Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Confession Wednesday



Welcome to Confession Wednesday! I believe that sometimes admitting our behaviors is the first step in correcting them…or laughing at them…either way…here’s what I am confessing to this week:

I started a 10-day liver cleanse... WHAT WAS I THINKING?!!! I don’t even know where my liver is located. But, apparently it needs to be cleaned.

For 10 LONG days  I can only eat certain foods… nothing delicious. I can eat beans, pears, apples, white rice, green vegetables, fish, and kale chips…a few other things too, but I think this is enough detail for you to get the point. I also have to drink this awful powder shake stuff that has a gritty texture. And, take a bunch of vitamins that make my pee a greenish-yellowish with a slight glow… kind of the color of a glow stick.

I’d love me a liver cleanse if all I was allowed to eat were cookies and licorice… or drink as much vodka as my liver desired. Funny that none of those things were on the “approved” foods list.

I must confess that I am not giving up my coffee, as the cleanse suggests. I'm worried the withdrawals will be worse for my system than if I just keep drinking. Don’t judge!

So, here’s my confession for this Wednesday…

I am suffering through a liver cleanse, but, after 10 days, I am going to have the cleanest and most beautiful liver west of the Mississippi! 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Un-Cool




I’ve been digging deep with shame in my life. I’ve defined shame. I’ve identified my shame triggers. I have friends who are my front-line… people I can talk to when my shame triggers have been pulled. I continue to reduce the projection of shame onto other people. I even attempt to deescalate others who are experiencing a shameful moment.

So much of all of this shame talk begins and ends with having “You Too?!” experiences with others. Those moments when you think you are the only one who has EVER had such an experience… then you learn that someone else has had that same experience too. And, none of that could be possible without one of those people being vulnerable first. One person has to leap into vulnerability and be willing to put themselves out there and hopefully… maybe… the other person will catch them and say, “You too, I thought I was the only one!”

Or sometimes the other person doesn’t catch them. Sometimes the other person allows them to fall. That other person is too worried about playing it cool and being safe.  That other person cannot take the leap of vulnerability required for a “You Too?!” moment to occur.

One thing that I’ve learned about the aspect of playing it cool is that you really avoid a special human connection when you choose to play it cool.  I can think of a thousand times in my life when I have played it cool or played it safe in order to avoid a vulnerability moment. I remember those moments with some shame… with some regret. At the time, those moments were too raw for me to share. At the time, I hadn’t owned my own story… I didn’t feel enough… I didn’t feel worthy to be free and un-cool.

To be un-cool means that you put your silliness, your beautiful mess, your bad-ass dance moves, your mistakes, your flaws, and your vulnerability out there for the world to see. To be un-cool means you are not trying to project perfection… you are real!

When I think of playing it cool, I think of Fonzie! The Fonz! If you don’t know who he is then let me give you a brief lesson. He was a hair slicked back, leather jacket wearing, chick-magnet, who always seemed to have everything under control, and always had the right thing to say. He never cried. He never apologized. He was cool!

If you know the character from Happy Days that I am referring to then you also know that he was alone. He was never in a relationship with a girl… just jumped around from one to the next. He always avoided human connections and emotional moments. He wasn’t vulnerable. He had a wall built up. He played his emotions safe. He played it cool.

You see… playing it cool separates us from others… it is a wedge between your soul and mine. Playing it un-cool and being vulnerable enough to say “You Too?!” kills shame and opens the way for human connection.

I have chosen to take leaps of vulnerability throughout life… you can choose to catch me or to let me fall… either way, I’m playing it un-cool! 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Confession Wednesday



Welcome to Confession Wednesday! I believe that sometimes admitting our behaviors is the first step in correcting them…or laughing at them…either way…here’s what I am confessing to this week:

I was telling my son how I needed to take a shower, but that I was going to hop onto Facebook first. He explained to me, “Your personal hygiene is more important than Facebook.”  

He is so wise.

I logged on anyways.

Then, like always, I got to thinking about that statement. What draws me to Facebook? Why would I sacrifice my personal hygiene to log on?

Well, for me it is an escape. I can go onto Facebook and see what the rest of the world is up to and leave this world behind…for just a moment. It is like a fantasy world where I only have to communicate with people I “like”. It is a community that I am involved in and I am intentional about nurturing my communities. It is a chance for me to connect with people without them having to smell my stench due to lack of personal hygiene.

So, here’s my confession for this Wednesday…

My personal hygiene sometimes comes second to my Facebook time. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Stillness Bank Account



I am a hoarder of peace… I squander it… I try to save it up. When I know a busy week is ahead of me, I attempt to get a peaceful weekend. I thought that was what God meant when he advised me to “be still”. So, I was trying… really trying… to steal moments of stillness. As if stillness and peace were a bank account, I’d make deposits and then I would try to withdrawal from that bank as my busy week progressed.

I was getting discouraged and upset when that strategy wasn’t working or when something would get in the way of my stillness and peace. Why must things interrupt my being still? My stillness bank account would run low real quickly… sometimes with my first withdrawal.

Then, I got it. Then, I realized that God doesn’t mean for me to hoard, squander, save-up, steal moments of stillness, or make deposits… He meant for me to find Him in those busy moments. Smack dab in the middle of that moment. To “be still” God meant that I must search for the stillness that I can only find in Him. I was saving up for tomorrow… when the only moment that mattered was now… God wanted me seek Him at this moment.

In the noise and business of everyday life… during the haste and demands of our responsibilities… at that moment when we are overwhelmed and burdened by stress… that is when we must “be still” in God’s promises. That is when we must “Be still and know that He is God”… He is in control… He will give us rest… He will carry our burdens.

I was waiting until the weekend to search for God’s stillness; forgetting that His stillness is always available to me. It is especially important for me to find that gift from God when I am in the moment of un-stillness…. allowing Him to save me from myself.

I will close my stillness bank account… I’ve made my last deposit. I will choose to seek God's stillness and peace in the midst of it all.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Confession Wednesday



Welcome to Confession Wednesday! I believe that sometimes admitting our behaviors is the first step in correcting them…or laughing at them…either way…here’s what I am confessing to this week:

It was 7:30am… we leave the house at 8:00am. My son had diarrhea. It wouldn’t stop. I couldn’t send him to school like that. What if he had an accident at school? What if he got other kids sick? But… could I get a substitute teacher in such short notice? I had to try.

I made phone calls, sent text messages, and went into my classroom with poopy-pants in tow to write lesson plans. I wrote those plans in 20 minutes… I’ve never written plans so fast in my life. A substitute came in with minutes to spare.

Then, poopy-pants and I walked off campus… we just got a free pass… we are on our way home to enjoy a day on the couch.

Poopy-pants watched tv and played video games all day. His diarrhea never came back.  I sat on the couch and Facebooked, blogged, read a magazine, sent some emails, took a little cat nap, read a book, and just relaxed.

What started out looking like a “crappy” day… turned out to be a blessing of rest in disguise.

So, here’s my confession for this Wednesday…

Diarrhea is just a disguise for a blessing in my world!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Vending Machine Selection



Ever been super hungry? You know… that feeling of desperation? You’d eat anything. You’d even lower your standards. You’d so much as consider eating your own arm off. Okay… maybe that’s just me.

I’ve been so hungry… that I’ve even been enticed by a vending machine. I figured it was just a quick solution to my hunger problems. So, I stopped at the vending machine to peer into the glass window…considering my options. My reflection in the glass stared back at me… judging. There were so many choices. I dug through my change to see if I had enough. And, before I pressed the number/letter combination for my selection, I triple checked that I got it right. I mean, the difference between “A1” and “AA” is chocolate chip cookies and pig skins… that’s a big difference! I made my choice with confidence.

Then, those darn chocolate chip cookies got stuck. The vending machine denied me my choice. As if my own reflection wasn’t placing enough judgment… the damn machine judged me too. It was trying to prevent me from satisfying my hunger.
All that considering, digging, and triple checking did me no good. I could shake the machine. I could kick the machine. I could scream at the machine, “Why me?!” I could complain to people, “That damn machine took my coins!”

At this point I was left with two choices… 1. Put more into making my original selection fall into my hands 2. Walk away and choose another option to cure my hunger

Then, I got to thinking. That’s my downfall… I think too much. Welcome to my world!

You know, life gives us these same dilemmas and choices.

We are super hungry for success in life. We are desperate for fulfillment. We’d take anything that promised us hope. We’d even lower our standards. So, we consider our options in life. We see if we have what it takes… if we are enough. We triple check our selections. Then, that selection gets stuck. We really thought that after following all of those previous steps that our selection would gracefully spiral forward and drop right into the palm of our hands… and satisfy our hunger… and fill us up – at least for now.

When our selection (or opportunity or life) doesn’t drop like it was supposed to we shake things up… we kick… we scream, “Why me?!”… we complain to people about our dilemma.

Just like with the vending machine, we are left with two choices… 1. Put more into making our original selection fall into our hands 2. Walk away and choose another option to cure your hunger

When life gives you these dilemmas and choices, do you shake things up, do you kick and scream, or do you complain about your situation? Me, personally… I’ve done all of those things. But I am looking for a better way to do things. I am just trying to be a better version of me.

I’ve found that when I focus on my hunger and starvation that I tend to go into an anxiety driven quick-fix, problem solving mode.

I’ve also found that when I choose to focus on my relationship with God to fill that hunger and starvation that I tend to be in a calm, balanced, and in glorifying mode.

I suppose my frustration and set-backs comes when my requests, prayers, and petitions to God aren’t spiraled forward and dropped gracefully into the palms of my hands. I treat Him as if he is a vending machine. I selected “A1” and I got “AA” instead… I didn’t want pig skins… I don’t even like pig skins… what am I going to do with these damn pig skins now?!

Again, here’s where I am trying to be a better version of me… which is constantly pointing me in the direction to have better understanding and relationship with God. He knows what selection is best… not I! His timing is perfect… not mine! His options are far better than I could have ever selected for myself. 

Sometimes I do get chocolate chip cookies dropped gracefully into my hands. Sometimes it is pig skins. Sometimes God gives me nothing at all so that my fulfillment of hunger and starvation can only be filled by peering into His eyes.

Whether it is chocolate chip cookies or pig skins or nothing at all… whatever spirals forward and drops gracefully into the palms of my hands... I am not going shake it, I am not going to kick it, I am not going to scream at it, and I am not going to complain about it. Nope!

Instead… I am going to choose to either re-invest or walk away, I am going to choose to trust that the selection that does drop is what’s best for now, and I am going to choose to focus on my relationship with God to fill that hunger and starvation.  I’ve made my choice with confidence!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

He said, “No.”




I was half way through my Masters in Education when life got in the way of completion. So, I stopped the journey… always thinking that I’d pick it back up again.

In reflecting on the current state of the education system, I decided that I would go back to school to finish my Masters. I decided that I needed that for my next chapter in life… whatever that might be… whenever that might begin. I decided.

I went through the process of trying to get started again. I was ready. I was excited even. Come to find out… my credits have “expired”. Who knew? They are not worth anything. If I continued my Masters, I’d have to start all over again.

Then… He said, “No.” At first, I was not sure that’s what I heard. At first, I thought I could press forward to continue my education. But he clearly said, “No.” That is not the path He has planned for me. God closed that chapter.

I’m not sure what God’s plans are for my next chapter. I am excited though. I just wish God would give me a glimpse… just a peek… at what my next chapter will entail. I know His timing is perfect… but I am impatiently waiting.  I know He is preparing my heart and my path as I wait.

It is like I am a little child waiting for Christmas morning. I know there are some wonderful gifts wrapped up… some beautiful surprises to be unwrapped… something great waiting for me in His tomorrows.

When He said, “No.”, I decided to get excited for what His wonderful “Yes.” is going to be. I decided that His “Yes.” is going to be far greater than anything thing I could have imagined. I decided.

He said, “No.”…  and I am okay with that! 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Confession Wednesday



Welcome to Confession Wednesday! I believe that sometimes admitting our behaviors is the first step in correcting them…or laughing at them…either way…here’s what I am confessing to this week:

The thrill of setting out to find something specific or the excitement of not knowing what I am going to find… I enjoy a good treasure hunt. Therefore, I LOVE going to the Goodwill.

I buy clothes, books, and home d├ęcor. By looking at my wardrobe or my home, you wouldn’t know that I shopped at the Goodwill. But I do and I love it!

I draw the line at “undergarments” though. No amount of laundry soap could change my mind about that! Some things you just have to purchase new.

I get lost in the moment wandering through the store. Sometimes I am amazed at the things that people get rid of… it is true that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  Sometimes I am amazed at the things that people actually once owned… it is true that it takes all types to make the world go round. As I wander and discover my treasures, I get lost in my thoughts... it takes me to a new world... yep, I'm a junkie!   

So, here’s my confession for this Wednesday…

I am a Goodwill junkie.