Monday, December 23, 2013

Words



Words matter.

I write all the time. All. The. Time.

I write this blog. I write social media updates. I write proposals. I write e-mails. I write invoices. I write business plans. I write thank you notes and letters. I write journals. I write.

I also speak. A. Lot.

I speak kindly. I speak in anger. I speak words of praise. I speak words of pain. I speak words sweetly. I speak words of frustration. I speak.

In a season of my life where my words matter more than they ever have....I think about my words...A. Lot.

I weigh pros and cons before sending a text. I proofread proposals until my eyes cross. I get input. I often worry I get too much input. Too many "editors" of my words. I weigh even that out...Too. Much.

I have been hurt by words. I have hurt others with my words. For those two reasons, I think about words even more than I should....some say it is because I am writer. I say it is because I am tenderhearted. Too much so of the latter.

When I am weighing my words, I tend to go quiet. Hauntingly quiet. I fear the pain my words will reveal, or the pain my words will inflict. Someone has hurt me, or I have hurt someone...and I want to be tender and hit pause to gather my thoughts...let my heart catch up with my emotions.

I learned this skill from Mama Doretha. I can't tell you the times I have watched her sit and simmer in pain...weighing her words and her emotions. Words she wanted to say....but didn't. Words she wanted to say...and did. Weighed carefully so that they might be spoken with the love that was always behind them...even when she was in pain. I don't know that she was always like this...she has told me stories that reveal she wasn't always perfect at this (though she seems pretty perfect to most everyone I know that knows her) nonetheless it is clearly something she has spent time practicing...fine-tuning...grown into...so to speak. Of all of the lessons she taught me (both actively and by example) this would be in my top two. It is a skill that I have thought of a lot this past week...due to both things happening nationally and things happening in my own little world. I have paused a lot and thought what she would do and say...how she would advise me...and I have thought how I want to be just like her when I grow up...she really is a walking marvel of wisdom, grace, and love. I am not good enough to touch her hem in this regard (or any other for that matter), but because of her example....I have hit pause (wisely) this week and weighed my words...my responses. Bless her heart for taking the time to teach me.

I digress...

In a world that is moving way too fast, I am a woman moving way too fast. I am not alone.

My Christmas Wish this year is that the whole world will hit pause on their words. Pause.

Once said, e-mailed, texted...they cannot be taken back. They are out there. Words are power. Words are love. Words are weapons. Choose wisely. Pause until you can choose wisely.

Other tips...Don't promise things you cannot deliver. Don't say yes when you mean no. Don't say no when you mean yes. Mean what you say. Think before you speak.

I am taking this entire post to heart this Christmas. I have spent a lot of time in my life apologizing for hurting with my words. I have shed a lot of tears over words spoken to me that have cut deep. This talkaholic is hitting pause. I am going to spend a lot of time just breathing...listening...loving over the next few days. Celebrating a season, a birth, a love of one whom I do not deserve. Do. Not. Deserve. I want to change the world. I want to make a difference. I need to make sure my own house is in order. Taking stock now. Today.

I am not Catholic, but on my bucket list is for one year to go to Midnight Mass. When I was in college, I stayed up all night one year and watched the televised one from Rome. Just me sitting in the dark with the television on and my twinkle lights flickering everywhere. It was breathtaking. Breathtaking. There is something just SO right about sitting there immersed in the spirit of God and Christmas and Love. I don't necessarily understand all of the words...but it doesn't matter...because I "get" the emotion.

...and Hmmmm.....

Words reflect our heart.

...and there it is.

May this Christmas our words reflect the very best of our hearts. Let our hearts be cleansed by the beauty and innocence and gift of a season of reflection and gratitude. Let us operate always from a place of love. Whatever else we are...let us be those that love.

Merry Christmas!

With All My Heart....Heather

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

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Loving Every Season...No, Really



What a day....and it is 2 p.m. *Sigh*

I had to come into the office to work after a glorious brunch with a dear friend....and I have little choice but to write what is on my heart if there is any hope of me getting the teeniest, tiniest bit accomplished this afternoon at the office.

So...what is brewing (read that as bothering) you now Heather Ruth you might be thinking....

Well...my own mortality actually. I need more time...and it is bothering me...to the point of distraction, and I am struggling with how to deal with it.

I was getting ready yesterday, and I stopped cold when I caught my reflection in the mirror and realized I looked old. I mean....OLD. Wrinkles where I had not noticed them before....my skin not as elastic as I remember it being, gray hair in new places....hair growth in new places....What. Is. It. About. Our. Aging. Bodies. God.???? His ultimate joke I think....Forced humility. I have no problem aging....and have embraced the changes over the years with a lot of laughter...until the past few months. I am wondering what has caused the shift?? Why has it gone from funny to....panicky....not because I am looking older, but because I am realizing I am actually GETTING older....and it makes me nervous. Very. Nervous.

There is this great song a friend of mine sent me a few months back called Every Season by Nichole Nordeman (click the link for a beautiful video of it on YouTube), and it just came on (my entire iPod is on shuffle while I write)...how fitting. Fitting.

I am so envious of my friends and family who take this time of year in stride....they get all of the extra stuff done, host beautiful Christmas parties, bake, wrap, shop, and all in addition to their otherwise extremely busy lives. I remember being one of those people...once upon a time. Not anymore. I am drowning. Drowning. So...add to it my mirror moment..and you have a girl in full meltdown. Oh there were tears. Puddles of tears.

I digress...

I sent my friend of e-mail....what is wrong with me???  Ending with....I just hope I look back one day and can simply say I survived this season....I mean it is the sweetest season of my life...but tired...Oh honey....I am so tired. My tired is tired....and I am supposed to do Christmas on top of everything else? Seriously?! Oh My Sweet Lord Help Me!!!

So...in the midst of my mini-nervous breakdown (aka Pity Party), I read this..."Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed." ~ Proverbs 31:8...

Well....CRAP. (...and I started laughing...)

Purpose. Sometimes God gives us purpose in the strangest ways.

Better yet....he reminds us of our purpose in even stranger ways.

...and He laughs...knowingly.

...and now I am crying...AGAIN.

I need a hug. A big, oversized, super long HUG.

Let us be kind to each other this holiday season...to those with much, to those with little, to those with nothing, to those who are stressed for reasons we do not even know, to those who appear to have it all together, to those who do not, to those that get a year-end break and are joyful, to those who do not get a break and are extra frazzled, to those who are helping those with very little to nothing, to everyone...lets be just a little extra kind....

I want to BE extra kind, and I want others to be extra kind TO me....because I too am frazzled...

I love where I am at....I love this season of my life....and I love the holidays on top of it...but that does not mean I am not 30 seconds from an emotional break. Just sayin'.

....and the touching part....is that I. Am. Not. Alone.

So....lets save the world, sip our hot chocolate, take time to pray, do our jobs, make our lists, and every once in awhile....lets remember it is okay to breathe....take some extra time to hug those in our lives when we see them. The "To Dos" aren't getting any less...no matter how hard we work at them.

Maybe our purpose isn't in checking the items off our lists, but instead in the ones we add to them....

Hmmmm....a change of perspective from "have" to "get to"...

I get to run a company, help start a non-profit, go to Haiti, plan a trip to Africa in a few months, have brunch with a friend, work in my office (when it is incredibly quiet), go Christmas shopping and sip eggnog in SoMa tonight, do laundry (a month's worth) tonight when I get home, clean my house for guests, go grocery shopping, find ways to Christmas shopping for those I love....and on and on....

Maybe I slide in last minute on a few of these....maybe I e-mail Christmas cards this year....maybe my house isn't spotless for visitors this week and they have to make their own bed....maybe I don't accomplish each of these (and all the rest) perfectly....maybe that is all okay...maybe I am okay...Just. As. I. Am.

Maybe, just maybe....You. Are. Too.

I am loving this season...I keep saying it to people (and myself) as I pinch myself....but that doesn't mean I have mastered a perfect life or that I am perfect or that I am even attempting to be perfect (if you know me, you know I gave up on that YEARS ago)....but that doesn't mean that life and the world doesn't push those perfection expectations down on us...All. The. Time. So maybe today it was good for me to remember that perfect is not who I am; that it is not even in my vocabulary....and that NO one who truly knows me OR truly loves me wants a "Perfect Heather" anyway....what fun is that?!?! :))))

So.....here is to shattering that perfection expectation. Hell, we are all getting older....God has big plans for our lives....we all have too much to do....Why?

We woke up this morning. Period.

Savor the season...the seasons of your life...the seasons on the calendar...each are important. To you. To someone you love. To someone you will never meet. It. All. Matters.

Love. ❤️☀️

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

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The View


My view. 

Hmmm...

I have seen this view a lot in the past year. 

This view has watched me..

Grow. Cry. Write. Run numbers. Write business plans. Write blog posts. Write papers.  It has seen me on blind dates. Business meetings. Bad days. Worse nights. It has seen me celebrate. Commiserate. It has seen me...Live.

What is your view?

How has your view changed in 2013?

How will it change in the new year?

Yesterday I realized it was two weeks until Christmas. Two weeks!!!! Where has this year gone? 

This view knows...

I sit here starving, exhausted, blissfully happy, and nervous. 

What I am most though is blessed. 

Today at 42 I know who I am. Who I am not. My non-negotiables. My sins. My strengths. My passions. My friends. My family. My heart.

Mostly I know my God. My center. My compass.

I am a girl. I am a sinner. I am grace.

My heart hurts. My heart loves. My heart lives.

Someone said to me last night, "Heather you are trying to save the world." I threw by head back in nervous laughter...

....and I knew....I guess I am. 

I simply want to show there is grace and a chance....simply a chance...to change your world as you have been led to believe it is limited to be. 

The limits are the great lie of this world. They are spoken in dark places of our souls that we are unworthy, undeserving, and not enough. I want to squelch that lie. It is not true. Not. True.

I end this year with hope and joy for the coming year. Pure. Joy.

I can't wait to see what this view sees in the year to come...

For all of us.