Oh, the randomness...

Just my thoughts on life, love, and the pursuit of Jesus.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Small Blessings

Sometimes, I think we often go through life too fast to take the time to recognize the small blessings in our lives and to say thanks for them. I want to document a couple that have happened for me this past week:

1) My high school Lifeliners - reaching out to me and reminding me that I am loved and lovable. They don't have to send me those sweet text messages or FB messages, but they do. And I'm thankful for these small blessings.
2) This morning's chai tea meeting with my mentee. She paid for us today - for her to take her hard-earned money and give back to me by purchasing a bagel and chai...that was such a great blessing and a sweet gesture.
3) A new friend inviting me to a party with some church peeps. I'm a bit anxious about attending, but how else will I further my friendships with these people? Anyways, this friend knew I was looking for community, and he invited me into one. What a wonderful, wonderful blessing.
4) An old roomie from college - last night on the phone poured into me and my pain despite the fact that she is going through a lot of painful situations. That small act of selflessness and sacrifice did not go unnoticed.
5) Rest. I am so, so beat down right down. Emotionally. Dealing with tough situations, new situations, and my grandpa being in the hospital has really been wearing on me. Not to mention the work load I have right now. But, somehow, God keeps restoring my energy and clarity so that I can keep on living fully through the exhaustion and confusion.
6) An old friend from college who means much to me, reaching out and posting on my blog. Someone who I don't expect to reach out, reaching out, is often the best surprise I can get.

Those are just some for me. Do you have any small moments this week that you recognize are great blessings, and that maybe aren't so small in the end?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Something for Me

OK, I can honestly say this (and it is scary, but true!) but I’m not sure how often I’ve lived my life for me. Or, I mean, truly done things because I know they will be good for me, not because someone else wants me to or because I feel I ought to.

I was shoveling today, and it struck me: the past few days, I’ve been doing this. I’ve been doing things that scare me but that I know I need to do. I’ve been accepting people’s kindnesses, something I used to question instead of accept. I’ve been doing the small things that take care of me physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Saying no to things I would love to do, but would over- commit me and wear me out. Saying no to people I can’t trust. Saying yes to those I can.

It also hit me last night that teaching would be something for me, and something I would be doing for the right reasons. I’ve always wanted to be a teacher, high school or college. But if I was honest, I think part of the reason was because I was scared – those who can’t do, teach. We all know that saying. So I think I thought of teaching as a fall-back, as a way for me to shrug and say ‘well, I might suck at marketing or doing anything else, but I know I’ve got the knowledge and I could teach these other people, people who have a chance to be great, the basis and the skills they will need.’ It would have been a form of escapism. As well as denying my gifts and abilities.

In this journey we call life, lately I’ve been stepping up my game in terms of self-actualization and self-appreciation. It’s been a wonderful journey, though wrought with difficulty at times.

Anyways, last night I taught a class at a local college. (Well, ok, if we're honest...I taught for about 7 minutes and then administered an exam.) :) My VP was out traveling for work and he asked me to fill in, which was a huge honor in and of itself. But even better was the actual experience. I had so much fun standing there, looking out at this group of college students whose lives are full of adventure, fun, growth, fear, hope, dreams…and knowing that they have so much ahead of them. And I enjoyed it, because instead of teaching them as an escape and because I doubted I have anything to offer this world, I stood there teaching them knowing I have much to offer, and thus they were learning from a girl teaching out of her fullness and not her emptiness. And it made me realize that in that moment, I was once again training myself to accept that I have a lot to offer, and to believe that as truth.

I know the voice of doubt & negativity will return. But now I’m more prepared and better equipped to shut down the lies with the truth. And the knowledge of this feels great.

And much of it stems from the fact that I’ve claimed this life as a life that is God’s to ordain, not mine. And most certainly not anyone else. I’m living in the ways I know God has instructed me to live, and I won’t question that nor let others intimidate that. It feels good.

“These are works he will do in us, but he won’t do them without us.”

Monday, February 25, 2008

Would You Want to Know?

I’m always fascinated to think about certain events/relationships/emotions and how if we knew they were coming, how would we live differently? If I knew that my grandpa died today, would I then have called him yesterday, instead of being lazy about it and not doing anything? If I knew I was going to lose my job, would I work at it any differently today? Or would I give up and just goof off at work instead? Suppose I knew I was going to get married someday, how would I be living my life differently at this moment? Or would I be? Should I be?

And yet, I am glad I don’t know what is just around the corner. I’m thrilled that I get to wake up to a new day full of its own potential, and with the challenge and opportunity to live it to its fullest, embracing the things that arise instead of knowing what is going to happen when. Otherwise, knowing me, I will try to control all the moments leading up to these events I know about. But for me, growth and forward motion happen when I risk, not when I protect. When I embrace each day instead of controlling each day. So while I struggle with this sometimes, I’d rather be living in this ‘place’ and stretching myself every day versus living with the knowledge of the future.

I also like the possibilities and the questions – I always loved the ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ books because the outcome was determined by the choice you made instead of existing only one pre-determined outcome. I believe I’d rather live my life that way: with options. I want the choice to choose right and to choose wrong. I want the opportunity to make mistakes and to also make great decisions – we learn much through both scenarios. More than anything, I want the choice to love and to accept love. Sometimes I’m not strong in this area – I forget I have more control over certain things than I think. Jeff talked about this at church yesterday – when it comes to greed, anger, finances, etc. we have more self-control over these areas than we sometimes like to believe. True, we can’t do it alone. We need God with us. But he also won’t do it without us. I like living in that place – I like that I 100% need God for any amount of strength, but that he also holds me accountable to being a part of the journey and the growth.

Grace and peace to you.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


I cried today. In my cubicle. But these salty tears on my face were from a mixture of emotions. Sadness at a friend going through some tough times and realizing there isnt much I can do about it. Frustration that I let some stuff at work get the best of me. Release of simply some things I had kept inside and am now letting go of. And joy of someone I care about reaching out to me.

I feel so exhausted emotionally. I've been growing so much, which is AWESOME. But it leaves me vulnerable because I'm so exhausted that I have less energy when new challenges arise, to not let the emotions come through. Today at work, I felt frustrated because I sometimes don't feel like I know my role or my place. I can live in confusion, but not for months on end. I don't think, anyways. But the point is, it got to me and it showed. People around me could tell something was wrong.

How do I find the balance of letting people in and keeping my life private? I think most people at work feel personal things should be just that, personal. But then if I don't let the people that I see every single day in to what is going on, how can they support me through it? Are they supposed to? Or be nature, should they absolutely not be a part of that?

No answers tonight. Just questions. And I'm totally ok with that.


Wow. What a beautiful week this has been (and it's only Thursday!) I say it has been beautiful because in the midst of chaos, something has been going on in my heart. Something big. A cleansing, a renewing, a trusting - big changes. And I'm learning to trust myself and not rely on others for affirmation.

In the midst of all the peace I'm already experiencing despite much change and uncertainty around me, God is giving me some great surprises today. Encouraging words, people reaching out, new friends to share life with...it's pretty cool.

Good surprises. I wonder what else is in store today. Should be an interesting night...

Monday, February 18, 2008

Tissues, Anyone?

OK, now before I even type down these words, I’m going to admit something. I admit that this story will strike you as a little crazy, or random. And I’m Ok with that. I just need you to bear with me as I unpack this for you.

So, something I’ve been realizing lately (it’s always been there and I’ve always known it, but it’s resurfaced in a new way) is that I don’t value myself appropriately. Somewhere deep down inside, I don’t believe I’m worthy of value. And I don’t thus treat myself how I would treat others.

I was moving back upstairs to my bedroom from the guest room I was sleeping in, and as I was doing so I noticed that upstairs in my bedroom I had a cute box of Kleenex. And it made me glad. Know why? In the past, when I am buying things for the house, I’ll buy the cute boxes of tissue for downstairs, for other people to use. But for me, I get the boring, plain Jane stuff. And while there is maybe nothing wrong with that, for me I think it’s a small step to how I can start to value myself better. And so it made me smile that just before Christmas, I had purchased for myself a cute box of tissue.

And then last night, I went to have a snack of Cheerios. What a treat! And so as I did so, I pulled out one of the older bowls I had, not so great for eating cereal because it’s wider, not deep. And right before I poured the Cheerios I thought “now, why would I use the lesser bowl on me, why not use the regular bowl?”

These are big steps for me, friends. I’m working on it. I know that changing these won’t change how I truly feel on the inside. But I believe they can help. And I believe I can encourage right thinking through actions.

So, if anyone needs some tissues, I’ve got some. :)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Back to the Operating Table...

So, in the past few days, I've had multiple people speak truth to me about various things, but all tie to my flaws and weaknesses. In some cases I feel humiliated, like am I really that needy? Is it really that obvious my self-confidence is that low? In other cases, there is no humiliation and I feel safe in letting people see that I'm exploring a lot of these issues and seeking clarity in them.

But either way, it hurts. And I feel like my heart is back on the operating table. Like God has to cut these bad arteries out, because they aren't flowing with life to the rest of my body. They're full of poison, and we want them gone. But it feels like there is no anesthethia, and that it will take a long surgery to get rid of them...

I had someone I trust immensely challenge me last week to make sure I wouldn't consider counseling as a profession because I want to find healing for myself through helping others. Wow. I mean, looking at that typed out doesn't sound that bad, but I was concerned that someone thought I needed healing so badly. I've been to counseling, I've forgiven my mom, I've worked hard on healing. Am I still so far off? Am I too far gone?

Still others have challenged me about the kind of guys I am drawn to romantically. They feel (and are right in this, which is the hard part to admit) that I like guys who treat me poorly. Who emotionally manipulate me. Who ask me to pour my heart and soul into them, but withhold their heart and soul from me. Why the heck is that? Do I still really doubt that I'm lovable? Is it just poor self-esteem? Why do I seem to need validation from external sources, why can't I just rely on God? Do I not trust him to provide for all my needs?

So many questions.

I worry that I'm too much. No matter how much counseling I go to or how many times I hear that I'm not, those words spoken to me so often while growing up remain the truth my head believes.

And to make it all so much better, my best friend moves to England next week. Part of me feels I can't take any more, part of me feels such strength and peace for even daring to enter this journey of self-discovery.

I'm working through it. I do apologize if I withdraw a bit during this time - it's not healthy for me to do so and I have to fight against that tendency hard core. I'm pushing myself to reach outward every time I want to shut down, so I'll keep trying.

Until next time, I'm going to keep on being vulnerable and open with those I can trust. I want to figure some of these things out, and I want to get past my fear of, well, everything to do with love. I'm going to keep reaching out even when I don't feel like it. And I'm going to pursue those things that give me life and peace. In fact, I think visiting my friend Anne for some snuggle time with her new baby might be something that is healing for me. :) So Anne, hopefully soon I'll be able to stop over and meet Randi!! :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I Give Up

Sometimes, I think the best thing I can do is give up. When things start going wrong, when I constantly reach out to people and get no response, when I can't keep up at work and at home, when I can't please everyone...I have a couple of options. Continue to seek opportunities to reach out, keep emptying myself for no return. I can work extra hours and then also stay up later at home to get things done. I work overtime to please more and more people. Or I can go the other way - I can shut down, become bitter about these situations, and/or become sad and withdrawn.

Or, I can give up. And what means for me, is accepting my faults and my limits. I can't keep my house perfectly clean and picked up when I'm working full-time and leading Lifeline etc. But is that really the point of life? To keep everything picked up and in its place? Or is it to live life to its fullest, full of love, grace, acceptance, peace, and even a bit of a mess at home every once in a while? With the friendships I thought were there, that now the true colors are showing through, I can give up. I can give over my desire for community to God, knowing he represents true community through the 3 in 1. As for pleasing people, I can give that need up, too. I have only one person I need to please. And I can only do that by is living out my fullest potential with the gifts I've been given. They may be humble, but I can still use them.

So, I'm giving up. And giving these things over to someone much more capable of handling them than I am. And so far, it's feeling pretty good.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Too Short

Life is much too short. This week I saw two bad car accidents which so far have claimed no lives, though two passengers are in critical condition. I pray they hang on and keep their lives.

But either way, those lives are changed forever. Some people will be scared to drive in the bad weather, others will have visible scars, still others will have internal scars. Trust might be broken. Fear might take hold. Lives changed in the blink of an eye.

I’m not gonna lie, I’m still feeling the effects and I wasn’t even in the accident. I wasn’t scared until I drove to work today, one day later. It was icy out, my car was sliding, cars around me were zooming by and while I trusted myself and my driving, I was scared of them. Scared of my life being taken away.

When I was in high school, I went through some depression. A couple of times I begged God to take me home, to end things here and take me to him, to the place where there is no more pain or sadness or tears. But seeing those accidents, I realized how fast life can end and how much I don’t want to go until it’s my time. I don’t want God to take me home yet. I’m not ready to go.

What do you want to do on this earth before you leave? Help someone heal? Lead an organization to greatness? Conquer your own fears? Learn to take risks? Learn to love those who have wronged you? Help someone find their own way? Start a family?

Life is short. Don’t put these things off – do them. Do them greatly.

“We are the people we’ve been waiting for.”

Thursday, February 07, 2008

growing, growing, grown

Self-awareness. Something I seek every day - I tend to have a mind that races one hundred million miles per hour. And I'm constantly evaluating situations and relationships and simply looking for areas to grow in. A few months ago while I was praying I told God that I felt life was getting too comfortable, and I asked him to shake things up. To really put me in situations where I would grow. Boy, I had no idea what was coming!

I'm grateful. Really, I am. There have been moments I've wondered if I can really do this, if I can really live pushing myself to overcome past fears and resentments, and find myself on the other side. You know how snakes shed their skin? I feel like that sometimes - like I'm shedding these layers and who I'm coming out as on the other side is so much freer and confident. But it's the shedding of the layers that is so hard. They don't want to go; they want to stay. They're itchy and they scratch, but they're comfortable and what I've always known.

I'm going to keep moving forward. To me, forward motion is a big part of my faith and I can't stop here. I can never stop. I only hope that doesn't mean my biggest fear will come true...