Thursday, March 20, 2014

Comm(unity).

In the past few months I have found myself drifting back to this particular topic- Community. I have contemplated our intrinsic desire for it, and, at times, our desperate need for it. It is simply fascinating to me the way we were designed to need one another. Now, I realize there are always exceptions.. Monks living solitary lives in the deep woods or mountain men living deep in the, well, mountains.. but don't they normally sort of lose it? In general, I believe that we were made to rely on one another whether we like it or not. 

We not only rely on one another for procreation, but for deep, meaningful relationship. Just the other day, after a rough start to my day, I talked to one of my good friends Elena from Dallas, it completely changed my day around. After chatting about relatively meaningless subject matter, we began to share with one another some of our real struggles and difficulties. I left the conversation feeling heard, understood, and not so alone. It's the best feeling ever, right? 

I have these conversations on the regular with my close friends and family. I always seem to discover that we really aren't that different after all. Whether they are struggling with a relationship with (fill in the blank), how to raise their kids, a past experience, or whatever the struggle is, in some way we are always able to empathize and connect with one another. This is why I think our Creator is so incredibly brilliant. He instilled in us the power to encourage, touch, and love one another in tremendous ways (and with it the power to destroy). It is no wonder why Jesus spoke so much of loving your neighbor.. Galatians 5: 14 says, "The entire law is summed up in a single command: Love your neighbor as yourself." Galatians 6:2, "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." 

We are called to share in joys and sorrows and extend love, hope, and occasionally, a swift kick in the ass to one another. It's a beautiful thing.

We simply thrive more vibrantly when we thrive together.

These are some of the beautiful women that have made all the difference to me.. 





Allie and Lauren. It's their fault I'm weird.



Elena, Dallas.



Merily, Dallas.


Stasia, Manhattan. Also, contributed to my weirdness.


Sister. Poor thing is stuck with me.


Skye and Carolyn, Austin.


Mumsie. Also stuck with me.


Megan, I don't have a picture of you but don't think for a minute you're not in on this mushy blog post. Love you all!!!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

gratitude.

Every day is filled with distraction. Some days, we may not even know what we are being distracted from. A sense of urgency may be pressing us, for really no reason at all. Most of the time, we are weighted by our own idea of what our life should look like, or what we want it to look like in the future...

I think this is a struggle for most people, and I have really only discovered one way to fight it.

Gratitude.

With one simple change of perspective, life becomes beautiful, just as it is. Unfortunately, most of the time we realize the things we have to be grateful for after their place in our lives has been threatened. The other day, I realized I was trapped in the cycle of worry. Once one left, another would follow. I realized that no matter how well life may be going, there will almost always be something to stew about.
What am I going to do with my life?
What will my life look like in 5 years?
Will I get married again?
Will I ever have babies?!

Whew, it's exhausting. But when I think about it, I have SO much. I have my health; that's huge. I have my family. I don't know what I would do without them. With those two things intact, everything else just becomes a bonus.

That is how I want to view my life- a bonus. 

It's like good old John said, "Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world."
-John Milton

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Kansas Sky

This is the display that greeted me the other day on my way to work. It was just another moment of beauty that transcended my typical daily routine.

It reminded me of what Sheldon Vanauken says in his book, A Severe Mercy, "To be in love, as to see beauty, is a kind of adoring that turns the lover away from self."

Kansas, you've still got it.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Quiet Calm.


Stillness,
Is often forgotten.
In a culture, a world that never stops,
We many times cease to pause. 
Yet we are met with moments that beckon us.
Like the quiet calm of morning 
After a night-long snow.
The world finally takes a deep breath,
And all angst softly falls away.
I can do nothing more than to stand in awe,
Of the glory that is our present day.





Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Growing Pains

Today, I felt about an inch tall.

Does it ever happen to you?


You know, the days it seems like nothing is going the way you planned, all of your insecurities and negative thoughts peek their little head into your mind, no one seems to want to answer your calls and you just figure that everyone must have simply forgotten that you existed... 




Yes, this was me today.


I have to admit, because of my past experience and my current situation, I often times feel a tinge of sadness, but that paired with being alone for too long, and a laundry list of not-going-rights, I feel down right crappy. 


I started making a sort of mental list of what I was upset about, things that gave me a right to feel the way I did. After a while I decided that this was more than I could handle, so I decided to think of a way to "release" some of the "pressure." So, while driving into town I let out a good, frustrated scream. Yep, I sure did. And guess what? It didn't really help. It just gave me a sore throat.


I blubbered and whined for a little bit while tears rolled down my cheeks, thinking of how wrong my life has gone in the past 3 years and all the crud I have to deal with because of it.. And then, I couldn't take it anymore.


I had to "woman up." 


It's like all of the sudden I got tired of myself. Tired of spending all of my energy on my full-blown pity party. Now, don't get me wrong. Everyday is a struggle. Everyday I feel the grief of my divorce, and worse, my marriage. My failures creep into my mind on the daily. I have feelings that I pray for God to relieve me of.


BUT


I realized that there's no use in bathing in the toxic spring of self-pity.
So much time and energy is wasted... and it leaves me no better off, simply bitter, and sore..

I want to feel like a strong woman again. I know that God can use all of these things for good if I allow Him to. Much rests on my ability to let go and accept my past, so that He can mold my future. At times like these I try to remind myself that God says:


"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

-John 10:10

I thought I would share this with you all so that hopefully you can be encouraged in the fact that you aren't the only looney out there who screams in their car (maybe that's just me?), or throws massive pity paloozas for themselves. I think it's in our nature, but it's so important to realize that God has so much better for us.



And gosh he's cute isn't he?

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Heart to Heart.

I know when I created this blog I said I was going to be real and raw about the journey of going through divorce (maybe in more eloquent wording), and well, frankly I haven't been writing a whole lot on the subject. Honestly, a lot of it stems from insecurity. I have had plenty of ideas about what I could write to potentially encourage and resonate with another suffering person, but then I wonder, "What if I give a bad piece of advice?" or "What if I really don't know at all what I'm talking about?" Well, though those things could always be possible, it probably should not prevent me from sharing. 
So, here goes...

Although the journey is different for everyone, we all face similar feelings and fears. We probably all lose more than just our spouse; we lose friends, community, and our familiar way of life. That in itself is hard for anyone to venture through. And although there are wonderful books and counselors out there to help us navigate the ways to best travel the valleys of grief and loss, the journey is always ultimately within ourselves. 

Divorce is complicated, and no matter how clean the cut may seem, I believe it is always messy. For example, one question that I frequently ask myself is, "What do I do with my memories?" Let's say I'm only referring to good ones right now. Do I allow myself to treasure certain ones? What if some day I meet someone else and something reminds me of my first husband and I begin to feel guilty? Do I shut them (the memories) out? 

One thing I have learned is that shutting out is usually not the greatest plan. For one, just because I try to tell myself to forget about something, it does not mean I will forget about it. In fact, I think it will linger even longer that way. Not dealing with things is still dealing with them, just very poorly. Even if I think I have a memory "whipped" in my conscience thought life, I will probably see it in my dreams. My mind is determined to deal with things even if I'm not.

Don't you just love dreams?! For me, everything comes back so intensely, like I'm experiencing it all over again. Sometimes, I can even remember certain smells. Weird. 
In most of my dreams pertaining to my ex-husband (I hate saying those words by the way), the biggest feeling I have is rejection. It's really good for a woman's heart let me tell you!!

But I'm getting stronger. A lot stronger. And another thing I realize is pity parties are like shooting yourself in an already sore foot- they don't do much for you. :)

I think that's enough for tonight, so let me send you with some encouragement. Whatever you are facing, it can get better if you allow it to. Give it time. I always secretly hated when people said that to me because divorce, like any loss, feels so permanent, so life-changing, but it's true. God can work in literally any situation, you just have to be willing to surrender to His guidance. 

Another thing, go easy on yourself. Not in the throw yourself a major pity-fest sort of way, but don't expect too much of yourself, even if you feel pressure to "move on." Unfortunately and fortunately we were made with big, sensitive hearts. Capable of experiencing sheer joy, and painstaking sorrow. Lastly, don't give up on yourself, and don't forget about others. Your focus on others will be therapeutic during this time, and treasuring your inner self, imperative. 

Goodnight for now!



Monday, September 16, 2013

Plaza 10K

Guess whaaat??? 


I did it! I ran an entire 10K for the very first time!!!! 


It was an absolutely glorious morning.


And, I'm still alive and kickin'!


I had two goals on mind. One- finish without walking.. check. And two- to run it in less than an hour (not super lofty for all you running buffs)-double check!

My average pace was 9:22 min/ mile. I have to say it was not easy. The first few miles were fun and then the real challenge began.. Although I wish I could have been faster I am proud just for the fact that I finally forced myself to train for something and then accomplish it. It feels good. A few years ago I started to "train" for a 10K and frivolously gave up the idea  after I realized it would take more discipline then what I was ready for. I'm glad that I've come full circle. I feel that discipline is necessary for everyone, especially when times get tough. It gives you confidence in what you do as well as the ability to enjoy it for what it is. Even if you can't control how you feel about certain parts of your life at times, discipline allows you to take pride in something that you can.