Thursday, December 31, 2015

Masked by Words



I found this picture one day on Pinterest.  I pinned it to a board and went on with my day.  The quote screamed at me while I was scrolling through Pinterest today, My favorite mask to wear is one made of words.

"I'm fine."

"I don't need help."

"I'm just tired."

I'm not.


2015 hit me like a train.

This year brought beautiful, beautiful moments, but also lower lows than I thought I could handle.  I found myself being forced to ask for help.  I was being held accountable to how I was caring for myself.  Vulnerability was suddenly required.  I was sucker punched again and again by being an adult.  Finances, the death of a close friend, coming death of another, and distance took their toll on me.

I took a Buzzfeed quiz the other day, and laughed at the objective, already knowing what the result would be.  The quiz asked if I could survive the year 2015 again.  The answer? A very clear no.  My answers to the pop culture questions were not sufficient enough to help me survive, but deep down I knew that there was more to it.

2015 was a harder year than I could have ever imagined.

Needless to say, the past few days have found me reflecting on this past year, and the year to come.  I started a document that now holds some of my dearest dreams for 2016.

When a thought popped in my head about blogging my list, I immediately shot it down.

"That's too personal," I told myself, "No way I'm doing that."

Jesus slapped me in the face when I came across the quote that started this post.  Do I really want to start 2016 off by using words as a mask once again? Because I've been there countless times and could certainly do it again.

I don't want to start the year off this way.  2016 is going to be a year of healing me, and healing does not begin with deceit.

So here I am, mess and all.  This is me, and I will not apologize for who I am.  I am learning and growing, and that is a process.

This is my year.  And this year, I will take action on things that heal me.

F off 2015. 

You've dealt your blows.  I'm done.  I'm not living 2016 in darkness as well.


Instead of setting huge, vague goals for 2016, I decided to make a list of actions that I want to take, and skills I want to grow in.


  • 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.
  • Get a job that pays higher than minimum wage. A girl can dream, right?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Start writing a book.  Lifelong dream, 'nuff said.
  • Be a more consistent blogger, and improve my blog.
  • 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.
  • Follow through with the contentment challenge.  Read about it here.
  • Follow through with 30 days of writing.  My friend Sky and I are doing this together! Find her at www.skyvsworld.com 
  • 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.


This is me.  Happy New Year.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Practicing

I have started practicing lettering recently.

I am really, really bad at sticking with practicing.  But I have been consistent with lettering this week.  And each letter that I shape becomes less shaky, less wobbly.   My baby art skills start to grow up a little bit.  Older and older they become.  Minute by minute they step forward into the future.

And it reminds me, that practice does make progress.  And practice grows me.  And I need to make an effort to be consist with the areas that I want to excel in.

Here goes nothing.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Who am I?

Yesterday I read the book Scary Close by Donald Miller.  I fell in love with the book, and would recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about vulnerability and intimacy in any relationship.  Miller shared his own journey with many of the things that I have been learning over the past few years.

Miller tells of how he has learned many things that block intimacy in relationships.  One of the things that Miller told of in his book was a story of when he was young.  He lied and hid his struggles so that his classmates would not know what was going on in his life.  Miller, through this, started to join others in their critique of him.  He decided there was something wrong with him because others said that there was.

In the same way this quote struck me.

Don't judge yourself by what others have done to you:

We tend to believe that since others have hurt us, we deserve to be hurt.  Since we were abused, we have no worth.

We cannot judge ourselves by what people have done to us.

Our worth should not come from what others have done- especially not to us.

You are a poem, a masterpiece.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Grace for Me

I struggle to give myself grace.  I am a magnet for self-blame.  If something goes wrong, I immediately think of how I am responsible for what happened.

When I saw this picture on Pinterest, it struck a chord.

//:

How long would it take for me to name myself?  Would I even get to myself before I ran out of things to list?

I have learned so much about grace and self-care the past two years, but I am still on a journey.  If you struggle with having a healthy image of yourself, you aren't alone.

Remember that you were created in God's image.  In order to love others well, we have to be able to have a healthy and loving view of ourselves.

Ephesians 2:10 says that you are God's workmanship.  He created you as his poem, his masterpiece.

God does not make junk.  He doesn't search through the dumpster and pull out random crap. He starts from dust and perfectly designs from the bottom up.

Love yourself by remembering who you were created to be.

By loving yourself you can learn to love others in a beautiful way.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Monsters


And we became afraid of ourselves.  We locked the closet doors that make up the partitioned rooms inside of ourselves.

We picked up our masks, the persona that we were confident, and that our lives are beautiful.  Our lives an explosion of perfect, even better than could be imagined.

The monsters ruled our insides.  Steadily they shredded the carpets, shattered the windows, and captured the beauty.  The beauty was kept locked away in the destroyed rooms.

The longer the beauty remained prisoner, the more it seemed to fade.  And the light seemed to disappear from our eyes, and there was no answer on whether or not it would return.

The monsters crept up our throats and began to steal our voices.  And all that remained was the beauty peeking out of the windows of our souls

crying

help