I found a tick walking on my dog's back. I picked it and squished it between my nails. Currently feeling like the best mom ever.
"Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. ..."
Loving the whole of Psalm 16 this morning. Feels kind of like a proclamation of mental health on David's part. He's resourcing with an Eternal nurturer. Describing real resilience. The counselor (and human) in me loves it :)
A few years back, I accidentally started a tradition of reading through Psalms between Christmas and New Year's. This morning, I was wondering why ... and I think there's just something about all that vulnerability, all those emotions - the vacillation between fear and courage, hope and despair, joy and sorrow, and the juxtaposition of the messy human and the beautifully Divine, that resonates with the end of a year and the beginning of another. I want to believe in transformation and revelation and redemption and reconciliation and celebration in 2017 ... and I just don't think I get there without wrestling first with the disappointments and losses and woundings and confusions and griefs of 2016. So, that's what I'm doing this week - leaning into the dichotomy of life on earth and breathing in Hope.
If you put your "comfy pants" on the moment you get home ...
If you believe leggings ARE pants ...
If makeup is a daily negotiable versus a necessity ...
If you can appreciate top shelf, but given the choice, you'll likely opt for the free beer ...
If you can throw down whiskey like it's water ...
If you love Jesus, but don't know how you feel about the current state of church ...
If you think you can be 35 and still feel 18 (an occasionally act accordingly) ...
If you treat your pets like they are human children ...
If you love God and still (unapologetically) cuss a little (or a lot) ...
If a good summer day needs a body of water, a bikini, a bunch of beer and fun friends ...
If you'll spend more money on travel experiences than house upkeep ...
If you're both headstrong and insecure in each and every moment of your day ...
If your daydreams take you simultaneously to the beach, the mountains, and back in time ...
If you dance in your living room when no one's home ...
Then, yes, we should be friends.*
(*I'm not excluding the rest of you, just giving a shout out to like/life-minded)
(Message begins about 40:00 in).
I miss this kind of teaching. More than that, I miss having this perspective of God.
This past year has felt hard and icky. Loss after loss, disappointment, marriages combusting, people losing their shit, organizations unable to get their shit together, secrets and lies, and too many unknowns and existential/mid-life crisis kind of moments to count.
Honestly, it got to me. Wore me out. Wore me down. My back is one gigantic knot. My gut, too. I started to doubt God’s goodness. I started to doubt His presence. I started to wonder if there was even a point or a purpose for any and all of it. Frankly, I'm still doubting.
But 2017? It could look, feel, be different, right? It could be a year of jubilee ... a year defined by what Tyson describes above as a discipline of celebration.
It could be a year defined by more recognition and participation of the GOOD in life. The fun. The redemptive. The bright. More banquets, feasts and celebrations.
I need that to keep doing this (i.e. LIFE). Maybe you do too?
I'm a friggin' emotional trainwreck lately, so it's no surprise this video got me crying. Already loved the song.
That moment when you realize that despite your myriad of flaws, dysfunctions and unhealthy thought and behavioral patterns, you're still SO MUCH better off — healthier ... mentally, emotionally and relationally — than so many others.
It's a confusing moment. It ushers in gratitude and fear at the same time. I am blessed to have been spared some of the crazy and hurtful, grateful for the paths that have led to working on my shit, but I am also so aware of just how easily BAD can take ahold in a life and twist what was and could have/should have been good. And that last bit of awareness? Terrifying.
May the fear propel me (and you) to continue to intentionally tend heart, mind and spirit — to ask hard questions, to do hard things, and to make tough decisions in the name of Love ... of God, self and those He gives.
I'm at a 3-day EMDR workshop, faced with this burning question:
At which age do you become too old to put your head down on the desk?
Our neighbors never open their blinds. This morning, noticing it for the hundredth time, I wondered why. I know someone occupies that room and uses it during the day, so why do they not open the blinds? I do not understand indoorsy people. No judgement, just baffled - I really don't understand how to be satisfied with artificial light and small spaces. I'd feel trapped and be experiencing some major FOMO.
Do you open the blinds? I get the occasional privacy reasoning, but if you don't open them otherwise, clue me in ... Help me understand ...why???!
8.30.16// Today, before the coffee, before the teeth brushing and dog feeding, I put my running shoes on. I do this on the days I'd rather stay in bed. Because if I don't, I'll stay in bed, at least figuratively - letting life happen to me, barely participating and certainly not engaging. And it never fails - if I'm dressed to run, then I'll run, and once I'm done running, I feel capable/productive/alive ... and, well, who wants to stay in bed when there's a life to be lived, you know?
I take my coffee outside in the mornings. The dogs expect it, wait for me to get my flip flops and mug and then prance ahead of me to the door, eager to start their day. I move more slowly, stumbling to my chair, putting the coffee on the side table, and rubbing my eyes into a hesitant welcome of the day's sunlight ...
Today, as I went to place my coffee, this leaf stopped me mid-routine. An amber emblem, bright and beautiful, beckoning from a coming Fall. I needed this promise of change, this reminder that, well, despite a wealth of evidence to the contrary, seasons exist, pass, and combine for grand purposes.
Now, I suppose it COULD be taken as a bad sign - it is a dying leaf after all - but it spoke to me HOPE instead ... so I'm gonna go with that today ... a little bit of hope ... and be glad of it while I've got it :)
Post-run, pre-homework backyard hangs. I'm grateful for these moments, because I'm hungry for them so frequently, but rarely able to indulge these days. Yesterday marked the halfway point in this 3-month season (yay!!) - this season where he works hard and devotes himself wholeheartedly to learning this new (and exciting) thing and I give him space and grace and encouragement to do so. We agreed to it, yes. But, like a wise person reminded us yesterday, that doesn't mean we have to like it. And I don't like it - I miss him when he's "gone." :)
I've been struggling with Mondays. I feel my spirits drop as I enter Sunday, anxiety whispers a bit as Sunday evening falls, and come Monday a.m., I'm dragging, sometimes even despairing. So, I've been trying to figure out what that's about and, after much mental munching, I'm stuck between two possibilities (it could be a both/and, but I'm hoping it's more of a this or that) ...
1. My junk is getting in the way of potential joy. I have a history of experiencing negative emotions and thoughts when I feel inadequate in or unsure about something important. That pattern usually runs tandem to various forms of quitting. If I don't know what to do and feel like I SHOULD know what to do, I run. Not so much because I fear failure, but because I don't believe in myself enough to work hard and succeed. At my core, I sense I'm insignificant, lacking, even, and so, I prove self-defeating. Time and time again. Despite my acute awareness of this fact, I don't know that I've broken the habit yet. And, unfortunately, this work I do? I feel so inadequate at it all the time. Their problems? So big. My wisdom? So small. Eck.
2. This might not be my calling. This emotional/relational work, it might not be for me. This carrying the weight of people's expectations and hopes, this feeling so heavy as I struggle to know what to say, what to do, how to react to people's desire for saving — I can't love it. I don't. It feels wrong. Still, I don't know that I'm not just trying to hold onto something as part of the job that is actually NOT supposed to be part of it — this feeling like I'm supposed to know how to fix their stuff, or at least know how/where to direct them toward fixing their own stuff. That could be the problem - my impossible expectations for self. Or maybe it's not, and that's just an excuse - an attempt to disown something inherent in all who BELONG in the profession. I don't know.
But if it's not my calling (and, don't get me wrong - I think we can have lots of callings, places where God's unique design matches up with the world's needs), what is? What am I about?
I don't know.
Yesterday, someone asked me where I want to be in five years. My brain disintegrated. Because, I don't know anymore. I know I want to be married to the Mr., but that's all I've got. That, and maybe living slightly off the grid with a kid of our own and our dogs. I don't have energy around much else and that worries me.
Anyway, just more evidence of the ponder :) Until next time,
I recently came to realize I lack hobbies. That's not to say I lack interests, because I've got a few of those ... But very little in the tangible category.
This became really disturbing to me a few weeks ago, so I ventured into Micheals and started trying to force my hand into the creative. I came away with some gesso and watercolor crayons and the idea to embrace the bible journaling trend. Aannnnddd, nope. Just not my thing.
So, what else is there? I guess my running could be a thing, but I rebel against the idea of it being my only thing. Then there's this - the writing. But, I can't say it gives me joy or haunts my bored moments as the thing I want to be doing. So, no. It's a thing I'm good at, not a hobby.
Everything else I'm actually really interested in requires money and, well, we're broke (see previous post). So, that's a no on landscaping, gardening, horseback riding, traveling and interior decorating.
So, I just don't know what to be about. And, unlike so many of my friends and acquaintances, I don't have the mom bond or money bond to sustain (or, arguably, distract) me from that truth. I'm kind of angry about that. Jealous, even.
Currently not sure what to do with that, but working on it.