Have you ever felt like you were too much?…Too excited? Too emotional? Too introverted? Too extraverted? Asked too many questions? Needed too much help and encouragement?…
How about, not being enough?…Not a good enough education? Not good enough to love? Not smart enough to offer advice? Not experienced enough to participate? Not brave enough to try?
If that’s you, I have a story for you…
Dear Girl, remember, who you are – your passions and personality are meant for more than just you! You being the you God created is as important as the earth shining is to our ecosystem. So know the truth about who you are, remove the clouds shadowing your passion and personality, and dare to make your dreams a reality. In the end, you discover you, by uncovering you and gathering the courage to be you.
Every New Years my family takes time to write new goals and discuss them because when goals are talked about, we think about them more and as a result they are more likely to become reality. It works the same way in talking about our crushes. We have a couple thoughts about a cute guy and how he makes us laugh, then we tell our best friend and before we know it, we’re obsessing over him and dying for him to ask us out. As fast as that, we’re star-struck – I know, because I’m a girl!
And, that’s why my sisters and I decided that we weren’t going to talk about our crushes.
I’m writing this to you, because when I realized that my mom was human and not some super hero our relationship changed for the better. Being human includes a lot of things, but there’s three things your mom wishes you understood.
As a athlete and coach who helps moms be the best they can be individually and relationally, there’s three things my mom did throughout my physical journey, as I went from a can’t-run-once-around-the-track pastry princess to a triathlete and physical trainer, that I wish every mom knew.
I want my posting-on-facebook-and-instagram hobby to leave priceless treasures. I’ve decided that I want it to be more than a mindless escape of life’s monotony and a self-serving image of me. If that’s you, you’re invited to join me in the following: Lessons I Learned from my Aunt’s Scrapbook and How I’m Choosing to Use Social Media Differently…
Have you ever felt like a little girl at a birthday party watching all her friends carefully swing at the pinata desperately waiting for your turn?
Every time another girl wraps her fingers around the stick she memorizes where the pinata is and rehearses her swing.
What seems like five minutes later she makes her first swing and hits the pinata…no candy.
Finally it’s your turn. You grasp the stick in your hand and start swinging. You swing and and swing and swing. Your breathing is heavy. Finally you hit something and a loud shout erupts.
Tearing off your bandana you drop to one knee with the stick beside you reaching out for candy, but in the midst of scattered candy you see your best friend crying.
In all your aimless flailing you did hit the pinata, but at a high cost.
Recently, I have been reading “Hinds Feet on High Places.” It’s a story of lame little Much-Afraid’s journey of faith in the Shepherd. Shepherd has promised to take her to the High Places and on the way give her the feet of a deer. After traveling several days the path turns, taking Much-Afraid down into a desert dashing her hopes—Shepherd had promised to take her to the High Places! Exploring this book, yet again, I have found many similarities to my own journey with my Lord and Shepherd.
Have you ever picked up a book and decided to re-shelf it only to hear from your best friend six months later that it is one of her favorite books? Have you ever seen someone from across the room and decided not to be their friend just because of the way they look? Has someone ever told you something and you shut down your heart towards them because what they said stung?
Tuesday morning you walked into Panera ordered a cookie and coffee and enjoyed both without a terrorizing thought because food was not your enemy. You knew that food was fuel so when you were satisfied you were able to stop eating and sipping guilt-free. It was a victorious moment worth savoring.
But it hasn’t always been that way. It used to be every time you decided to indulge, you couldn’t stop. It was as if you were trying to make up for all those years you deprived yourself. Food wasn’t your enemy anymore but it was still a beast. So you embarked on journey number two: learning that while food is fuel, food is also fun.
Oddly enough, having fun and enjoying food have a lot in common.
I feel like I’m in a hamster wheel. It doesn’t matter how many times I rework my schedule, the wheel just goes faster.
As you’re reading this I’ll be putting on my creative/coordinator hat collecting everything I could possibly need for a ball. Thursday I’ll pick strawberries with my family. Friday, I’ll work and go to a women’s conference. Saturday I’ll decorate and host that ball for 175 youth. Finally, Sunday will launch me into four straight weeks of traveling, decorating, doing make-up, brides-maiding, cooking, and maid-of-honoring.
Communicating that you value people over projects is simple, but it requires you to be intentional and disciplined. I know your life is a blur of projects – important ones I’m sure – so, here are my favorite ways to communicate that I value people more than projects.
The hike makes the view worth it.
I know the hike is hard and long right now. You have skinned knees and sore feet. I heard you tell yourself it wasn’t worth it, but may I be so bold as to tell you that sometimes the purpose of your goal is something other than what you’ve always thought.
I saw you hopelessly staring at the piles in your living room yesterday and watched you pick at the duct tape on the floor with your toes. I also heard you sigh as you stared out the kitchen window only to have your vision obscured by cardboard covering a whole made by a stray arrow from your brothers’ heroic adventures. You see messes caused by a busy life, but that’s not what others see.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed and beaten up by your emotions. Before you know it you’ve been thrown from your boogie board. Your face is being ground into the sand while relentless waves tumble you like shoes in a dryer. Disoriented you don’t know how to escape and claim the precious brilliance of light and hopeful air. You’ve been beaten and the only hope of survival you have is owning the fact so that you can be pulled to the surface.
Snow White was right, “It’s important to know when you’ve been beaten.”
I had no idea I had it in me to write you three letters about managing your emotions. But as I was pondering the series of letters I have most recently written I realized that I neglected to teach you my favorite emotion management technique. So while it’s still on my mind I want to share with you my secret to floating through the ocean of emotions.
One day when I was drowning in my high-school emotions mom sent me to my room to journal until I had a happy heart. I was mad. But between filling lined notebook paper and smearing ink with my tears I discovered David’s secret.
I can hardly believe this little letter I started writing last week has turned into three. In the first letter I clarified that emotions are merely our experiential realization of our thoughts – they’re not wrong, it’s what we do with them that can be wrong. And, in my most recent letter, I challenged you to describe your emotions more fully by identifying and defining them. Today, I’m going to teach you how to respond.
Your security system has been breached, you know that burglars are climbing through your window to steal the brownies baking in your oven – the brownies that you were looking forward to enjoying with your friends! There are three responses.
In my last letter I explained that emotions aren’t wrong, rather it’s what we do with our emotions that can be wrong. After all, emotions are merely the experience of our thoughts. They should not initiate our actions, but rather be treated as indicators to what is happening in our souls. Which leads us to soul-searching.
Back to our brownie analogy, when you feel the heat you need to register what that heat is and where it’s coming from. In other words, upon feeling heat you instinctively know that you forgot hot mitts. Unfortunately, our brain doesn’t instinctively understand the thoughts sparking our emotions. So, some soul-searching is required.
I know you hate emotions. You’ve tried to throw them overboard like sandbags on a hot air balloon. Living with them is sickening. But once you’ve dumped them, living without them is horrifying. I’ve got news for you, (WARNING: I’m about to sound like your mother) emotions aren’t bad. They’re not deadweights anchoring you to average. It’s what you do with your emotions that can be bad.
Why didn’t you tell the truth yesterday? I understand that you had been looking forward to relaxing with your sister and watching a movie. It’s completely reasonable that your feelings were hurt when she wanted to finish her book instead of chill with you, but under no circumstances did you have license to speak falsely to yourself.
Hope is a funny thing – an influential thing. It impacts your health, your decisions, and your actions. But hope is simply the sum of the thoughts you choose to think.
If you are thinking about how there is not enough time or you don’t have what it takes, the result is hopelessness. But if you choose to determine in your heart that God will make a way where there seems to be no way or that a lesson can be learned in every situation you have just set yourself up a hope equation.
There’s magic that happens when you embrace your weaknesses and explore your strengths.
It allows you to be fully you.
But most importantly, it allows you to fully appreciate others.