Monday, January 28, 2013

fake it to make it.

There are two situations that I get a lot of ideas during--running and showering.  Unfortunately, it's difficult to write anything down during these two times. I'm working on ideas to solve this.  In the mean time, here is something that came to me this morning while on a run ...

***

source


I used to tell myself this phrase all the time.

"Fake it to make it."

It was a phrase that got me through a lot of uncomfortable and self conscious situations.  During the year and a half leading up to opening our coffee house, I repeated this phrase over and over to myself.  I was meeting with city officials, business owners, and tons of volunteers that wanted to help out with the renovating and planning.  I was fresh out of college and felt like such a little girl.

I remember repeating this phrase throughout the beginning weeks (months?! ... It's all a blur!) of having our first little babe.  Me?  A mom?

In the past, I remember feeling inadequate while meeting up with different women or talking with random people out in the community.  I wanted to appear polished, put together, and poised.  Ask anyone that knows me, and these 3 words definitely do not describe me.  I am as messy, chaotic, and random as they come.  

I think that uttering "fake it to make it" can definitely help boost our confidence when we're in a situation that requires us to truly believe in ourselves and our capabilities. But, you know what, I also think it sucks us dry of the ability to be vulnerable with others.

Vulnerability. It's real. It's hard. It hurts.

But it's where honesty collides with humility. It's where we extend ourselves and let other people in.  When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, we take our masks off and the handful of security walls we've built tumble down.  

When our masks come off and our walls fall down, we make ourselves available.  Available to extend and receive love.  We free ourselves to grow and connect.  Form community with others.

We free ourselves to experience the beauty of our lives.  Beauty that comes in all different forms.

I honestly still struggle with what a good balance is of all of this.  But, I know one this is true.  I want to look back on life and know that I took risks while still being my crazy self instead of pretending to be someone else. I want to experience life and all the beauty (and hurts) it has for me instead of living behind a safe phrase or various security walls that keep me safe. 

So, maybe I'll have to utter "fake it to make it" a few more times to get me that boost of confidence I need while trying to cross a goal off my life life, but I also want to remember the importance and freedom of truly being ME.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Lately...

I don't know about you, but it is so incredibly cold here.  Pair that with it being the middle of January and it's easy to get the winter blahs.  Here's a little update with what we're doing to have a little fun and stay cozy lately.  


Enjoying baths while dreaming of the ocean and warmer climates. 


Planning our little kitchen garden and hoping to have as good as a harvest as years past. 


Getting inspired with so many different art projects. 


Warming up with strong lattes and the occasional crumbly scone.

---

Feel free to try one or all of the above to add a little coziness or warmth to your day.  I guarantee you'll be in a happier mood than when you started!

  


Monday, January 21, 2013

a little inspiration

“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.” 
Mother Teresa

I read this quote a few days ago and I just can't forget it.  "Be the living expression of God's kindness...".  
I just love the emotion + inspiration that phrase evokes in me.  It doesn't get any better than that, does it?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

grace for the good girl :: #TheSamePage final week



This post is continuation about the book, Grace for the Good Girl by Emily P. Freeman.  #TheSame Page started reading this book a few months ago.  I finished Grace for the Good girl just last week.  ((I cannot recommend this book enough.  Such a truth-filled, amazing read, especially if you've struggled with living a life full of high expectations + perfectionism.)) 
---



It's been difficult to write out some of my thoughts that are lingering.  I knew that I wanted to wrap up my thoughts about the book, but I also wanted to sit with them for a little while and just be quiet.  I wanted to allow everything to soak in.

Before this book, I was constantly exhausted and left wondering what I was missing in my life and in myself.  Why I couldn't just be better, accomplish more, and be more disciplined?  I thought I was missing something that everyone else had.

Before this book, I met any concern or struggle with a fix and a lot of worry.  Almost like a quick bandaid that wouldn't stay put for too long.

Before this book, my relationship with God was extremely surface level.  I had a deep thirst and longing for Him, but I felt like I just couldn't meet un-said expectations.  As much as I wanted to connect with God, I often prayed, read, and journaled with my focus turned inward instead of outward.  It was often done out of obligation.

Before this book, I was a different person on the outside than on the inside. I had a closet full of masks.  I rarely let people in and I would allow other people + situations to determine what mask I wore when.

This book ministered my soul so deeply.  It took biblical truth and explained things in a way that allowed me to see + understand God's heart and intentions.

This book allowed me to change my tight, clenched fists into open hands.

----
Interested in participating in the next #TheSamePage book?  Check out both Rachael and Blair's blogs for information!

Monday, January 14, 2013

His inheritance


Baby boy, when I hold you, the world stops spinning.  My mind slows down.  Everything feels right.  Tears sting my eyes, my shoulders relax, and my heart feels so full and heavy of love.  My arms melt and my chest aches.  I pray that you are able to see a real and true love through my eyes, my actions, my words.  It isn't a mystery that this world is hard and we're both going to make plenty of mistakes along this adventure together.  It isn't going to be easy, but I pray that I'm able to guide you more out of love + grace instead of fear + pride.  You are His inheritance and such a blessing to me.

Monday, January 7, 2013

the pendulum between grace and determination



A few days ago I posted about my thoughts about New Years resolutions.  I expressed how I was hesitant to make any resolutions because I didn't want to take my focus off of God, his strength + his plan and put it on myself and my own grand plan for my life.

A little back story -- If you've been reading my thoughts and notes here for a little while, you probably can gather that I struggle with being a Type-A planner and perfectionist.  2012 was a huge year for me.  A lot of amazingly, beautiful + God orchestrated things happened in my life that led me to a place where I was faced with the decision to either deal with my perspective on life or to be perpetually unhappy and exhausted with myself and my expectations.  Of course, this is something that I will always carry along with me because I'm human, but there was definitely a healing process and a perspective shift that I had to go through.  I realized I needed to actually accept God's grace instead of just understand it.  I also needed to offer myself grace.  {{side bar: Influence (the women I met, the speakers, the Word that was shared, the community, etc.) was a catalyst for all of my thoughts about this. I can't say enough about the community. Simply amazing.}}

Ok, back to the point.  I couldn't get the thoughts about 2013 that I wrote about out of my head after I hit publish.  I thought about them in bed at night, when I woke up in the morning, in the shower.  Finally, I realized I needed to really sit down and pray about it.  I put the babe to bed last night and sat cross legged on the floor with my journal and bible ready to just be.  I felt like I was in the tension of wanting to be gentle on myself, but also feeling inspired and wanting to move forward with life.

I realized by trying to protect myself from expectations and perfectionism, I essentially was paralyzing myself from committing to anything.  I was living in a state of not really owning anything.  I definitely think there are times in our lives where we need to turn our brains off and accept rest and space from God in order to heal and restore ourselves.  I think I needed that for a few months.  But, now I want to actively love and live my life fully and freely as God intends and moves through me.

I now realize that commitment is needed.  I can't live on the fence while trying to protect myself from failure, mistakes, hurt.  God intended me to accept rest for awhile, but now I'm just paralyzed by fear.  My fear of failure.  Fear of unknown.

I realized I was so paralyzed and protected that I wasn't allowing God in to show me his purpose for me.  I was seeing His beauty, but I wasn't experiencing it.  

This is such a sensitive tension in life... the pendulum between offering yourself grace, but also being determined and setting goals.  I know one thing for sure, I want to life, breathe, feel, + fully experience God's beauty and plan.  I want Him to move me with what ever he intends.  And, He can't do that if I'm  paralyzed.

Friday, January 4, 2013

It's 2013!

source


2013.

When did time suddenly start to go so fast? It seems like the older I get, the faster time ticks by. It makes my mind spin if I stop to think about it. I swear just yesterday I was the nerdy girl playing the spoons in our 4th grade music production (I thought I was so cool) and now I'm all married up with a baby boy and a shaggy pup while living in a little bungalow.

I found myself thinking about the new year throughout the past few days. I love the feeling of a fresh start; a blank slate so to speak. It's fun for me to think back over the past few New Years. The parties, people, resolutions, and hopes while ringing in the new year. I've made so many different goals over the past couple of years. Goals that made me feel like maybe, just maybe, if I tried a little harder and reached a little further, I could attain more.  Be more.  "This year is my year," I would think to myself.

Needless to say, these goals never really stuck (surprise!). I maybe made it a week or two, but then something would cause me to get distracted. After a while I stopped even making goals because of past failures. I knew that I couldn't keep up with what I wanted to attain, so I didn't even try. I thought I kept myself safe that way.

Now today, as I sit curled up listening to my little boy sleep, all I can think about is how thankful I am that I have a relationship with God where I don't have to keep trying to prove myself to others or to myself. I don't have to prove anything or do anything on my own. I don't have to come up with complex fixes and plans to becoming a stronger, prettier, smarter, more accomplished person. I now realize (and often have to remind myself) that I will continue to fall short when I depend upon my own strength and resources. I always feel like I'm missing out and not good enough when my thought pattern and perspective is only focused on myself and my own strength. The cool thing? When I strive to aline ourselves with God and his perspective + mind-set, he's right there.  Helping me.  Providing strength.  Picking me back up again and again.  Re-directing me again and again...

and again.

Because my strength alone is definitely not enough.

All of this to say, I'm still not sure what resolutions I have for 2013. To be honest, I'm hesitant to make any. I know that I want to grow stronger as a woman, a wife, a mom, a friend. But I also know that I want to trust that God has the best scenario and story for me to live. I want him to be the author of that... not me.