On Transition

I'm moving to Kentucky in January.

I don't yet know where I'll be working or living. I don't know any of the things really. The one thing I do know is who I'll be exploring this newness with: my husband. I'm getting married, y'all! 

January 27th marks a new era for me, a new season. Just like this one that's coming as fall moves in on us. The leaves flicker with color, it's still dark when I wake up, the morning air is fresh and cool and makes me want to sit on the porch and drink coffee without ceasing. Ever. The beauty is all over. The trees letting go of their old leaves, creating room for new ones in the next season. This speaks life and life and more life to me. I just love it! 

I'm equal parts curious and stressed about what life is going to look like in a few months. Andrew and I peek at houses online and they get closed on before we can go look with our realtor, it's a quick market out there. At least in our price range. So we look and dream and talk and don't yet know where we'll live. 

I applied for a job and didn't get it. I worry that I'm subconsciously sabotaging job opportunities because all I really want to do is write a book and bake pies, yet those things don't exactly pay the mortgage so I keep looking, perusing, praying; full of wonder about what's to come. 

And I'm happy. I'm happy for the first time in what feels like forever. I'm looking forward to life, to my future, to spending my days with the people I love. The best part is that I know it's God. I know God set this up, because there's not a chance in the world that I could have (that's another story for another time). So today.  I'm so grateful for transition. So much of the transition in my life has been negative, has been a have-to kind of thing instead of an i'm-choosing-this. 

I'm so grateful for new beginnings and fresh starts and second chances. I'm so grateful for a God who restores. <3 There were so many times that I though God would never be able to make anything good at of my messes, that it wasn't possible for anything better to come along, that there was no way life could be beautiful again. I was so wrong. Love comes in and restores and heals and brings life. I'm a living example of love's goodness.

Are You Hiding From Yourself? | On Speaking Truth.

I've always been good at hiding, at running away, at removing the possibility of being hurt. It's so much easier to put up walls than to let people know how you're really feeling. It's easier to lose the relationship than to try and fix it. It's easier to pretend everything is fine instead of having the hard conversation. This is how my life went for so many years. I didn't know it at the time, that I was taking the easy way out. I didn't know there was another way. Now I do. 

Truth does that. It shows you the things you didn't know about yourself. It shows up and if you choose to embrace it, the walls come down. Changing your ways becomes easier. Choosing the hard and vulnerable but oh, so much better way of living becomes possible. 

Now I know that showing up in relationships is the best thing I could ever do with my life, that choosing to have the hard conversations pays off, that choosing to be intentional in showing up as who you are matters. That taking the risk to be fully yourself makes a difference in your life and the lives of those around you. This is the hard work. This is the beautiful work. This can change your life. 

I've found this in my creative endeavors too. I want to write a book. I want to help creatives have a great online presence. Somewhere along the way I decided to believe that I wasn't good enough. Enter this new collaboration idea I've been dwelling on for weeks. It's a great idea, just maybe not a right this minute idea. I realized that I'm hiding behind coming up with more ideas and moving my energy from my book writing to include other people in a collaboration because I don't truly believe I have anything to offer on my own. Truth. Sometimes it doesn't feel so great, but truth will always, always set us free. I haven't written anything in weeks, I've been distracting myself with all the other things, and realizing this, here I am, showing up. Showing up for myself, as myself. Showing up for you, too. 

I don't want to spend my life hiding behind others, running away from myself or refusing to show up as who I really am. I choose to believe that I'm enough. That showing up as me in the world is the best thing I can do with my life. I choose to tell myself the truth, instead of making up stories that self-protect and lead me down a wrong path, causing me to hide and run. I choose to embrace my life. 

 

Are you telling yourself any stories that aren't true? 

What areas can you speak truth to? 

 

Saturday for the Soul

Good morning!

It's Saturday. Remind yourself that you're loved. Drink all the coffee. Eat the waffles. Work on your to-do list. Do something outside if you can. Let yourself create, play, dream. Rest. Be with the ones you love. Whatever it is that fills you up with life - do that. And most of all, breathe.

Just breathe. 

Also, if you only read one thing from the internet this week, let it be this: 

Susie Larson talks about shame and how to remove it from your life

This link had me SO WRECKED this week. In that good, but so hard kind of way. Just. Wow.

 

Here's a couple more goodies: 

Heather Caliri reminds us that we have permission to be SEEN. 

Summer of 69 by Angie Warren. This one's just so beautiful. 

Just Like Peter | A story of hiding and being found

I was reading the story of Peter last night; my heart completely wrung out, like a rag full of dirty water, twisted until the dirt was gone, rinsed until it was clean. I cried, talked to God about the hard things in life, about the things in my heart that I don't want him to see, the things I'm afraid to show him, the needs I'm afraid to bring forward. I didn't want to, it was opposite of every part of my natural self. I did it though. Love showed up. 

John 13:3-8

Jesus knew that the Father had put him in complete charge of everything, that he came from God and was on his way back to God. So he got up from the supper table, set aside his robe, and put on an apron. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with his apron. When he got to Simon Peter, Peter said, “Master, you wash my feet?”

Jesus answered, “You don’t understand now what I’m doing, but it will be clear enough to you later.”

Peter persisted, “You’re not going to wash my feet—ever!”

Jesus said, “If I don’t wash you, you can’t be part of what I’m doing.”

 

I realized I'm just like Peter as Jesus came to wash his feet. Peter felt too vulnerable, like he couldn't allow Jesus into that part of his life. I pictured Peter in that moment, so full of shame, not wanting Jesus to see his dirtiest places. This is me, I thought, the tears flowing steadily now, the realization of how I'm so like Peter. How I feel too much shame, and try to hide my less-than-clean parts from the only one who can wash them clean. How I want to run away and try to clean myself up before he sees me. My heart softens, filled with gratitude for Jesus, always coming with his love. Coming to wash us clean, to set us free, to heal us at the deepest heart level, but he can't do that if we run, if we hide. Hiding is my tendency, my go to, from a young age I've tried to hide all that could be portrayed as less than good. From getting my bike tires dirty in a mud puddle, to the angst of high school drama, to the pain of mistakes in adulthood. I've tried to hide, pretend the problems, the mistakes, the failures don't exist, pretend I'm good with God and everything is okay and I'm fine and I don't "really" need to share my mess-ups with anyone. 

Suddenly I was pouring my heart out to Jesus, risking the pain of shame and vulnerability and letting him see the parts I'd been hiding, the parts that felt unsafe to bring to him. I just started talking through them out loud, and as is his nature, love was there. Love was there to cover, cleanse, heal, wash clean. No judgement, no condemnation, no anger, just a cleansing and washing over my heart as if Jesus said "thank you for sharing, I love you." It was simple and quiet and calm and so full of freedom. Love's gentleness speaking to me, full of grace and kindness. A tender touch.

This morning my heart feels clearer. My mind is able to focus. I don't have all those "excess" thoughts and worries cluttering up my life. I laid it all out there, and the faithfulness of a God who is love came and showed up and reminded me that I belong, that love is a safe place for me, that steadiness and stability will always be there. That he will always, always, always be safe. Instead of the shame I thought I'd feel, the shame is gone. I feel loved. 

 

Defined by Grace

 

I failed this week. At least, it sure felt like I had. It was one of those days where it seemed like everything I touched or said or did was just wrong.

I think about grace. I know it's there but I don't want to receive it, because I don't deserve it. I wonder how (they) could possibly ever forgive me AGAIN. I wonder; maybe it's just me, maybe I'M wrong.

I hold grace out at arms length, not wanting to offer it or receive it. And then Jesus, He comes to embrace the brokenness. He gently reminds that undeserving is the whole definition of grace. Undeserving is what grace is. It's favor. Unearned. Unmerited.

While grace isn't a free pass to make mistakes, I realize that maybe, it's all going to be okay. Maybe the brokenness is the best place to meet Jesus. Maybe i'm not meant to focus on the failure, but acknowledge it and then focus on my need for Christ to make me whole. Maybe it's just another opportunity to move closer to Him.

To be with him, to know him, to open my heart more fully to him.

Maybe you failed this week too. Maybe you forgot about grace today. Or didn't think you deserve any more of it. Maybe you too, need the reminder to open your heart. To let grace in. To let Jesus in. To let your brokenness be made whole.