Tuesday, July 26, 2016

I am a Being- Part One

I am terrified of dying alone.  Of the thousands of things in life that scare me, I believe that I fear this outcome the most.

Hoping to avoid this, I have come up with numerous solutions to change what I sometimes see as an inevitable outcome.

I have taught myself the 'correct' way to interact with people.  This practiced equation means that I care for others, loving on them and making sure that they are doing okay.  I remind them to be themselves.  To take risks.  Pursue their dreams.  I try to be the most supportive friend that I could possibly be.  I love seeing the people that I adore grow into their personalities and follow where God is leading them.  I frequently talk about 'momming' people, and this is just one of the ways that I mom others.  I enjoy celebrating the accomplishments of others, and watching the many ways that they impact the world around them.  I love the behind the scenes aspect of 'being a mom'.  I beam radiantly, knowing that I played a piece (however small it may have been) in their accomplishment.

What do I expect from the other side of this friendship? I tiptoe lightly, as if they have laid down eggshells for me to walk on.  I gather up all of the weight that I think I am and hold it as far away from the people that love me.  I fear that if people perceive me as a bother that they will instantly pack up and walk away.  So when feelings try to come up, I tell those feelings to calm their crap down, and paint on a smile.  I have told myself for too many years that I cannot bear weight.  In my mind, I have not yet earned that privilege.

You have to travel through many layers of my person in order to get to the real Moriah.  The Moriah that hurts sometimes, and longs to be known- even though she has said she is 'fine' one hundred times today.  That's the person that laughs uncontrollably at her own puns and sarcastic comments.  She's also the one that often convinces herself that she is forgotten.  That the opened, and unanswered snapchats are a reflection on the quality of a friendship, or her own person.  Or that when the text still hasn't been answered four hours after it was sent, that she is a bother.

It's illogical, I know.  But each 'confirmation' tucks the real Moriah a tiny bit deeper, screaming, "PROTECT ME AT ALL COSTS. You know that they won't stay forever, and at some point they will be walking away".

I am learning so much.  And this will be continued to be shared very soon.

2016 is a Firecracker

Once upon a time, I spent my New Year's Eve on a train, bawling and writing about my hopes and dreams for 2016 (check that out here).

Dang.  It has been quite a year.  I have learned, and grown, and lived through more than I ever could have imagined.  I have no idea how to fit that all into a mere collection of letters, so I'll leave it at a brief explanation for now.  I am hoping that there will be more words to come: lots of them.

In order to keep myself accountable to the goals that I set, I'm coming back to that list that I penned many nights ago.

  • Learn how to and then maintain a budget.  Adulting wants to make me curl in the fetal position and play Stressed Out on repeat, but it has to happen. Well, I learned how to budget.  Still working on the consistency part of maintaining a budget... Ain't It Fun is a fairly accurate song to my adult life as well
  • Get a job that pays higher than minimum wage. A girl can dream, right? I got a raise.  A small one, but a raise none the less.  Goal accomplished.
  • Learn ballet.  My lack of grace and balance has kept me away from dance for 19 years, but I would love to care for my body by strengthening it in this way.  Umm.... this one is still a work in progress
  • Continue to be mentored.  I am thankful beyond words for the people who wrap there arms around me and live out one of my pastor's favorite phrases.  This is what we get to do.  We get to love broken people.  It is a privilege to see the lives of others and be there in the hurt and the joy.  While I have learned how to show this love to others, I am not good at accepting it.  I want to keep letting people into my heart.  Still so grateful for the growth that my year has given me in this area.  I love the people that choose to pour into my life and make me a better person.
Loving mentoring as well.
  • Start writing a book.  Lifelong dream, 'nuff said.   Yeah, I need to work on this as well...
  • Be a more consistent blogger, and improve my blog. Baby steps.  It's coming.  (And more changes to come!!)
  • Bible journal at least once a week.  I am so excited about getting a journaling Bible as a Christmas present, and want to be consistent in using it. Not perfect in this area, but I LOVE how using my journaling Bible encourages me to slow down and take my time when I am in fellowship with Jesus.
  • Follow through with the contentment challenge.  Read about it here.  This was so great to be part of.  I highly recommend the challenge.
  • Keep painting.  I loved watercolor, even though the class was discouraging at times.  I want to keep painting with a few friends because we enjoy painting together.  Yes.  Loving the moments that I have gotten to spend painting.

Like I mentioned, 2016 has been quite the crazy year.  I want to add a few things to my list of goals, and then follow up later in the year on how I'm doing.

  • Learn more graphic design.  I've started working on this, and I want to stick with it, and use this as a possible side business, and use the skills to enhance my blog.  
  • Keep sticking out relationships, even when I'm scared.
  • Be faithful in spending quiet time with God.  It has such a huge impact on me, but I too easily dismiss it when I am short on time.

Hey.  If you stuck around this far, thanks.  There will be more continuing if you want to return.


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Honesty is the Best Policy

I want to preface this by saying that I do not think that blunt honesty is necessary or wise in every single situation.  However, I think that many of us have fallen into the habit of stretching the truth, and not being very honest about our lives.

Before you get offended, please hear me out.

When is the last time that you honestly answered the question, "How are you doing?"

When you post a picture on Instagram, do you include the tough parts of your day in the caption, or just the highlights?

Does your tweet include a balanced view of the entire story?

Our culture makes it so easy to pretend.  We can easily appear to be doing much differently than we seem to be.  And I know this from first hand experience with pretending.  Much like breathing, it seems to come naturally for me to 'suck it up and deal with it'.

You wipe away the smudged mascara, put a smile on, and push through whatever is going on.  However, fake masks take away our opportunities to have real connections with the living, breathing humans that surround us.  The idea of brokenness is something that has been coming up a lot lately.  I struggle with the desire to be a perfectionist.  If I could make everything right in the world, I would.  I would exhaust all of my energy and resources in order to help others.  That's how God wired me.  I love taking care of others and helping them in hard times.  When it comes to me, however, I want to appear to be put together.  I don't want other people to have to worry about me, or feel the need to look after me.  I want everything to be in place, so I pretend that it is.

I don't often realize that I am worsening this situation by pretending.  My false pretense of being okay puts more pressure on others to do the same.  No one wants to be the odd man out.  If everyone else says that they are fine, most people will succumb to the pressure, and say that they are doing okay as well.  We are creating our own pretend world.  We are forcing people to fake the true state of their being.

The idea of being open and vulnerable with another human is intimidating.  It is difficult as well to follow through with.  However, it is so necessary in order to live in healthy community.   When we stop wearing masks we allow others to feel more comfortable without wearing their masks.  All of that to say, I am trying to work on being more bold with my life and my story.  I want others to know that because of Jesus, I can offer a safe place to be real, and to be known.  I am not perfect, and won't always have the most helpful responses.  I make mistakes often.  But, I do love people.  I want people to feel able to share who they truly are without the fear of judgement.

In order to practice this idea of being more honest and real about my life I have decided that for the month of April, I will post an honest Instagram post about my day.  I won't give you a second-by-second play of the entire twenty-four hours, but I want to share pieces of me.  These pieces will be messy.  They are not whole.  But they do make up my story.  Some days will be bad, and some days will be good.  Most will probably be a mix of both.  If this is something that is impactful for you, feel free to join in for one day, or the whole month.  Use the hashtag #honestapril if you decide to join in.

There is a reason for every strength and flaw that you are made up of.  You are unique, and no one else could take your place.  Don't hide the beauty of who God made you to be.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Show off Your Stories

People ask me about my tattoos often.  I have many reasons for each one that I currently have, and for the others that I plan on getting.

Each of the three tattoos that I have tells a piece of my story.  I've struggled a lot throughout my life with being vulnerable with other people.  I love tattoos because they are conversation starters.

I love being able to ask people why they have certain tattoos, and why they picked different designs.  The stories that they share with me are pieces of who they are.  Every time I ask others to share themselves with me I get the chance to connect with a new person.  Tattoos give me a way to start a conversation with people  that I would never have talked to otherwise.

My tattoos allow me to connect with others through my story.  I am thankful for the gift of encouragement that God has given me to share with others.  I have learned on my journey of vulnerability that sharing my story gives me cool opportunities.

These precious times that I have spent with others have shown me grace, and allowed me the chance to tell others the grace that God extends to them.  Because it is hard for me to just offer conversation, my tattoos give me reason to share my story.  And each portion of my story is a precious reminder of what God has done for me.

He is giving me strength and grace to take each day as it comes.  Currently I have the opportunity to be studying counseling.  I am learning things every day that will allow me to help other people.

And I am so excited about it.

I am very grateful that I get to be in a difficult, but very impactful line of work.  Jesus works in and through hurting people.  Pain pushes us closer to the healing that only God can give us.

Steady as they come, mountains remind me of my family and my home.  Not only my solid home and parents, I am also reminded of how steadfast God is no matter how faithless I am.

And God gives us passions to use for Him.  That is what my third tattoo represents.

Don't be afraid to ask people about the stories that their tattoos tell.  Just remember that each tattoo is a story.  Be kind when you ask.  Don't make jokes about their stories.

But ask.  Get to know their stories.  Ask me about my stories.