On my silence

I’ve taken somewhat of a sabbatical from blogging the last six months or so. (With the exception of posts for Rhema every now and then because I’m the student blogger.)

Writing everyday was supposed to help me find my voice. And it did a great job of developing my follow through muscles, which were disgracefully atrophied at the time. 

I am truly grateful for that sweet season. It was necessary and life-giving and a ton of fun. 

 At almost 27, though, it seems that the journey to find my voice, my path, has me in the thickest patch of woods right now. All scratched up, running into branches and scary spiderwebs (the kind you don’t see until it’s too late). 

And whenever I write, I have this habit of spinning things to show only the rosy side of life. I discovered in one of my classes this year on personality types that  this trait is quite common amongst folks with my personality type. 

It serves me well 90% of the time. I can’t help but see the good and in this dark world that’s a true gift. 

However, when your own path is dim and you can’t find your way, tripping over your own feet, it’s hard to add a positive spin. 

Not just hard but exhausting. You feel dishonest and unsure what to do with yourself and words that are rosy but not really true. 

So I took some time off. This summer I want to hop back in to more frequent  writing. 

Still not sure what it will look like but I didn’t know the first time around either! 

Thanks for sticking around and understanding. Ready for a new adventure? So am I. 

Creating Realistic Goals

I have a bad habit of setting up unrealistic goals for myself. 

There’s nothing wrong with setting goals that stretch you, but be careful to not beat yourself up during the stretching process. 

I am working on a writing project that is definitely stretching me!

The project is helping a phD candidate in an electrical engineering program turn his research into a written dissertation. 

Reading the material and translating the data takes time–which means that setting realistic goals is important. 

I’ve been working on this project less than a week and I’ve already logged in 5 hours. 

Setting realistic goals keeps you and your project collaborators on the same page. 

There’s also no shame in being honest about your limitations and potential time constraints. 

I already know that having this proposal completely finished by Friday (what we agreed upon last Saturday) will not happen. 

I am working diligently to get as much done as possible, but I have also communicated this fact to my employer, the student. 

What I am learning as I begin this journey is that you can never go wrong in planning and goal setting by telling the truth. 

Time to Get Honest

 Let me be the first to say that I’m the queen of Fine-and-Okay Land. When something’s not fine and okay, the LAST thing I want to do is talk about it. 

So I won’t–if I’m not pushed.

Sharing our stories, our struggles, is not always fun or easy. 

But I honestly believe that the reason most of us never move past the past, especially Christians, is because we never allow ourselves to be fully known, we never share our struggles.

Of course, I’m not advocating running around sharing the most intimate details of our lives with complete strangers. I’m assuming (this might be a big leap) that we all are aware that healthy boundaries are vital. 

And here’s the moment I get really honest…

Most Christians destroy any opportunity to keep a conversation going. 

Let me demonstrate:

Me: How are you doing today?

Hat Lady: I’m blessed and highly favored, the head and not the tail, above and not beneath…

Me: Oh…my day stunk.

The conversation just died right there.

Yes, Christians are all of the things Hat Lady just said. I firmly and fully believe it.

Though, how are we going to encourage an atmosphere of openness in our churches when the conversation dies in less than 5 seconds? 

If the desire of our heart is to have a church overflowing with hurting and broken people, we need to be more honest and become better listeners.

Isn’t this the cry of every church? To be filled with broken hearted people who need Jesus to rock their worlds?

Here’s what I’m not saying: Stay stuck in your past. Always talk about it and never change. 

Jesus Christ can and will redeem and restore you no matter how broken you are.

This doesn’t change the fact that broken hearts take time to heal.

What better place to heal than in a loving family of fellow believers who are committed to listening and helping each other move toward the best God has for us?

 

 

 

 

 

Hodgepodge Monday

My mind’s been all over the place, which means piecing together a normal string of thoughts is next to impossible. 
Here are 3 things I’ve been chewing on:

  • The importance of my words. 

There were several times today that I really needed to shut up. I ended up saying a few things that would’ve been better left unsaid. 

On Sunday, Bob Goff talked about transferring $500 to any person he has a critical word for because words always cost us something. 

Obviously, I can’t transfer that kind of money but Bob’s right. Our words have a high cost. 

  • Learning to be more honest with myself. 

I am a recovering feelings stuffer. Not owning up to what’s happening in me and around me is what I’m naturally good at doing.

 This is not healthy, of course, which is why I have a network of trusted friends and family to help me. 

  • I can’t believe JoJo didn’t get the final rose on The Bachelor!

Yes, I watched The Bachelor this season and got sucked into the craziness of Bachelor Nation. 

And I just knew JoJo was the one…

Oh well! She’s the newest bachelorette, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens there. 

What are some things on your mind today?

Fences versus Prisons

“I’m cool with whatever. You decide.”

My friend looked at me with gracious (and patient) eyes as I sidestepped her question.

“I wish you’d tell me what you’re really thinking.”

The comment took me aback.

I am terrible at telling people what’s really going on inside of my head.

Never giving your input isn’t the ultimate form of humility and self-sacrifice.

You’re really hiding by slamming the door of trust and connection in someone’s face.

And you’re driving the people you love crazy.

I don’t care.

It doesn’t matter to me.

If that’s what you want to do.

We say these things, but deep down we do care and it does matter and you have wants.

It’s impossible to not care about everything.

(Can all of the exasperated people on the receiving end of these comments say, “Amen!“?)

I’m the world’s worst person at being an overly passive, peace loving person….

This is a real struggle for me.

My (un)natural tendency is to keep things buried deep down inside.

Another friend recently told me that standoffish nature in college held me back in many ways–and it’s true.

I kept people at arm’s length.

She expressed her thankfulness when I became a more open person. The change opened a lot of doors of opportunity that remained shut in years past.

Let me be very clear:

We all need to have boundaries and to guard our hearts. Prison bars and barbed wire fences, though, are a bit much.

Now, I’m building a nice fence that looks less like a maximum security prison and more like a simple property marker.

My challenge to you is to honestly answer the next question asked of you.

Can I get your opinion?

What do you prefer?

Is this something you want to do?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emotional traffic jam

I’m struggling with what to talk about. 

This is one of those nights when the thoughts in my head are taking up a lot of room. 

It’s my practice to not share things that are still fresh. The emotions are too hard for me to juggle. 

Maybe that’s the safe route, the boring route, but I just can’t do it right now. 

And before you get too concerned, everything is fine. No one is hurt or dead. 

The traffic jam of thoughts has me cloudy and a bit unsure. 

Has this ever happened to you?

How do you handle emotional traffic jams?

Some bloggers know how to navigate and share accordingly. I’ve read their blogs and admire their bravery. 

Then there’s me…

The girl who spends more time talking around her feelings than about them. 

The girl whose hands get shaky sharing her thoughts on a good day. 

Sorry that you’re stuck with me for now. 

I’m a work in progress. 

The truth shall set you free, right?

Now, to publish this post before I chicken out….

The opportunities in your reality

Did you ever watch The Brady Bunch movie?

It was a spoof from the ’90s that was not that great, but made me laugh nonetheless. In it, Mike Brady gave Bobby some great advice:

“Wherever you go, there you are.”

I’ve seen this “advice” plastered all over novelty items. (I also googled the saying and found out it’s the title of a meditation book. Go figure.) What a goofy thing to say, right? We all know that…..or do we?

Recently, I was part of a conversation where a friend said, “Do you know what I could be doing?” and then went on for about 10 minutes about a job he could have.

I told this friend,  “You’re right and I agree. But here you are, so what are you going to do?”

There’s nothing wrong with dreaming or wanting to better yourself. Just remember that improvement starts right where you are. The weaknesses we possess do not magically disappear with a new opportunity.

The more I listened to my friend, the more I understood that the root of the problem was not feeling appreciated. Maybe an elevated position, a better job would do the trick. These people would appreciate me. These people see my true potential.

Once again, there’s truth in these thoughts. There’s nothing wrong with getting praised and honored for good work. Just be careful that praise and accolades aren’t the primary motivators. Applause is momentary–and it’s fickle too.

Motivation really is everything.

What are you looking to gain from an opportunity?

Be honest.

Answering this one question will show you the motivations of your heart.

Like I said earlier, the messy parts of ourselves–the things we want to leave behind–won’t disappear. You can’t just move on and not leave the new address.

Look around. There’s a lot to learn, a lot to do right, where you are now. Don’t be afraid to dream, but don’t ignore the opportunities in your current reality either.