Saturday, January 10, 2015

For You

I hope you don't mind that I am writing to you for all my blogger world to see. The truth is that I have found something with you that I want the world to bear witness to. I want as many people as possible to know how truly great you are in the eyes of this gal. I don't know what the future holds, how many moments you and I will get to share together. But what I know is that today, I get to be here, with you, experiencing something new and different and kind of magical. For someone who loves to plan and line her ducks up, I am falling in love with the idea that the promise of this day is enough. And I learned that from you. Rushing towards expectations sometimes means you miss out on the perfect moments of right now. And it is absolutely true that there is beauty too great to explain in the details of life. In the small, every day things, that pass us right by. So, for you I would like to say thank you, with the only tools I know to use... my words. Hear them, because they are the overflow of my heart.

Thank you,
for letting me be just me
no bells, no whistles and a dash of crazy.

Thank you,
for letting me speak my mind
for listening to the things said, and unsaid
and asking to hear just a little bit more.

Thank you,
for understanding that I am flawed and broken
but not damaged or less.

Thank you,
for a million smiles and laughs that lead me to joy
time and time again.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


As I was driving today I was thinking about my college years. Next year will be my ten year reunion from college and when I stop and think about that time I am hesitant to call it the best of my years. What I can say is that those years were marked by confidence, self discovery, acceptance and the pursuit of truth. I had very few cares and concerns and the ones I did have were easy and manageable. Since that time I have settled in to myself and have grown accustomed to the me that I am, sometimes even regretably so. In the not so distant past I saw a friend that I haven't spent much time with since college. After seeing this friend, I was told that he had noted that I seemed "hardened" by life. I don't think I can fully agree with that statement but I can say that life has made me wiser, stronger and more determined. The funnel through which I let things pass has grown smaller and my skill at maneuvering it much better. College was a time of paper rock scissor tournaments, late night Whataburger runs and wearing pajamas to class. Since that time my decisions have become tougher, my spectrum of expreiences much broader. I have watched friends deal with the loss of children, the loss of parents, the end of marriages, the uncertainty of emlpoyment and the aftermath of heartache. This past year was an exceptionally challenging one for me. I found myself facing losses and heartaches and disappointments that I was unprepared for. I was stretched as a mother, a friend, a woman and a Christian. I was asked to be there for people in ways that I didn't think I would be able to and to give when I thought I had nothing left in the tank. It was a year for raising bars, setting hopes, starting over, finding footing and facing reality. It was a good year but I think that somewhere along the way I lost myself a little bit. I forgot what was most important and settled for things that felt good and seemed right. I started taking some risks with my emotions and my heart. And in that process I learned that there is a fine balance between guarding your heart and wearing it on your sleeve. Even though I may not have found that balance yet, I know that I am getting closer to knowing what it looks like.

This year, I am looking to make new resolutions. I have deemed this my year of personal improvements. The aim is to be a healthier version of me - mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. I want to get out of my comfort zone and get active and start moving. I want to feel better about myself and the attitude I present to others. I want to let go of the insecurities and the voices in the head that tell me I'm not enough or too much and just learn to be confident in who I am again. I want to worry less about the how's and why's of life and just accept that God has a plan that is perfect and has my good and His glory as the goal. I want to stop needing validation from others, stop expecting certain actions and words, stop asking what things mean and looking for the hidden meaning and just take things at face value. This year, my hope and prayer is that I can find peace and joy in ALL things and not just put on a happy face. I sense that God has me where He wants me and is on the verge of something big in my life. I am not where I thought I would be or where I had hoped I would be at this time last year. But I can say that I am also stronger. I am wiser. And I am ready to move forward. This post is a promise to myself to let it go and get out of the way of the bigger picture, the master plan, and to stop complaining and just enjoy the ride. Here's to a great year. Obstacles removed, joy returned, lessons learned, steps taken...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Steel Bars

STEEL BARS by: Jill Phillips

So this is how it feels at the rock bottom of despair
When the house I built comes crashing down
And this is how it feels when I know the man that I say I am
Is not the man that I am when no one's around
This is how it feels to come alive again
And start fighting back to gain control
And this is how it feels to let freedom in
And break these chains that enslave my soul

I refuse to be locked up in here like a prison cell
Where all I ever get is a meal and four walls
I used to be just fine in here but not anymore
Gonna break through these steel bars

So tell me how it feels when the tables start to turn
And you find yourself at the losing end
Tell me how it feels, you're not welcome here
'Cause I'm tired of pain and I'm tired of sin

I won't let you win
I have no doubt
I don't want you in
So get out, get out

That song was introduced to me as a freshman in college. And at the time it resonated with me because of the powerful lyrics about being set free. After all, that was what college was for me. It was a time of truly finding myself and feeling set free from the prison walls of myself and who people expected me to be. Needless to say, in my new found blissful naivety I embraced this song. And then, I forgot it.

This week, I was driving in my car and I was thinking about an idea for a blog and all of a sudden I remembered the words to this song. I couldn't remember the name of the song, or who sang it, but I let Google do it's magic and within minutes I was listening to the song again. It is ten years and a million life moments later and that song is still getting to me, but in a different sort of way.

Now when I hear it I don't think about freedom, I think about the prison cell and what it took to end up there. And that has got me thinking about some things. In my life, I have had dreams and expectations and hopes for my future. On occasion I have run full force towards these ideas, expending all my energy to overcome the odds and achieve that which is desired. Sometimes this has worked as beautifully and seamlessly as I intended and imagined. But sometimes the things I have wanted and pursued the most have led me to a place I never intended and would not have imagined. You see, for all my scheming and striving I sometimes forget to count the costs or to consider the bigger picture.

Sometimes I get an idea in my head that this one thing, or that one desire will bring me happiness and freedom beyond compare. And in that moment, nothing less will do. I want the best, as we all do, and when I think I've cornered the market on what is best then I set out to acquire it. However, there have been times when the attainment of my desires has led me away from freedom and inside my own steel bars. We can want something so badly that it becomes our focus, our obsession, or our addiction. And then once we get it, it traps us and makes us it's prisoner. This can happen so subtly that we deceive ourselves in to thinking we are still in control. After all, we pursued this beast, we wanted it. And we think, how could something so good be so bad for us.

But sometimes it just is. Sometimes the things that we think will make us happy, end up making us miserable. And sometimes the things we think will set us free, just trap us in to becoming the person we don't recognize.

I have been there. More times than I want to admit. I have been on the other side of steel bars, wondering what happened to my joy and my peace and how I ended up feeling trapped by sin and doubt and pain. And the answer is always that I put myself there by my relentless desire for control and happiness. And in pursuit of that I have abandoned the joy of the Lord, that peace that passes all understanding.

Here is what I know, there is freedom and joy and promises that are mine to own and to claim. And these things are wrapped up in a pursuit of the Lord, not in the pursuit of things, or people, or ideas. If I can respect that, and appreciate that truth then I will avoid becoming a prisoner to my own wants and desires. The truth will set you free. That is a fact. The hard part is knowing your truth and sticking to it and letting that process bring you the freedom and joy you seek in the face of easier and more accessible options.

To listen to the song, go here:

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Leslie Enchanted

OK, here is a somewhat embarrassing confession: I want to be a Disney Princess. Anyone will do, I'm not too terribly picky (although, I'm somewhat partial to Belle). It isn't that I envy their money, or their titles, or their clothes or good looks. In fact, I could do without those things if I had the one thing they all have- a prince.
See, I'm not just talking about the fact that they met someone tall, dark and handsome (although that doesn't hurt, certainly). However, those things lose ranking precedence the more I find myself maturing in age. I suppose I am finding that there are plenty more important things than the size of his jeans, the thickness of his hair and the brand of his shoes. What I really want is romance, a full, hearty dose of it.There is nothing as romantic as the feeling of stability, security and dependability. If you can guarantee that those things will exist, forever and always, my love tank will remain perpetually full. If those things are my reality, that's the happiest ending I could hope for.

I think the more accurate thing to say is that I want the pursuit. Let me clarify that I do want a Prince, someday. Eventually. But I don't just want anyone. I want a Prince that will pursue me. Who will fight the dragon, climb the tower, travel far distances, and look like a fool for me. My heart has always wanted this kind of wanting. And deep down, or not so deep down, I believe every woman wants someone who is willing to fight to stand by her side and have her hand to hold. I admit that I have not found this yet. I was close on a few occasions, but not quite there. And at the time, I don't think I fully realized just how important the chase was for me. And not just the initial chase, but the continued chase. The one that says I got you and now I will do whatever it takes to keep you. I'm referring to the lifelong chase.


It is in this way that I am envious of the Disney Princess. Because they have a Prince who shows up, every time, and does what it takes to awaken her heart and make her his princess. Sometimes all this takes is one single kiss (Snow White), but sometimes it requires fighting an underwater octopus queen (Little Mermaid), or scouring a whole town for the one that got away (Cinderella) or learning how to be the best version of yourself (Beauty and the Beast).  This kind of love is what my heart longs for and I hope that one day that sort of prince will come. But, if not, I am confident that my story will still have a happy ending. My heart is spoken for no matter what, by One that never lets me down and always fights and intercedes on my behalf. And even I am learning how to fight for myself in this way. I am figuring out how to defend the things that I value about myself against the lies and tricks of those who try to steal it.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Music Monday #1 - G. DeGraw

Ok, I'm starting a new thing, Music Monday. I love music and it gets me through quite a bit. It always seems I can find a song that resonates with how I am thinking and feeling and I feel validated. And transformed. So, I want to share some of the gems that I love and the new stuff I've found. To start, I found this song by Gavin DeGraw called, Not Over You. It is the new single from his upcoming album, Sweeter. I know that Gavin DeGraw is old school and probably became uncool about the same time that One Tree Hill and the CW did. BUT, I love Gavin DeGraw music (and OTH too) and I'm excited about whats to come. So... here is the link to the new song.

And, since I feel this is my one forum to share Gavin music, here are two more songs that I like. One is Stay, from the album Free.

And the other is Glass, also from the album Free. I think this is an absolutely beautiful song.

Ok, thats enough of the Gavin hour. Have a listen if you want, or just skip it altogether.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Turn, Turn, Turn

It has been a while since posted anything of substance on this blog. In these last few months I have been experiencing the extremes of my emotions. I have been to both incredible highs and seemingly unbearable lows and all the pit stops in between. While I wouldn't say that it has been one giant hay ride of excitement, I can say that it has led me here, smack dab in the place I am meant to be and I've come to grips with the fact that that is alright. It is just right enough I should say, because some days, to be honest, alright seems a bit less than hoped for and a bit more than I can handle.

You see, like many of you, I had something and I lost it. There are more details and feelings involved, but these are the gists. These are my simple truths. I had something that was important to me and for all the wanting and waiting and wondering that I reserved for it, it wasn't right. And in the end, I lost it. It left. And I was not the same. I felt broken and empty and utterly without. It was one of those things that felt absolutely right, but still one hundred percent sucky. Ever have one of those? I mean, I felt the suckiness down to my core and I was not happy about it. In fact, I spent a little bit of time being down right pissed off that I had to deal with disappointment, yet again. I was furious that the God I love and trust did not see fit to give me what I wanted this time. Because I was arrogant enough to think that I had been through enough, I had paid my dues and it was time that something good happened to me, something that I wanted and planned for. But that did not happen. I opened my hand to receive the gifts and walked away with it empty despite my prayers and despite my longings. That did not seem right. Or just. Or fair. So I got a serious case of the mopes. It was bad. And I do not feign pride at the thoughts and prayers of my heart at that time.

However, I got through it. The leaving happened in stages, it took it's sweet time with the final good bye but it did eventually leave. And the hole that once was became something different. I can't fully say that it is better yet, but I trust that we are on our way to that place. The truth is, that hole is still becoming. It has not achieved finality yet. But the weight is lifting. It is amazing how much freedom and unburdening accompany perspective and clarity.

This life, and the things in it, have seasons. Everything ebbs and flows, it wanes and waxes to become what it needs to be when the timing is right and the circumstances allow it. There is a rhyme and reason to these circumstances, but they are always changing. So what seems right today, may not be so right tomorrow. Those perfect fits, may turn out to be not so perfect down the road. I am experiencing a bit of that right now. Some relationships in my life are experiencing an evolution of seasons and I can not quite understand the hows and whys. What I know is that things are different and the level of my investment has changed as well. I find this fact unsettling because it is not a change that I want, at all. And I can not come to grasp with the feelings that this evolution is creating. I understand that friends come and go. I have had more than my share of friends who came, and were dearly loved, and then left, and were missed. I know it happens. And sometimes this feels completely natural and you ride it out and do what it takes to let it go and move on. But sometimes it does not and you fight it. And you hope that things will carry on as usual... for the foreseeable future. And maybe it will. But also, maybe it won't.

Things do eventually play themselves out. The movie ends, the CD restarts, the curtain closes, and we move on. Sometimes we outgrow the things we love and we have to find something that fits a little better with where we are at right now. If we are lucky, the things we really love find a way back to us, somehow. But I have a scrapbook (or two) filled with people and places that have cycled out and relegated themselves to wonderful memories, instead of current realities. And that is ok. I loved them when I had them, and I appreciate them for what they were to me.

I guess I am writing this somewhat confusing blog to try and understand my place in my life right now. I feel slightly lost and slightly askew in a time when I thought I knew where I was going and what I wanted. I am readjusting and reshuffling and I feel like I am losing some important things in that process. Things that I am afraid I won't get back. Things that I am not ready to give up without a fight. I know what will be will eventually be. And I am not arrogant enough to think I can change that. However, every season of life has its good and bad things, the perks and the pratfalls. While I sense that a new season is looming, I fins myself clinging to those things that are good and hoping that they can remain, a little while longer, so that I may enjoy them to the full.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Wait for It

I have much to say. And its been a while since I said it. But wait for it, because it is coming. And coming soon. Real soon.