Monday, September 15, 2014

The Importance of Tribe

Yesterday was a FULL day. It was amazing and full and joyful and happy. It wasn't until later that evening at bedtime when the calls and e-mails and my scheduled day grinded to a halt, that I realized how God had protected my heart that whole day.

I had missed an event I would have never missed in years past, but things change and life throws you curve balls you could have never seen coming and the seasons change and life rolls endlessly on...

My heart hurt, but the sharpness of the pain was gone. I could both remember and know with pure love and joy for those I was not with...and it was beautiful. I could feel my heart exhale.

I could breathe.

Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of my life, I too easily forget how much I have already been healed. I forget how much I am loved. I forget how far I have come. I forget...I forget.

Last night, the final thing I had blocked out to do was a long overdue FaceTime call with Sherri from my C7. Listening to all that is working in her life and mine felt like such confirmation that we have come so far...that we are on the right path. When Sherri and I met we were both broken (though I imagine more broken than either of us thought when we landed on that Colorado mountain), and we were searching...for the whys and wherefores that plague every woman...every person.

What Sherri, and all of the C7, have taught me is the importance of tribe. They not only taught me that I was not in it alone, but that there were others struggling as much as I was (then Haiti taught me (among a zillion other things) that I was a complete douche because my struggles weren't the half of it). So many of us grow up believing that it is all on us...whether forced on us, taught to us, etc...whatever it is, we believe in our hearts that it is all ours to bear. Alone.

That lie leaves a lot of wounded people in its wake...

In less than two months, I will be spending a weekend with a group of young women ages 13-20 teaching them, among other things, about the importance of tribe. These are girls that are searching for more...the good news is that they know they need more and they are asking for help...the bad news is that they are not being fed (spiritually) in their lives. There is no judgment there for them or where they are at...I am part of many tribes at this point...women and men of all ages...and the bulk of us feel like we are walking through the spiritual is tough out here. We are hurting people in a hurting world and we know (we hope) there is more available to us than what we presently know to be true.

Which is why....we need each other. We need a tribe. A group of people who will do life with us...Encourage us...Believe in us....Speak truth to us. We NEED each other.

Yesterday I had the chance to spend the day with multiple tribes of mine...each feeding me in different ways that give me LIFE. I simply cannot imagine my life today without them in it. I. Cannot. of my recent #tribe converts. Love. Her. :))))
Sometimes I write because I need therapy and writing is absolutely therapeutic for me. Sometimes I write to simply share...the lessons and the joy. Today, I think I am writing to remind myself...and anyone that reads this...that building a tribe is important...necessary...and to say that I continue to be grateful every day that where there has been great loss in my life, God has opened other doors and other lessons giving me the opportunity to heal, grow, and bless my own fragile heart...continue to love...deeply.


Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

In Search of Goodness

I need to ask for forgiveness...from a lot of people.

I told this story recently of an aha moment with my nephew where he is talking about school and a teacher/leader there, and I do a double take because it is someone I went to school with...and because I struggle with a filter for the connection point between my thoughts and mouth, I reacted. My nephew...being my nephew (and my spawn) dug in...I mean, what did his aunt know that he must now know....Ugh. I felt the eyes of my Sis upon me without even turning my head. I gracefully (NOT!) started backing away from the conversation, but my nephew was relentless...and suddenly I softened (that could only have come from God) and looked him in the eye and said, "It doesn't memories are clouded...I was very angry in those years and most certainly my judgment from then is skewed."

What. The. Heck.???

I remember the dropped jaw on my Sis' face as I looked over at her, but nothing more was said...until supper when she simply couldn't hold it inside anymore. "Heather I have never heard you admit that???" Without missing a beat, I replied, "I know right?! Growth." We both just smiled.

We discussed it later, and it was so good. Good.

It was a moment though...for both of us...that maybe some of the old (for both of us) really was healing, and there was hope.

There. Is. Hope.

I tell this story here and now as much for myself as anyone. I have made some COLOSSAL mistakes in my 43 years. Colossal. My childhood was amazing and then wretched followed by brutal. My parents were ill-equipped for marriage and parenthood, but even more they were ill-equipped for being, well, imperfect. They seemed to have been raised during a time and by people where the expectations were high and the margin allowed for error extremely low. They went to church and loved God, but I am not sure if for all the right reasons. Of all the things I have a strong rememberance or opinion on, their salvation is not one of them. I trust that they and God can handle that one just fine without me piping in from the cheap seats. I have spent a considerable amount of time the past several years working on my "Father Wound" and "Mother Wound" as Eldredge refers to them. Hell, I didn't even realize I had either prior not because I didn't have all of the inward or outward signs like a suffering leper, but simply because the walls around my heart in these areas were SO thick and my arrogance that "I got it." so beastly that I had myself fooled. I mean, I was the "reasonable" one the "peacemaker" in the family....I look back at the titles given to me by others and ordained for me by my own ego, and I laugh nervously. I was neither reasonable or a peacemaker, I was in full blown survival mode and trying not to be "found out" for the miserable wretch I was...I was BEASTLY on the inside. A full on fraud of the highest order. I hated my parents for being complete and utter douches. I hated myself. I hated everything. I wanted to be good. I did so very much. I knew there was freedom in Jesus. I clung to it like a life raft in the middle of a stormy ocean, but I had NO idea what to do with it. I didn't know how to lay it down at his him. Worst of the arsenal of protective weapons I held so dear, too often...very often...I used my faith as one too. Dear God forgive me.

I was on the eve of 41 years of age when I realized I was angry. I had deceived myself over 30 of those years that I. Was. Fine., and the unwinding of many years of anger has been brutal to my heart, my mind, my soul, and even my body. In two years, I have found a lot of healing, and for that I am so grateful. I have a long way to go.

I am currently reading a book "The Utter Relief of Holiness" by John Eldredge. I finished the audio study on it a few weeks back and have already loaned it out (there is a five deep waiting list in my tribe to borrow it). I am now reading the book like my life depends on it. I have to stop every few pages and just sit for a moment and reflect because it almost makes too much sense to my wounded heart. A few weeks back I was asked to speak to a group of 75 13-18 year old girls. WHAT??!?!?!  I was struggling with what to speak about and then about 1:30 a.m. that morning God gave me the words, and I lay in my bunk using my cell phone as a flashlight writing them down as fast as they were given to me. Just a few hours later, I stood (shaking like a leaf) in front of these young, beautiful, smart, broken, loving women...and opened my mouth. I was stunned by the reaction. Frankly, I was pretty stunned at what came out of my mouth. We are taught both inside and outside of the church, Christians and non-Christians, that we are innately bad and that we need to/should/better be fighting the urge to be bad 24/7. I was taught that, at home (definitely) and at church growing up. I now believe that to be a lie. I neither believe that to be the intent of the gospel or our lives either by letter or spirit (of it). I have spent years playing by the rules, failing at the rules, repenting and recommitting to the rules, and succumbing to the "bad" in me because I was enough...whatever excuse I had on any given day. When I was doing well following the rules, I was unbearable to be around, and when I was not following the rules well, I hid. This cat and mouse game I was playing with my life made me miserable. This is not to say my whole life has been one of misery or that I was not good or did not produce good. This is to say that I was not fully alive because I was not fully happy. I was in spiritual and emotional torment. Fighting to be what I was supposed to be while failing so explosively that it took a great deal of energy to make that not look as awful as it was...anyone following me???

I have been loved poorly in my life. I was not protected emotionally by my parents and in some cases I was not protected physically by my parents. I have been shamed by the ones who were supposed to love me unconditionally. There is no going back or do-over for them or me for the first 18 years of my life...or the many since. It is done.

In that same breath, I cannot undo all that I have done wrong. The people I have hurt, shamed, offended, or wronged. I cannot unwind my mistakes or take back words said in anger or fear. There are some in my life that have passed away, that I can no longer go back and thank for loving me in spite of my brokenness.

Life. Goes. On.

I am halfway through my life (should I live the average life span). I have been given more chances to "get it right" than any single individual deserves. My mistakes could fill a volume of books. In all this, I have a good heart. I was born with a good heart.

I have worked very hard to recover the good heart I entered this world with, and I am getting there. Slowly but surely. It isn't simply the recovery as much as it is the unearthing of it. I never lost it as much as I simply hid it. I hid it from myself, as well as others. To show it meant to be vulnerable, and at the age of nine, I learned that I could ill-afford to be vulnerable on that front. I have spent a lot of time and money working to heal that nine year old girl and her sweet heart. It has been money I would spend again ten fold, but it has been brutal. We hurt ourselves. We hurt others. Our brokenness from ourselves and other's actions against us...become the cornerstones of our lives if we let them. I no longer want to let them.

My legacy is not that I was broken, but that I was healed. That I forgave. That I forgive. That I love. With. All. My. Heart.

There are a lot of people that are no longer in my life by their choice. I forgive them too.

This past week I had dinner with a friend (#tribe) and afterwards while driving home, it struck me that we are all just holding each other's hands, walking each other home. I do not deserve the tribe I have been given who take the time, energy, love, and deep healing it is taking to walk me home. Several years ago, I knew I was broken, but only in healing have I realized just how very much I was much more than I recognized then...even crumpled in the floor in tears. I just didn't know.

Young kids, mostly young women, ask me to talk to them, pray for them, help all that, they simply need a friend, a mentor, help finding their voice, to be reassured they are okay, to know they are loved, and to be given hope. The need of this generation of young people is breathtaking. They have everything at their fingertips yet nothing. How is that?? I am overwhelmed by it...not to mention somewhat intimidated and frightened by the whole scene as their need reveals my own, and I am left to deal with searching out deeper healing for my life so that I can be a hand for them. There is deep truth in the airlines' instructions to put the face mask on yourself first before the person next to you...even when it is a child. I never understood that...TRULY...before now.

"And I can promise you, there isn't a snowball's chance in hell of you becoming the person God made you to be without the healing of your humanity. You can't get to holiness without wholeness. The two go together." ~ John Eldredge, The Utter Relief of Holiness {Amen.}

I bought a new book about David this weekend at Beth Moore...I am SO excited to read it. I found the irony of this reference today that I read in John's book..."King David was a man who knew his character flaws, felt the anguish of regret, spent many a tormented night wrestling with his failings. And yet, in Psalm 119, David wrote this: "I run in the path of your commands, because you have set my heart free."...freedom of heart and the passionate pursuit of God's commands?...Genuine holiness restores human beings; restored human beings possess genuine holiness." {Wow.}

I love David, but I never realized how much I relate to David...character flaws, anguish of regret, tormented night...those are pages from my own life.

I am in search of goodness. Others' goodness. Especially my own.

I have a good heart. Each of us has a good heart.

Goodness is the healing of our personal humanity. Of mine.

I cannot change the mistakes of my past. The years of judgement lodged against others and myself. I can do something about today, tomorrow, and the day after that. The Bible, church, our not a weapon. It has taken me years to recognize that. I am not going to change myself or others by waving my sword and yelling at the top of my lungs (Even. When. I. Am. Right.) I am not going to right a wrong by being quiet, meek, and straddling the fence so as not to offend. There is another way. I haven't perfected it or figured it all out, but I know now...more than ever...that there is another way. I am determined to work on that...figure THAT out...because my own life depends on it.

I am tired of being angry.

I am tired of being scared.

I am tired.

I want my life to speak grace and strength and encouragement into others.

I am laying down my sword.

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

By The Grace of God Go I

I have wrestled the pen (so to speak) on stating anything via here or even a social media blip on the passing and circumstances around Robin Williams' death. The fact is part of my pause is because I am still in shock. 

I grew up with Robin Williams starting with Mork and Mindy. No generation identifies more with the breadth and depth of his career than mine...the awkward and often identity-less Gen X. For some of us "latch key" kids, who were raised more by TV than parents...he IS the parent we never had. As he aged and matured and LIVED so did we...and we watched...and LEARNED. 

So as I deal with a mourning I am surprised by (none of us REALLY thinks it is "normal" to deeply mourn a celebrity (especially one we never met)?!...I am disturbed at the look in his eyes in photo after photo that flashes on the TV or across my social media feeds. There is clearly an emptiness there. Why didn't I ever notice that before?...why didn't anyone?...why didn't anyone help?

By the grace of God go I.

That was my thought after 36 hours of mourning and tributes to Robin Williams.

Last night I had dinner with one of my #tribe, and it was amazing...thoughtful, yummy, deep, and funny. We were doing life together at that table. I was and am so grateful to people who want to do life with me to this level. Truly sharing the highs and lows...struggles and wins...questions and answers....with me and others. I have wrestled deeply since camp with what I saw and experienced, and last night was a release valve for my wrought spirit. As we shared back and forth last night, we both sensed the deepening and shift in our friendship. {Deep. Smile.}

So as I see fresh coverage on Robin Williams' suicide, I am struck by the question in my heart...Did he have a tribe? Not friends...I know he had friends. Not family...I know he has family. Not co-workers...I know he has great peers. 

Did. He. Have. A. Tribe.???

At camp, I got asked by many...fellow counselors and campers alike to explain my tribe theory. I should post those conversations, but not in this one. The point today is that people are inanately curious about tribes because I believe they sense they are missing something in their lives, just like I did when I was first reading and cultivating my own beliefs on it. 

The fact is we need people in our life who we can be fully transparent with...whatever it is....who will be an encourager to us while also being a mirror to our face holder....who will love us and pray with and for us...who will intervene spiritually for us...who will push us and hold us. People who don't expect us to have all of the answers, but openly share their knowledge and are willing to search out the answers with us that we don't know. Who will let us be vulnerable and raw without judgement or scorn. People who will walk through life with us on the superficial levels, but more importantly on the deeper levels of life.

I have no judgement towards Robin Williams for taking his own life for I know in my heart that any one of us could be at that point at any given moment. What I am realizing is that what keeps me from the darkest of places is my "tribe" relationships where I am able to share the  darkness with...and they help direct me to the light. I am not sure that makes a great deal of sense in the wee hours of the morning as the sun rises in the distance, but somehow I believe it does...and not just to me.

This morning I am more grateful than ever for my tribe...for the gift of the original C7 and their gift of the tribe lesson...for a God who knew what I needed and sent it in a beautiful lesson wrapped in a messy swampy season of my life. Without my tribe, the race before me would be too much...Too. Much.

Life is hard. Growth sucks.

Yet...God is in the roses and the thorns. 

Tribes matter. We all need a tribe to walk through this life with...and then to celebrate with on the other side. 

Rest in peace Robin Williams. May we all reach for people more in light of the lessons in your death and the beauty of your life. 

Find and build your tribe...Today. ❤️☀️

Sunday, July 27, 2014

In Every Season

In every season....

My constant friend.

You are near.

In weakness I rise.

Fully letting go.


The anchor for my soul.

You will never change.

You are my Savior.

I can count on you.

Fully letting go.


Wow. No words today.

In every season...

....but oh how I love this sweet season. ❤️☀️
Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Nirvana In A Writing Desk

Heather's Writing Desk

I was going to come home and lay down. I needed to do just one single thing first.

I sat down at my new desk I just got set up at the loft yesterday, and now here I am looking out over the Arkansas River writing and listening to the soundtrack from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. A film that took me more than a little while to feel the rhythm of....the song "Stay Alive" is AMAZING! I highly recommend checking it out.

I digress...

I think I might have found a new personal nirvana for me. A writing area. I mean a desk, a chair, a view, and little touches (a unique piece of pottery filled with #2 pencils (sharpened), another piece of pottery with highlighters and pens), one pile of old journals, two other piles of "critical" books to my life (either being presently read for the first or second or fifth time), thank you notes (an old habit of mine that I am renewing), a pile of IF: Gathering material, another pile of orphan information, and personal touches like a bouquet of dried peonies from Sherri's (C7) wedding in a crystal heart-shaped vase given to me by an old a heart book "Find It In Everything" by Drew Barrymore given to me by another friend during #HogsCare week this past year.

I can't begin to express what sitting in this spot, surrounded by these things, looking at these views, and hearing this song is causing in my soul.

The tears are coming....

They are tears of pure joy. Pure. Joy.

I try to hit pause when I find these nirvana moments clearly aware that I don't know for how long they will last, or initially what all is causing them. I so love my friends and family. I love my life so very, very much right now. A part of the happy is the nesting factor. Creating a real home has brought me joy and peace I have never EVER known. I have owned homes (and still do), but I am happier in this loft than any single place I have ever, ever lived. It is hardly perfect...I could make a list, but I don't...not even in my own mind...because what it gives me is more joy than I deserve. I took no less than a half dozen naps in the past two days, and in between I purged no less than a dozen boxes...treasures, stuff, books (OH Sweet Jesus the books this girl owns!), set up my guest bed (now someone has somewhere they can actually lay their head, threw away, and made yet another pile to donate, but the biggest WOWSA was setting up my new desk. It looks like nothing I would have loved or even liked a few years ago, but I love it now. It is perfect for the space, but more it feels like me. How is that?!?!? How does that happen?!?!? A desk! Feels like ME?!?!?!

Grinning through misty-eyes.


If there is one thing I have learned over the past several years, it is that I absolutely MUST operate from my heart...or walk away. Period. That was a hard lesson for this girl; one I wish that I had learned much, much younger. *Sigh*  I would play the martyr role to the hilt even as I was blissfully unaware of it. Here is a little tip...if there is a quality in someone you, despise....take a long look in the mirror because you probably demonstrate the same quality(ies). *Ugh* For years, I thought I was operating from my heart when the truth was I operated from about ten levels above it...from the safe zone I had built. Now I wasn't a bad person, but I wasn't wholehearted either. I was only half alive, operating from survival instinct, and not quite sure where or to whom I belonged...God that hurts to write.

Today, I operate from a much riskier place, but the rewards...Oh. The. Rewards.

Yesterday I was exhausted. Exhausted. I finally took a break from purging and naps to go get some fried chicken (in a sweater no less - crazy Arkansas weather - it is JULY!). Everywhere I looked...hearts...I mean in the sidewalk, oil spills on the driveway, cut into the concrete, sky, etc...I do mean everywhere I looked...there were hearts. I actually said, out loud, God I hear love me...not today. I don't want to feel it today. I am tired. There was silence. I get to the jeep. Sometimes (I don't know how or why), my iPod will just start playing and shuffling my music randomly. I turn on the Bluetooth and "Let's Make It Last" by Brandon Heath plays. I smile a little. Then "Letting Go" by Bethel. At this point, I am laughing. God...I give. I hear you. What are you trying to tell me?

There is a line at the chicken place, and I have to wait...awhile. I see this quote, "For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn't understand growth, it would like complete destruction." ~ Cynthia Occelli {Note the quote was on Adam Braun's Instagram page. I am currently devouring everything he has written and done as he started a non-profit from changing the world.)}

How many in my life see my life the past 4-5 years as having gone through complete destruction? Growth? What do I see?

I drove back to the loft. Savored my fried chicken. Got to work on my writing desk. It felt like a command. Energy came from where I do not know...except I do. God was ready for me to get busy. Once finished. I took another nap. I spent most of the rest of yesterday just staring at it. Staring.

The words coming...

When I stop struggling. I float. It is the law.
"I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you." ~ Isaiah 46:4
"Nothing can tear us from the grip of his mighty love." ~ Romans 8:38-39
Lord I am stepping out from the comfort zone. Letting go of me, holding on to YOU.
"Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created." ~ Esther 4:14

We must abandon all we know to be true about ourselves, our pasts, our spiritual cornerstones, our personalities, our strengths, our weaknesses, those we love, and those we thought we were meant to love, our gifts...Who. We. Believe. We. Are.

We must lay it all down at the foot of the cross...and Give. It. Up.

Radical obedience means doing all of this and so much more, but as He re-builds the puzzle and quilt of your heart, soul, and mind in to who you always dreamed you could be...who you always were (albeit somewhere hidden)...He shows you true nirvana...and it comes in the strangest forms, places, and ways....not as you "believe" it should, but as He knows it needs to be. His will; not mine.

Friday night and early Saturday morning I could feel the panic and disappointment in myself easing upon me like a wave creeping up on the shore. The to do lists too long. Fear of disappointing people. Not enough of me to go around. Not. Enough. Yet....I didn't save me. Rebuke. Nothing. God stepped in. He stood between me and all of my old crap and said, "Not today. Not my girl. Not this time." He walked me through yesterday and today like the Master he is...and it has been a beautiful, productive, relaxing, loving, NIRVANA, two days.

Do I have everything done? No. Did I have to make some decisions that disappoint me in myself or others? Yes. Am I any less? Absolutely not.

Tonight, Mugs Café had a special dinner/party to celebrate their one year anniversary. There was great food, fellowship, laughter, and a few awards. I would like to say that my reward for "cheering them on" was my favorite because if you know me, you know I want "Encourager" on my is my new mantra second only to "Make the plan; work the plan." :))) I digress. ;) favorite was winning the (First Edition) Queen of Mugs Café (there was also a King). I mean...first, I don't win it was pretty sweet. The thing is though that the whole crown, queen thing felt like it was coming more from God than Mugs...Yes, I know exactly how that sounds...but it did/does. I am not really the queen of anything...ever. Yet, I was reminded this weekend, to whom I belong, and to Him....I am a queen.

Where is the nirvana in your life? Is it right there? Are you missing it?

Note: Today I watched the film "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" and downloaded the soundtrack. The film took me a moment, but it is one I will watch again to make sure I am "getting" it. I haven't been able to get it out of my head since the closing credits. There is something there...I am sure if I figure it out, I will write about it. ;) :)))

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :) 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Permission To Dream


I have both loved and loathed that word.

In October 2013, part of the C7 returned to Colorado for the Advanced Captivating Women's Ministry Retreat. One of us had gone through a considerable amount to get there and while sitting in a comfy chair in front of a roaring fire during a break she told the tale. Suddenly I heard "permission" and asked her to say that part again. She said, "My mother gave me permission to attend." Say what?!?! A grown woman, wife, mother, and her mother GAVE her permission. Yes. Gave. Offered. Freely. Her grandfather was dying and no one knew when and her mother said, "Go. God wants you to go. It is what your grandfather would want." *Sigh*

I have never forgot that story, her face when she told it, or my dropped jaw reaction to it. I doubt I ever will.

That day in what was the safest of safe zones, she taught me "permission" and what it really meant.

I only wish I had a nickel for every time I have used that story (paraphrasing and with no names) to make a point with someone of the importance of giving others permission to....fill-in-the-blanks here.

When was the last time you gave someone "permission" to do something opposite of what you wanted, social norms, expectations, or just because??? Yeah...before that neither...I had not. Not.

I am a girl born and raised on you make your bed, lie in it. You put that on your plate, eat it. Not to mention any other number of nonsensical approaches to life.

*Yeah...I just used the word nonsensical in a sentence. :)))) Shoot. Me.*

Today I was given permission to dream, to stay as long as I want in my third place that is currently packed and write, to skip a meeting for another meeting, to send something "when I could," and any number of other permissions I am given on a daily basis....that before October of last year...I did not realize them for the gift that they were....

Today I gave permission to be late to work, to be late to a meeting, to cut a meeting short, to bring me the wrong order, to leave early, to be a douche canoe (yes I said it, and yes I gave someone permission to act like one (for a hot minute)), to just be...Who. They. Are.

No one needs our permission (most of the time) and no needs to give us permission (most of the time), but what does that mean when someone says, "Go. It is okay." or any other forms of "permission" that we give each other on any given day? What does it mean to be purposeful in the offering of that permission? To look someone in the eye and say, "Go. It. Is. Okay."?

It. Means. Everything.

Tonight I am sitting in one of my favorite "third places" typing up a concept paper for a non-profit who today gave me/our firm permission to dream and now I have to put those dreams on paper. At one point in the writing, I converted to bullet points because the dreams were coming quicker than I could type, and I was frankly afraid I would lose some of them. *Nerd. Alert.*

I am near tears sitting here in a public place typing dreams in a word document. Who. Does. That.?!?!

*Deepest of Sighs*

Okay...I just cried a little...waiter signaled from across the way with thumbs up and mouthed, "Okay?"...Good. Grief. My thumb goes up and awkward smile.


While sighing and drifting off, just now, I gazed awkwardly out the window and saw a homeless man walking down the sidewalk. When he came upon a group of people, he moved to the side without hesitation, allowing them to pass before continuing on. Not a one of them even acknowledged him. WTH?!?!

Who gives him permission to do anything at any point in his day?

Well, I completely went off the rails for a moment. My apologies. Dreams and heart just collided for a hot minute.

Today my partner and I took a moment at the end of our day to weigh out the highs and lows, wins and losses, and assess. At the end of it, we came to the conclusion that we were placing expectations on some of our team that were unfair...meaning we were expecting our drive in them. Not. Possible. It led to a very interesting discussion about people's drive, highest and best use of people's time, expectations, etc. We are making some changes starting tomorrow. We hope the changes will lead to the magic bullet. We are willing to risk it. Why? Because we have good people and we want to give them permission to be their highest and best...not just for our firm, but in life. That is a tall order, but a worthy one to strive for...and we are willing to invest the time to figure it out. We also are deeply invested in giving ourselves and others "permission" in work, and in life.

So....I digressed.

When was the last time you gave someone permission? When was the last time you were given permission?

Allow me.

I give you permission to dream.

What do you want to be when you grow up? What makes your heart flutter? What brings tears to your eyes when you think about doing/saying/being it? Where do you want to go? Live? Who do you want to love you? Who do you want to love? What hobby do you want to pick up? What buried dream or desire needs to be unearthed?


Isn't it beautiful?

I have completely changed my tune about the word. I see it for all of its possibility, but mostly for the gift that it is to someone else...or just Be.


Tomorrow I challenge you to be purposeful in giving yourself and others permission. Trust me on this.

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Roots and Wings Quilted With God's Love

The call of the unknown is SO strong in some that they must feed the wanderlust in their soul...Daily.

Today sweet Nora Gunn (one of my adoptees) heads out on a new adventure. I have many different emotions about this next leg of her life's journey. Mostly, I am proud that she was brave enough to try something new despite her own fears (and others). I have never regretted the adventures I took...only the ones I did not.

I feel this cross-tug of fear and adventure pulling at others in my life (especially another college girl in my life). I know how debilitating it can be and so I struggle to share too much "preachy" advice (though I am sure the youngins' in my life would say I don't restrain myself enough ;) ), and I work to pray more for each of them.

My Sis and I were talking about this yesterday and how difficult it is to both give children wings and a foundational heart. She and I spend time second-guessing ourselves I am sure based upon our own troubled childhood. That said, I admire both her and David's ability to do both with their three, and I am partial, but I believe they are doing an excellent job. As an adoring aunt (to both natural and adopted nieces and nephews), I am not sure I am as adept at it. *Sigh*

Sometimes it is hard to remember that we have all lived (or are living) our lives, adventures, and dreams (whatever all of those are)....and that we have to let our children do that too. I see parents try to keep their children in the same town, the same career, the same church, the same adventures as they a way to protect them or keep them...close. That breaks my heart. I don't (personally) believe we were meant to be carbon copies of our parents. Sure, I wish I could spend 24/7 with many members of my family (including several extended), but that is simply not possible and live the life God meant for me. *Deep Breath*

Well....this just became less about two young women and a lot about me. *Pause*

The C7 Group Text is on FIRE this morning...:))))....Sherri just sent this to us..."The House of God is the picture of God's intention for your life and for everything you do. He wants a house where He will dwell, where angels ascend and descend on assignment and the heavens are open over a people who abide in Him meaning they stay connected in their affection and love for Him. God wants so much to invade this world with the reality of what was purchased on Calvary. But He waits for a people who will live the normal Christian life, putting themselves at risk, constantly tapping into the invisible resources of heaven that have been standing idle. That is how we function as the house of God."

So....what is normal???

I have had several conversations with Nora and others about the world's lies (and sometimes our own) on what is normal and what is not. I wanted normal once. I wanted it so badly I could taste it. The journey to acceptance of myself as anything but....not to mention my life, my walk, my core...My. Heart....well it has led to many conversations with my own "kids" and transparency of where Aunt Heather was and where she is now...and what that means. Even more, the lessons that I have learned through the process. Just this weekend in a rather intense conversation with Jon, he said to me, "Aunt Heather it isn't that you were bad." Bless him. *Gentle Tears* I softly replied, "No honey, but my heart was not well. It and my soul were broken, and I neither knew or had the tools to do anything about it. Sometimes life breaks us when we are little and the years only compound the brokenness. Not everyone has perfect childhoods or lives, and even those that look as they do...don't really. Only God can heal the brokenness deep inside of us. Only He can make us whole. That said, we have to let him. The journey of the past several years is in letting God be God in my heart...not just my life. That is the difference."

Bless these kids that think Aunt Heather has words to offer. They will be the death of me. Take. Me. Out. {...and in the middle of Wal-Mart no less...}

So....sweet Nora...and all of the others who are searching for adventure, love, wholeness, their happy, and the many others things that feel they are missing....and sometimes actually missing. Go have your adventures....sieze the the your minds and your hearts....but in the midst of all of that do not forget to whom you belong for God is always there with you. Don't forget your roots and the foundation of family (natural or adopted) that loves you...unconditionally. Feet firmly on the foundation of roots and wings that soar on the wind of the dreams in the air around you. Be. You.

I am a little weepy today. It has been a weekend for my heart.

I love you Nora. My arms are always here to hold you. My ears here to listen. My mouth to give you words of encouragement. Adventure on pretty girl.

Adventure Sunday! God is my heart. Bless Him. :))))

"God's most memorable times with us are when we're speechless before Him." ~ Love Does, Bob Goff

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)