truly be able to see.
I will truly be able to live.
I will truly be able to experience the joy of being me!
And I will embrace all that comes with change:
Because nothing else will matter besides finally allowing the great Artist to sculpt the Masterpiece (called my life) that He has so desired to do all along…
Don’t be afraid to be yourself… Who God made you to be. Pursue your dreams. Become a better person. Learn the things you always wanted to do and become the person you always wanted to be. You will encounter people along your path. Some will be there for a moment… Some for a season… Some for a lifetime. And whether good or bad, they all have given you the chance to learn & grow. Stop worrying about who may or may not be there. If you keep your eyes fixed on the Prize, the right one(s)… The BEST one(s)… Will end up beside you and you won’t even realize it. And you’ll be all the more thankful when it happens… Because you were just being you. 🙂
If you know anything about me, you know I’m a people person. I THRIVE off of human connection & relationships. I love to love people. I love to get inside a person’s world & attempt to explore it through their eyes. I love to know what they enjoy, what they’re passionate about, what makes their heart sing and the cogs in their brain tick. I’m also interested in the things that make their heart sad, or angry… Which is also an expression of passion. What do they live for? What do they want to accomplish in their lifetime? What motivates them day in and day out. What, or who, is the reason they make their way out of bed in the morning… Or some other time of the day? And what holds them back?
I value REAL relationships. Transparent ones. Ones in which you can tell the other person your junk you have swept under your bed & tried forcing into your closet for years, without fearing the other person is going to point fingers, laugh at, judge or disown you. I would rather know a person and respectfully disagree with them on a matter than believe that we’re on the same page, and they’re just wearing a mask to try to make me happy, or hide their shame. Chances are greater than not that I have struggled with the same thing, something similar, or will just be able to relate, because I have my own “want to wear a mask and hide the truth” sins, too.
Simply put, I just want the best for those I love and care about… Even to a fault. Whose best do I want for them, though? MY best? God’s best? Their best? Sometimes I want so badly to make someone else happy that in my pursuit of their happiness, I forget about my own needs. Sure, it makes me happy to see others happy, but I cannot forget about myself in the process.
And because I love a good relationship, if I feel cut off from it, or a lack of good communication or simply just a lack of communication period, I feel low. I feel as if there is something wrong with me, even though that may not be the case at all. Is that right? No. Is that fair to myself or others? No. But it’s just proof that one’s greatest strength can also be their greatest weakness.
One day I’ll find a happy medium, but until then I will keep working on the relationships I have and loving people to the best of my ability, through the Love that has been shown to me. I know that it truly is through the journey that we learn the greatest lessons that enable us to live better… And ultimately, love better. It is only through the fire that we are refined. That means all the junk is taken out of us and we’re made purer and better & are able to shine more brightly. So, I will do my best to embrace the journey, but I will need the strength of those I love, & those who love me, surrounding me and encouraging me to keep moving forward, pressing through the obstacles & becoming better and stronger that I may love & strengthen others.
I am in pain.
My body is aching and my heart is breaking,
But I must go on.
I am in pain,
but I must go on, for little eyes are watching me.
I must go on,
for whether I know it or not,
whether I see it or not,
whether I believe it or not,
whether or not I acknowledge it…
I am an example.
I am someone’s motivation.
I am someone’s inspiration.
Whether I feel like it or not,
I am someone’s encouraging
shoulder to cry on,
or even just a smile.
I am light in someone’s life.
I must go on because there is much to be accomplished
and I only have one life to accomplish it all.
I only have this season.
I only have today.
I only have this moment.
For moments turn into days,
days into months,
What I do right now matters.
How will I turn my pain into future gain?!
and for others…
I must distinguish the difference between
who I was,
who I am,
and who You say I am.
…and decide who I want to be…
…who I MUST be
for the sake of others,
and for Your glory.
Everyday I fall.
I fall from Your grace.
Some days I fall harder than others,
but regardless of how hard or how far I fall,
You are always there.
You are there with Loving arms wide open…
…even if what I did hurt Your heart.
You show me Love unconditional,
even when I don’t deserve it.
You show me Grace abundant,
when I am far from graceful in my actions and speech.
You show me mercy,
even when I think I have gone too far…
I’ve fallen too deep…
when my pain is too much.
Your love comforts, like a blanket.
Your love heals my pain and removes my shame, like an ointment.
Your love says my sin is forgiven and forgotten.
Your love breathes life into this dead carcass of a person,
and gives me the will and ability to go on…
Because LOVE is who You are.
It is the very fountain from which all of the streams of Your character flows.
LOVE is who you are.
…and LOVE is who you want me to be.
When you’ve searched all the songs and scoured through all the verses that have been writ and nothing seems to say just how you’re feeling or convey the meaning of it…
That’s when you know you’ve got to express your own lines, lay your own rhymes, define your own times – in ink. Those are the times when you figure out how YOU think… When you decide what to swallow versus the things you give to the shredder in the kitchen sink.
It’s times like these when you see your guts on papyrus and remember conversely that King Midas turned everything to gold… And you can do the same – with your words.
When you let yourself bleed, when you let yourself sing, when you let yourself see all of the things inside that before were merely abstractions, in the realm of your soul… In the cage of your mind, come to LIFE and be set free, constructed by letters and script…
…that’s when you flow, that’s when you sow, that’s when you grow, and that’s when you know…
…You’re a writer.
If you’re anything like me (as a writer) you always have random thoughts running through your head. Sometimes those random thoughts are deep enough, or meaningful enough, for you to chew on and you develop more thoughts to go with the initial one. For me, these can be marvelous revelations that I can apply to my own life, or wisdom to be shared with others. I have found, though, that if I do not take notes while I’m getting this new epiphany, I will lose the thoughts into the deep crevices of my brain.
So, if I’m driving I open my notes app on my iPhone and Siri helps me write down my ramblings. I love voice to text!!! 🙂 If I’m at work, I jot down a few thoughts on a piece of paper to come back to at a later time. (Often times, unfortunately, these thoughts are also left to the wayside, because the cares of life and the “little foxes” [Song of Solomon 2:15] sweep me away, and quite frankly, I don’t care enough to take the time to develop the cognitions any further.)
Sometimes I’m fortunate enough to have time to myself (like now, for example) where I can free write the workings of my brain until the cows come home. Sadly, I don’t own any cows, and I do have other responsibilities in my life, so at some point the writing spree must cease. Many times when I have this sort of free time, it comes after a long day of work and my body just wants to shut down. My brain has so many more things it wants to set free from the cage of contemplations, that is itself, but my flesh wants to collapse. (Like right now, for example!) Regrettably, like many other things in my life, I have had the tendency to listen to the cries of my flesh, more than the drive of truth from my spirit, and quit before I’m finished.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, or am continuing to learn, it is if you want to be good at something you have to work at it. Yes, we all have God-given potential inside of us, but like the old saying goes, Practice makes perfect! For some, learning is easy, they catch on quickly and the process of becoming good, or skilled, at something is a swift one. For others, like myself, I have to do something over and over and over again before I have something down pat. (Maybe my perfectionist side has a little to do with that…) But regardless of what type one is, the more you do something, the better you become. Personally, I know I need to push myself to take time to write more. It is something I adore doing.
I would say then, that if you know you enjoy doing something, whether it is playing an instrument, rock climbing, learning about astronomy, baking, writing or some other kind of craft, KEEP DOING IT!!!!! I challenge you, and certainly myself, to make a conscious effort to do it more often. My challenge to myself is to start blogging at least once a week. The question that remains then is, How are you going to challenge yourself?! 🙂
One day I’ll stop settling for less than I deserve.
Jesus, You are my Joy – You are my Peace…
You are the One who brings sweet release.
You are the calm in the eye of the storm…
Your hands are those that keep me safe from harm.
When I want to run, I want to hide,
You are the One in whom I can confide.
You ever remind me that I must seek Your face;
…that in Your arms is the best hiding place.
It’s in those arms that I find healing.
They’re where I find comfort when I’m broken and reeling…
…when it seems like I’ve lost all feeling – all meaning…
…when I’m not gleaning
from those I should,
even though I could
…if I wanted to.
But those times when my soul is blue,
when I don’t know what I thought I knew,
I need to be renewed,
I need Your Spiritual food.
Set me free,
Open my eyes to see,
Cause me to be who You’ve called me to be.
God, it’s in You alone I find my identity.
Because of you,
I’m seeing things,
differently than before.
Because of you,
I’m being exposed to more of myself than I would’ve like to have been,
but it is necessary for me to see, so I can learn, grow and move forward.
Because of you,
I’ve had more highs and lows than the oceans tide in a fortnight,
but I wouldn’t change it, because I am learning.
Because of you,
I’m writing again…
Because of you,
I’ve been compelled to seek our Maker more fervently
and discover who I am as an individual,
apart from any other relationship in my life.
Because of you,
I’m rediscovering the True Source of Joy ~
The Everlasting Source of Joy,
and am reminded that though people can help you to be happy for moments,
they can never keep you happy.
Only ONE is capable and worthy of that role.
Because of you,
because of your friendship,
I’ll never be the same,
and I’m forever thankful.
Because of you
I am becoming more of me.