Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Intersection Point


Sometimes two loves in our life intersect. When that happens, it is magic. Today I experienced the magic of that when my firm spent the day at Camp Caudle completing energy assessments throughout the camp in the hopes of finding ways to save the non-profit camp money on their utility bills which as you can imagine are expensive. 

It was a great experience. 

What I didn't expect was the frustration I felt when it was over. 

*Sigh*

Certainly a case can be made that after weeks (started 9/30) of running at a breakneck pace with zero time to catch my breath or even do appropriate follow-up from the trips, conferences, new friends met, etc...I am clearly running on fumes. Heart worn and torn.

Life tells you that you are supposed to be glowing and happy with so many great experiences in the books, heart tank full from Haiti, professional wins, and good stuff. 

No one wants to discuss the rest of the story....piles of laundry, bags from some trips still laying piled up unpacked or worse the ones that were unpacked by dumping on the floor so you could fill them up for a different trip, the dust bunnies that have procreated to an extent that they are now bunny villages, the trash (Do. Not. Even.), your bedroom side table that still holds the remains from a two week winter cold that would NOT let go, gifts that remain in piles still needing to be mailed, and this is just a snippet of home. My office is worse. The amount of paperwork is obscene. I swear it multiplies overnight. It all feels like TOO MUCH. 

Because...

It. Is.

I know this should only be a season. A period of eight weeks I planned for and knew was coming, but still it feels...like more than I bargained for...more than I want...more than I need...

Last night as I doped myself on NyQuil and snuggled up under a quilt watching the final three episodes of West Wing on Netflix (one of my all time favorite shows I have been re-watching as I fall asleep for the past few months)...I got to the next to last episode (Season 7, Episode 21) and watched one of the characters wrestle with choices about their life after working in the White House for eight years. She was a single working woman asking the question, "Have I lost my window..." for a regular life that isn't controlled by a cell phone, work demands, etc.? 

I started crying.

I worry all the time if I have lost my window. Of course these days, I look to God begging him to give me another window (different metaphor) than the one I am looking through...but still...point made.

The answer is of course no, but right now it doesn't feel that way. It feels like I am running and striving again and while the goals are better today than in the past...more worthy (dare I say)...it doesn't negate that I continue to wrestle with depleted (or scarce) resources (sleep, energy, time) and the burning question...is this all there is for my life? Am I spending my resources appropriately? Am I running the right race? Should I focus on one of my "loves" instead of a baker's dozen? Mostly....God where are you in THIS? All of this? I am so grateful, but holy cow there is SO much of this! 😳

I am reading through Nehemiah...again!...and I continue to be struck by how in the end...he kept asking God to "remember" and "remember me" and after all he did for God and the kingdom he wrestled with "remember" and I share...

Sorry...crying and typing in a full restaurant and had to wipe my eyes as the owner walked up...

I digress.

I share Nehemiah's broken heart to help and do more and feeling inadequate and wonder myself...will I be remembered by God?

How is my life adding to the kingdom or to the betterment of the world? Do I do less in order to do more? Do I do more and stop whining? 

Today the heart rock reminded me that God loves me and sees me and I was where he wanted...in that moment. What about tomorrow? Where does he want me tomorrow?

My calendar is full. Is it full of the right stuff?

I am wrestling tonight. Hard. It feels like my window is closing, and I am afraid I am going to miss it. 

Praying for reassurance tonight. Kneeling at the point of intersection. The cross. ❤️☀️



Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Lessons In Closing Doors Behind You

Let me tell you just how bad growth sucks...and how eating crow sucks more.

Ugh.

I feel like it is both a sign of how much I have grown that I can so quickly and sincerely apologize to someone, but then on the hundredth time something is brought up...I finally say, You know I am sorry for past sins, but I cannot keep apologizing for something that happened in the past that I have already acknowledged, apologized for, and changed from...I don't want this brought up again between us...I can't keep having this conversation. How do we move forward?

Bam!

Thank you Jesus!

Old Heather could neither have owned the mistake, nor apologized, and/or not allowed myself to be beat up again and again for it into eternity.

Growth. Where have you been all my life?


I remember leaning over the bridge looking at the Arkansas River here in Colorado (on my way back to Arkansas in 2012)  knowing that some things and people would move forward with me...and others I would have to say good-bye too. It was a breathtaking moment.
Here is the side of growth that no one writes about...where someone uses your past sin as a baseball bat to beat you with into infinitum. It is a thing. It is a serious thing for those of us who are easily prey to martyrdom.

Ouch.

Double Ouch.

So let me lay it out there and hopefully someone will learn from my willingness to look the idiot here...

You have made mistakes. Some of those mistakes are critical errors. You have a God who forgives you. You have a God who has an expectation that you will forgive yourself. You have a God who has an expectation that you will forgive others. You cannot control others as it comes to accept forgiveness or offering it.

I had you right up until the last part.

You cannot control who will forgive you. You cannot control who will truly accept your forgiveness. It is just that simple and just that difficult.

I have made some mistakes that when they cross my mind, I shudder. Yeah...that bad. The truth is that whether it is a cross word spoken to murder...when your conscious takes hold and you are convicted about something...it doesn't matter WHAT it is because it ALL matters in your heart with God. Suddenly that little white lie to a viscous argument to whatever is the BIGGEST thing in the world. Guess what...it all matters and yet is also all forgivable to your God, but it doesn't always work that easily to those we have hurt with our sins.

So many of us have used forgiveness as a weapon in our lives. Well you have to forgive me, or you have to be okay because I asked forgiveness, or I forgave you why are you so weird toward me??? I mean how many of us have spoken or had those spoken to us in our lives.

Yeah...that is what I thought.

I have worked really hard to forgive others and then keep moving forward with no expectation on them or our relationship. True forgiveness comes from asking for or receiving without expectation. That is truly hard, but for your sanity...you have to learn it.

Back to the beginning of the post. I have "repented" again and again about something with someone, but they are just "hung up" on it and can't move forward. At some point, I have to be okay that we might not be able to get back to where we were. That hurts...both sides...but it is our reality and one that we have to be willing to consider for our individual health and well being. No one wants to have a yoke on their shoulder every day trudging through trying to make a relationship okay when it is NOT okay.

I fight...to the end. That is who I am, but what I am learning is that sometimes it is worth the "fight" but not solvable on this side of heaven....no matter what. At this point, I am learning the painful lesson of knowing when, "I can't keep having THIS fight/discussion/etc."

One of my parents gave me a book years ago on Boundaries that was startling if you know my parental history. I am a girl with no boundaries on my heart, and they knew that. That book is good, but it took me a long time before I read it. I have, and I am learning. I was raised and always believed that you should take the hit, trudge through, no matter what. I am learning the fallacy of that. It is not easy or perfect or for everyone, but for this girl...it is a critical point of my growth to be able to say to someone in a soft tone, "I can't keep having this discussion/fight/argument. We may need to make a change." How I say this, as much as the words, has opened up discussions and depth between me and others I would have never known otherwise....on the flip side, it has given both sides permission to close doors...sometimes between each other. 

It is a risk that must be taken...Every. Time. It is also always a last resort for me...but one that I am at least finally willing to consider before it is too late.

This is a hard post for me to write...and one that I really need to be read knowing that I am writing it from and with a heart of compassion...it is simply me sharing the struggle in some of the lessons God is teaching me. I don't necessarily enjoy these lessons...this being one of my least favorites thus far, but it is one that I know I needed...I am either too hard on people or too hard on myself or both....and the truth is that we teach people how to treat us. It has taken me a long time to learn how to treat myself and my own heart...now comes the hard lessons in teaching others who have not always treated me well. It is also challenging for those that I have not treated well to forgive me and move on. Lots of landmines in this lesson. Have I mentioned lately how much #growthsucks??!?!?! :)))

Here is to hoping this helps you consider your own boundaries or lack of them. How are you treating forgiveness of yourself? Forgiveness of others? Are there people in your past, your life that you need to work to restore? Walk away from? And in all of this, ask God...where are you in THIS? What would you have me to do? I don't make decisions these days without asking and waiting on God to direct me? And then to ask the second and third questions? Thank you John Eldredge.

Here is to healthy relationships. May we all work to have more of them...Every. Day.

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