Thursday, February 27, 2014
Let me tell you something. I steal other's words. All. The. Time.
Last weekend at Jen Hatmaker, she told a story and used the phrase, "I was already idling a little high that day..." in it, and I ugly laughed (my extremely obnoxious, loud laugh...not pretty) because frankly, I was a little nervous of how much she had just...well, Nailed. Me. with that statement. I mean...I probably "idle a little high"...Ummm....Every. Day. So after the nervous laughter subsided, I noted it in my journal...knowing that I would be using that one...Ummm....A. Lot. in the future. :)))
Well, it didn't take long.
I was idling a little high yesterday. And by "a little" I so mean A. Lot.
When you run a company that you have ownership in (okay I am an entrepreneur though I grin like a five year old still when someone describes me as such...because...well, that is my father...that is NOT me....right?!).
So...when you run a company that you have a stake in...and say your employees screw up (read that as colossal failure of gargantuan proportions...complete #moralfail)....and your partner looks at you terrified because he knows you are #beyondmad because you have gone silent. There is a great John Wayne movie called McClintock and in it John Wayne loses it...and they describe how they know it is different this time by the look of his face (not his words)...all I am saying is that when I stop talking...you need to back up the bus...because I have peaked into silent mode...and that is a much more dangerous land to be in (for me and you).
So....#moralfail yesterday. Heather silent. You are pretty much caught up.
So...then I get a phone call reminding me of a conversation earlier last week where someone basically took it upon themselves to tell our firm "how many and what for" not knowing anything about us...in a nut shell...I got shook down like I was sitting in front of the godfather (and I haven't even seen those films...not a one...not my thing), but I knew enough to know what I was experiencing...(Please note that the caller was trying to help...had no idea of my morning...loves me dearly and the feeling is mutual).
So #moralfail, I have gone silent, and reminder of earlier shake-down....
Yup...I was "idling high"...to say the absolute very least.
Fast forward from the day from H.E.L.L. (read that as hell). I end up at my friend's house for a pre-scheduled homemade dinner with her family. I picked up a nice bottle of wine. Checked my directions, and headed over. Let me describe my look...I looked like H.E.L.L. (read that as hell). I had on...well, it is pretty embarrassing....yoga pants under running pants with converse sneakers, a sweatshirt, and my hair may or may not have been up in a messy bun (but not that sexy kind you see on Pinterest). I arrive....and as I crossed the threshold my shoulders dropped...for I know that was the first time I had relaxed...All. Day. My friend greeted me with a big hug, and the kids were running around and welcoming me with, "Hi Miss Heather" spoken only as a child can that makes you feel like a million bucks. The food was fantastic. The laughter and ease was fantastic. The conversation was fantastic. The best part though....just being able to BE. Be.
I had a message from someone this morning asking me about my tribe, and their own journey trying to build one after watching me talk about mine so much...and I smiled and got a little teary-eyed as I responded to them with the story (cliff notes) of how mine came to be, what they have meant to me, and how I would not live my life without them. Period. It was amazing to me to recall where I have been and where I am now. Those that have always been with me, the new ones, the ones lost, and my own growth in simply being brave enough to let people in...behind the curtain...flaming imperfections and all. It was a reminder once again to hit my knees and let the gratitude wash over me like rain...because I am blessed...Blessed.
Let me tell you...whatever path I am on, and I am clearly on one, self-awareness, deep joy, self-acceptance, a closer relationship with Jesus, work that truly matters (to me), a tribe....all of that...none of that comes with the absence of anymore of the bad stuff. There are still plenty of times and days and seasons of "idling high"....the difference is that you have a tribe that knows you, loves you, and allows you to be you....in and on your best days....and your worst too.
I have spent a lifetime consumed with shame, guilt, and self-imposed expectations...Me and every other person reading this....because we do that. We take on all that was never meant to be yoked to us. The secret isn't simply in getting un-yoked....it is in surrounding yourself with people who will love you just as you are...yoked, un-yoked, messy, glorious, and everywhere in between. They will love you in and through EVERY season of your life.
My tribe...the whole diverse mess of them...heals me Every. Day. by doing just that, and I am better for them.
My prayers these days are longer and more convoluted than at any other point in my life...and let me be honest here...the daily prayer that always gets made is...God please don't ask me to live a day of life without my tribe...Ever. Again. This girl knows how blessed she is...Truly.
So let me encourage you here...go find your tribe...don't wade into it...JUMP. It was the most terrifying thing I have ever done, and yet it has brought the greatest joy.
It is also great for those days when you are idling a little high...;)
Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)
Sunday, February 23, 2014
I am afraid.
If there is one thing that I have learned about myself these past few years (and certainly not admitted before now) it is that I have bluffed my way through most of my life. You heard me. Bluffed.
I have spent the past 33 years and 2 months (not that I am counting) trying to ascend out of the mess I felt left in by my parents' divorce countered by a deeply-rooted knowledge that whatever I accomplished (from my personal salvation to a college degree to a promotion) I was deeply unworthy of and therefore at risk that at any given moment I would be found out a fraud and sent back to the fringe of poverty with which I came...I say fringe now because once you see Haiti, you wonder if food stamps is really a sign of poverty because you still have well....FOOD. Plus, I am never going to be one to complain about cheese...in any form...especially that free cheese we got as kids...which I must confess...was DELICOUS.
So, I am sitting here in shock and awe having spent five hours reading straight through Jen Hatmaker's Interrupted, and I am not quite sure of anything anymore except for the fact that I have, not to oversimplify, gotten it completely WRONG for the past 33 years and 2 months because I should have not looked at my driven quest for ascension (that surely started at age 9) or all of the fears that came with it as anything other than a race from fear...which made me a very angry person....which I did a pretty bang-up job of stuffing down (most...okay...some of the time)....because when you feel forced to ascend because of fear and then unworthy once you get there, also because of fear, and then terrified to lose it (yup! fear again). Well, you either get angry or cuckoo (to which I am not fully denying in this moment either), and I am not justifying it...but I am pretty blessed to not have lost my mind somewhere along the twisted path that is my family dynamic wrapped up in the enigma that was my childhood. Tied with the red bow that is "don't let everyone know you come from crazy because they might just think you are crazy" everything is OKAY. My life has been exhausting. I am taking full responsibility for that in this very moment. Whatever mistakes my parents and extended family made and make...they didn't make me respond with I am going to be "hell on wheels" whether it is church, work, school, or play. I mean. Have opinion; know how to use it. That's me.
As I am sitting here confessing this...it strikes me that I am already feeling nervous about my confession because I don't want to be misunderstood as some angry, middle-aged woman. Well, I am...in fact....angry...most of the time (though less and less through this season of life I am in...restoration in Jesus is good that way), and I am in fact middle-aged. And well...a Woman. I have never been angry 100% of the time at any point in my life, but I have in fact try to stuff down a good deal of anger...most of the time.
I am also not saying anger, in all senses, is bad. It is not. Jesus got angry. It happens.
I am simply saying that when our lives are motivated by what scares us instead of what we love...it brews into a concoction of anger...no one needs or wants in their lives. No. One. Especially when they feel it is unsafe to talk about...with anyone. I do mean ANY. ONE.
I have been in, and of, the church since I was in the womb. YET only when I had to openly (read that publicly humiliated) justify (and subsequently could not) my deeply held religious beliefs (read that as rules (aka legalism))...did I (read that as God made me) go on a quest for more (read that as MORE).
As a result, the past two and half years have been some of the more jaw-dropping of my life. I have lost friends, but I have gained a tribe. I have had to grapple with my own selfishness and pride. I have failed...on many levels, at many things, and I have (often tragically) owned it. There have been some not pretty days over the past 30 months. Not. Pretty.
I really thought going to Haiti last year was somehow the culmination of the drudgery of work God had been putting me through...What. An. Idiot. I. Am.
So...you come through the wilderness...feeling battered, bruised, but joyful...you have conquered the dragon. You are winning...Winning. Then, you have a culmination of events (read as challenging days and weeks in every.single.facet.of.your.life.) that lands you in the audience of a two-day Jen Hatmaker conference that you follow-up with by reading the book (you ironically ordered weeks ago...to read...oh, someday) that is still in the box...in five hours the day after the conference wraps because you can't get her words (and all of the ugly crying you did) out of your head...and as you read (and talk out loud to yourself...alone....in your living room) you realize that the past 30 months may in fact have been leading you to something very different and you drop the book, 80 pages in, like it is on fire. Read that as ON. FIRE.
After another cup of coffee, a blueberry muffin (with real butter), you bravely dive back in...and when you finish...When. You. Finish....You have to go for a walk because only immersing yourself in nature, God's nature, will soothe you...and then it doesn't. You walk to the office, to work, because that is what you know...that is what you are good at...and somehow this all starts coming out.
What the What the...
Jen Hatmaker says, and writes, that when it (read the book to see what your "it" is) hit her and Brandon, they didn't talk about it for two days. Two days. I don't want to talk about it EVER...don't think I can...and who the hay-who am I going to tell this to?? Then I remember my tribe...and the anger dissipates...I am not the only one out here alone without a partner to get wrecked with...and all of us need a voice, a tribe, and the thoughts are forming, and I am too scared to keep writing. It. Is. Just. Too. Terrifying.
I leave for Haiti again in two weeks. This trip will be different (for a number of reasons).
I am not ready, and I don't mean just for Haiti. I am not ready for all of this. My voice is not ready.
...and therein lies the point.
I have spent my whole life trying to be ready....to be right...to be together....to be respected.
I should have spent that time marinating in the messy, happy to be wrong, unglued, and worrying about the respect (read as love) of only one.
I thought learning to be radically obedient was my Achilles Heel. Who knew that was only a precursor to the deeper issue...I am pissed at God....and as a result at me/myself/I.
Isaiah 58 just popped in my head...I went in search of it. My face went crimson red reading it...I was going to pick out a section, but why?! The entire chapter is just...breathtaking....and I know I was not meant to dice it up...
I know some of you who read this blog are like...confused. Some of you are probably saying...it is about time. Others still are wondering where is she going with all of this?
All fair points.
Where I am is open to whatever is next. I feel like I have come so far personally and professionally and spiritually the past few years, but clearly (Duh!) I have many miles to go before I sleep...
I am simply no longer satisfied with the life that this world tells me I should have...that I should want...that I should need.
I am done.
While my life, in many ways, looks very different today than even 16 months ago...there are more changes to come. I know that. I feel that.
I am terrified and clearly ill-equipped.
I am learning...that is okay. I don't need to be perfect (I never really was very good at trying to be anyway). I think I like me better here in this world of uncertainty, unhinged, and unwound. My truth is here. Grace is here. Love is here.
If you want to get off this ride of reading these crazy posts of mine...I understand. Now would be a good time. It will only get "crazier" (by somebody's standards) from here. I also have NO idea what I just wrote means...it just typed itself. I did pause for a moment, but I am going to leave it in....just like the rest of this unwound post...because my truth is blissfully here in all of its messy-goodness.
I once was a girl looking to build up a life. Protective walls, security, and all.
I don't even know that girl anymore.
Living from your heart is terrifying, but true strength lies...There.
The Stand (Live) by Hillsong United (The I Heart Revolution)
Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)
Thursday, February 13, 2014
...I didn't know what I was going to write sitting on my couch at 4 a.m (up since around 1:30 a.m.)....and I started with this photo thinking it was going in one direction...and just like that...it changed. Boom.
Well played. Well. Played.
I wrote a post once about the wilderness and the lessons I was learning during a season trudging through my own wilderness and how a pastor/teacher/mentor/someone had given me a fresh perspective using the story of the Israelites wandering for 40 years in the wilderness...By Choice...What??? #mindblown #Iwillnotfullydigresstherenow
I just had an epiphany...are the storms surrounding me as of late...my own?
Insert four letter words...Here.
Several in my "tribe" have been urging me forward in some pretty radical directions lately...and by "radical" I fully mean fully out of Heather Ruth's comfort zone. Fully. ;) If you read this blog regularly...you know that Heather is fully in love with her comfort zone...and God is trying to break us up. For. My. Own. Good. So clearly he has started bringing in additional soldiers in the battle. He doesn't need them...yet he is using them...and that alone is giving me tremendous pause...
This life is not for the faint of heart...on a good day...on our best days. This life...when you are working to live it on the edge of good sense...all heart...radically obedient...ignorant of what is next...embracing even the worst ick with faith in something greater than you or what you can see right before you.....well, I feel a lot like I did when I was five years old riding rollercoasters with my grandfather...giddy, terrified, safe, free...Free.
I just had another...Sigh...
I am reading this book called "Reckless" by Jennie Allen, and it is wrecking me. I just remembered something I read in it the other night, "Because we are never free until we let go."
I feel like someone just did those jumper cables on my heart just now as I was typing that...
I am going to have to come back to this post, but in an act of bravery I am going to post it icky and scrambled (like some good eggs) this morning...first, because my heart was just wrecked in those words...second, because I have to go meet my firm's crews at 5:30 a.m. (I clearly drew the short straw there...just kidding...:)))
I don't know that I believe finding my way through the storm is the point...not anymore...I think as I am letting go...the storms are simply becoming more apparent to me...and I am growing less fearful of them...because it isn't about me or my ability to control or fix or save....my only job is to release my grip, trust, love, pray, stand up, be present, be brave....all in the face of I have no idea what is coming next...and that is okay.
I am letting go. I have let go.
Shaking my head...
Healing is a gift. Healing is such a gift. I love when it happens and you don't know it until you are sitting at a computer in the middle of the night with a full heart, heavy heart, weary body...and the healing reveals itself as you type. That is how God works with me, and I am so grateful. In this moment with tears in my eyes, starting to fall to the keyboard...body spent, brain fried, in the same clothes I threw on running out the door at dawn yesterday morning...I am so happy. So happy and laughing...and that my friends is the gift. His gift.
God is in the roses and the thorns...and that is beautiful.
I have miles to go...lessons to learn...but I am further along than I have ever been...and the realization of that small victory...is more beautiful to me than...well, anything.
So let the storm rage...and the waves crash.
My bracelet from Haiti...a gift to me from the owner of the metal arts shop...it has been on me all day...at the end of today...it continues to speak for...and to...me. #haiti #heart #heartaddict #Godisintherosesandthethor
Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
|Me and Sis|
Let me tell you a story of love and trust....
My Sis has never been out of the country. She has never really been away from her husband and kids for more than a few days....once I think...they are a sappy, sweet love story....but she is about to go with me to Haiti. Just the two of us (and a whole bunch of high school and college kids) getting wrecked together...and I am blown away by the sacrifice...I know all of the sacrifices emotionally with a trip of this nature...but what of the ones I don't...leaving her family, trusting me and a group that she has no connection with (except through me), and simply clasping my hand....and jumping...with me. With me.
Let me tell you...I have cried more in the past few hours than I have since returning from Haiti this last time...I am...wrecked...by her heart.
One of the beautiful things I love most about getting older...is learning things about those I love....those things that surprise me....touch my heart.
I love my Sis.
In this moment...I know she doesn't realize what a gift her going is to me...she will probably never fully understand...but it is the best gift. Best. The only (ONLY) thing missing from Haiti these past two trips has been someone to experience it with...and the truth is...I am more excited to see it through her eyes and her big, beautiful heart...than anything else.
So...to the one who just broke my heart (in the best ways)....exploding (Ellie Goulding's Explosions) it (in the best ways)....just by saying, "Yes."....Thank you. I love you. I cannot wait to go on this adventure with you. I can't wait to see how God wrecks us both...You ARE...#BestSisEVER