Monday, September 26, 2011

Life is seldom what you plan...

I am finding that despite how much I attempt to plan, prepare, or anticipate life, things never quite go how I plan. Which is kind of great, although frustrating in the moments in which we realize we're not in control. But, those are beautiful moments too. I'm realizing, maybe for the first time, that I don't want control of my life. Truly. I'm exhausted of managing, manipulating, & controlling. I'm done. Or rather, Lord, I ask you to cause me to be done. I can't rid myself of control for sheer desire's sake; I need the power of your Spirit.

It's a miraculous and merciful thing, I find, when life doesn't go our way. Because, if it did I think we would all be in a whole heap of trouble; at least, I know I would. "In his heart a man plans his way, but the Lord directs His steps." Disconcerting/comforting truth, depending on your paradigm. I find it comforting. Although, it took me some time to get here...

Surrender is a beautiful and terrifying thing. It means you let go, of everything: hopes, dreams, desires, fears, pains, longings, anxieties, everything. It can mean you lose everything, or it can mean you gain everything. Or both. But, the reality is we must release our tight fisted grip on our lives if we every hope to embrace life abundant. I don't know about you, but I want abundant life. "For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." The road of faith is not an easy one, but it's the one I want to choose...

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sitting in the stillness

It's amazing to realize how much and how often I've run away from solitude and aloneness. I think in my deepest self, I'm absolutely terrified of loneliness. I know I've said this already, but I want to reiterate just how much I think I truly fear being by myself. And I'm not quite sure where this fear is rooted, but it's there. When I think about it I've spent most of my life surrounded by people, by choice, but perhaps also by necessity, whether knowingly or unknowingly. I'm just now realizing how infrequently I've been truly alone; it's kind of amazing in fact...

This past week was the most time I've spent alone, maybe ever. And this coming week appears to hold the same forecast, but perhaps more severe. My parents left today for Phoenix, which leaves me, literally, to my own devices. I was really dreading it earlier today, dreading it. But, since leaving work I have felt nothing but peace, for many reasons. It's amazing, I think, when I just accept something it never quite seems as horrible as I imagine. The anticipation always seems worse than the thing itself. Like loneliness and solitude. I think I may find that I actually enjoy them. We'll see how I'm feeling tomorrow...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Remembering my making...

Even though I am learning to sit in the stillness, I like to have it broken every now and then. I know it's good for me to learn to be still and sit and revel in the quiet and the solitude, but I have to remember how I'm made. I'm a lover of people. But, I know as I wrote yesterday that I also become "people tired." Balance is necessary for me, I am learning...

I had a coffee date with a friend today, a normally regular occurrence for me, but this week-the first of it's kind. It was difficult leading up to it in my head, having become somewhat settled in the solitary nature of my week, but once in it I remembered myself. I love people. They energize me, encourage me, & inspire me. People are my heartbeat, but sometimes, I am finding, my heart beats a little too fast and I can't keep up, and I become exhausted...

I want to learn to live well within my limits, because we all have limits. I love how my Father has made me, but as with any crafting or gifting it can become distorted and misused...

Father, teach me I pray to live wisely and well within the confines of my design. May I not abandon altogether how you've created me and how I believe you mean to use me, but teach me also to abide and learn what it means to "be still and know that you are God." I greatly desire to know & experience the abundant life you came to bring. I want to live full. And I want to live free...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The stillness

Life feels very quiet at the moment, very solitary, very still. It's an unusual season for me. In fact, I'm not sure if I've had one quite like it, ever. I think it's good for me. Although, I don't know if I would have picked it by choice...

Most people who know me well know I'm a socialite. I'm always with people, doing things, being busy. I can't remember the last time I haven't been busy, till now. Hence, the unusualness about this time and this season for me. Prior to this season I would be out doing something every night of the week, maybe bar one. I think I made a point of it too, whether consciously or unconsciously. It was like being with people had come to characterize me; it was who I am. Or it was who I was? Still discerning. Perhaps this season will help tell.

It has been quite interesting to watch myself walk through these recent days of not going anywhere after work, not meeting up with anyone to have a coffee or dinner date; I've barely even talked on the phone with my closet friends. And the oddest part of it all--I kind of like it.

I believe the Lord is using this unique time to teach me about a deep fear I didn't know I possessed: loneliness. He revealed this to me very recently, and it was quite an intense revelation. I don't think I grasped how much of my constant of going, and people, and business was directly related to this deeply rooted fear. It's not a fear of being alone, it's fear of loneliness; they're different. I'm still learning about how this fear manifests itself in my life, but I deeply desire to understand...

I must acknowledge here how I understand and embrace fully that I am wired just as I am for a beautiful and specific purpose-"I am fearfully and wonderfully made"-and that is to love and be with people. But, I also fully acknowledge the natural evils that can accompany any natural gifting when abused or misused, especially when allowed to spring from fear or lies. And the reality is, I didn't even realize the depth to which I was abusing this gifting in myself. It has taken this time to understand how much of myself, my energy, and my identity I was placing in my busy, social, people-oriented nature. I still don't think I fully know the extent, but I'm beginning to see, and desire a change.

I love people, this will never change, but I think I must re-examine my relationships, and my reasons for relationships, and in general indulge at least a brief hiatus from my constant pursuit of people. Because often and truly, it's a self-inflicted wound. I pursue, I set up dates, I call, I initiate. Because I love people. But, then I become "people tired," and it's too late to un-do the pattern, or so it seems. Maybe this is mercy, on the part of God in my life, to allow me to relearn my pattern, to learn to say no, to be still, to be alone-and learn to not fear it so. As much as I'm uncomfortable in this space, I know it's mercy. Now, the question remains, will I choose to embrace it fully, or no?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Being...or trying to.

It's amazing how much I struggle to simply do nothing. Even my best "nothing" times, I still measure on some level of productivity; that's so sad. I mean, I think many people struggle with this notion of "nothing" or of "being;" I know I'm not terribly unique in this regard, but that doesn't change that it's still my struggle. I'm not completely sure how to break this mind-set or engrained way of...doing. It feels terribly inherent and virtually inescapable. But, I cannot believe this. I can do it, but it will take effort, and time. For me, I am finding, it has to be incredibly intentional to do nothing, as strange as that sounds. I have to force myself to slip out of my usual "product" oriented mindset and remind my brain that it's ok to not do for the sake of doing, but rather be for the sake of being. I hope this will eventually become more instinctual and less intentional, but I have to start somewhere if I wish to change. And I do.

I think this new season of my life is a gift in which I am to learn this skill, if you want to call it a skill. But, I have a choice, I am realizing. Like today, for example. It was an empty Saturday, for all intents and purposes and I could have done anything. I almost went to the farmer's market, but ended up staying in bed and then getting up and doing yoga. Then, I had an invitation to have lunch out with friends, I decided to stay in and make crepes and read my Bible instead. I almost went and saw another friend in the afternoon, but chose to clean the kitchen and do laundry instead. And besides some feelingly obligatory cleaning, the day has been fairly blissful and free of the normally, ever-present constraint of feeling the need to be productive. But, it's had to be intentional, all day. There were numerous times when I felt the creeping pressure to go "do," but I had to resist it. It's a choice.

I think it's less the simply "being" and not "doing," but more being ok with not "doing" and just "being." It's being comfortable and content in that space. This will take time for me I know, but I truly want to learn to live in that space rather than the space I'm used to living; it feels so much freer. And I want to be free, in many more senses than just this. But, it can start here...

Friday, September 9, 2011

One task after another task after another...

Sometimes my life feels like a series of tasks.

Start, finish.

Start, finish.



Complete. Start,

finish. And start again.

I feel like I somehow turn nearly everything in my life into some kind of task or a thing to be completed or accomplished.

Like eating for example.

Even preparing and consuming a meal can become for me an exercise almost, in completion. Cutting the celery, putting the hummus in a container, washing the grapes, packing it all into a lunch bag, then methodically consuming each portion, to completion.

I think it's some kind of sick OCD.

I'm not sure, but it does frustrate, even though it's almost entirely self-inflicted. I get into these mindsets of feeling "accomplished" "in order" & "on top of it," which are all positive sentiments. But, the negative inverse is that I can become so entangled by this notion and feeling of "completion" that I all too often lose the process.

I lose the process in the completion.

This doesn't always happen; I go through phases and stages, but when I do get into these modes of feeling "accomplished" and sensing "completion" which half of me revels in (the OCD part) & the other part of me loathes (the hopefully sane part).

I'm not sure if I'm doomed to function this way, or if I have hope of transformation. I suppose I know If follow Christ as I claim than I must believe and claim transformation. For the good Book says:

"And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."

Thursday, September 1, 2011


It's strange, not really having much of an agenda at the moment. I have time. I don't think I remember the last time I had time. And I'm not quite sure what to do with it if I'm honest, not quite sure what to do with myself. I don't remember what it's like to not strive after a thing, it causes me to wonder if I should be striving after something I just don't know about. It's like I'm waiting for someone to sneak up behind and say, "Hah! Sucker!"

I feel almost guilty for having the luxury to even ponder these things. Shouldn't I be stressed over some deadline or exhausted from having no time to rest? Instead, I have time: time to take naps, time to write, time to pluck my eyebrows, time to dust my furniture (who has time for that?), time to read, time to think, time to think about thinking. Crazy. But, I feel rather awkward in this space if I'm honest, this space of learning what it means to just "be." I've needed desperately to learn this for some time, maybe this is the time...

I need to learn to slow down, to stop, to not always feel the pressure to "go go go" all the time. I've never learned this, only talked about learning it. And who knows, my agenda-less status could change next week, knowing me, but for now I'm going to do my best to simply revel, revel in "being." And I'm also going to do my best not to feel guilty about it either.

Gosh darn it.