Thursday, September 24, 2015

Another Fragile Edge

I started writing last night, stopped midway through a post, gave up, went to bed.

I sit here this morning trying to begin again.

I loved the I kept it (see above), but I hated the words...whiny, nonsensical words. So....they are all gone to the Netherlands of where writers send their thoughts banished via the delete key.

*Deep Sigh*

When I was little I would swing...and swing...and swing. I remember loving to watch the clouds roll by and see the different pictures in their various shapes. I remember listening to leaves rustle and a dog barking or cow mooing in the background. I remember seeing my father come around the corner of our farmhouse. I remember my mother hollering through the screen door on the back porch off the kitchen. I remember...some days...I remember EVERYTHING.

Yesterday I lost my religion, and by that I mean I lost my sh*t. A client lied to my employees, then my business partner, and finally to me. They had been lying for weeks. It was more painful because it came right after some of the best news my partner and I could have imagined for our firm. Like...within 15 minutes.

I can't even.

I know that many people would respond with that is life. That is what it means to be an entrepreneur. Put your big girl panties on. Welcome to real life. And ALL of that.


Life can be better. I can be better.

"One of the strangest quirks of our life here on this planet
is the fact that the one face we hardly ever see is the one

closest to us: our own. As we move about in the world

every day, our face is always right before us and always

just beyond us. Somebody could write a fairy tale about

that. It would be an allegory for how rarely we see ourselves,

who we truly are, the good and the bad. But in

unexpected moments we get a sideways glance, as when

passing by a plate-glass window downtown, and most of

the time we don’t like much what we see.

Notice how we are in elevators: No one makes eye

contact. No one wants to acknowledge that we are seeing

and being seen. In a moment of forced intimacy,

almost claustrophobic intimacy, we pretend we aren’t

even there. The reason? Most times we just don’t know

what to do with what we see. About ourselves, I mean.

It doesn’t take a Nobel Prize winner to know that something

dreadful has happened to the human race. So we

stare at the ceiling or our shoes; we watch the numbers

report the passing floors; we hide. This is how most

of us approach our entire lives—we hide what we can,

work on what we feel is redeemable, and despise the rest.

 There is a better way.

Whether you are aware of it or not, you crave goodness. In the depths of your

being, you ache for goodness; we all do. Our souls long

for a sense of wholeness, and goodness is essential for

wholeness. We are made for goodness like we are made

to breathe, like we are made to love. Goodness is the

strength of our condition. Friends, you are going to need

a deep and profound goodness for all that is coming at

you like a freight train."

The above is the opening chapter to "Utter Relief of Holiness" by John Eldredge. The book has been re-released under a new title "Free To Live" and let me state this as clear as possible...the book is a Game. Changer.
I was filled to the rim with goodness yesterday...towards everyone including myself and in the span of 30 minutes the enemy had me in a headlock. Took. Me. Out.
That is how it works.
....and just like that another fragile edge of myself is laid bare in front of me and anyone within ear shot.
I am not na├»ve. I know that life is hard and mean people are out there, but I also know that we have been given the ability (albeit not the gift) of self-control. It is our choice whether or not to use it.
A friend of mine was drunk-dialing me last night (and I was not in a good head space) and then again this morning (tied up), and when I finally was able to call her back she needed me to walk her off the ledge....she had heard all of these people jibber-jabbering about the pope and politicians and just bashing both...but something she overheard was curious...seems they were particularly upset because the pope had said "The Creator" instead of "God"...seriously?!?! Did you know there are 900+ variations of God in the Bible? Ways that God referred to himself or others did. 900+. How do I know? Google. Now I like a good debate as good as the next person and I am not catholic, but were they for real? 
They will know us by our love.
 "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." - John 13:35
My fellow Christians....they don't know we love Jesus  and that we belong to him and that the Bible is true and beautiful and real....because we don't love others well, we don't love ourselves well, we don't love fellow believers well. We. Don't. Love. Well.
They will know us by our love.
I had no real words of advice for my friend but this...respond in grace with facts. Don't respond in anger. Don't lash out with words questioning their intelligence. Don't compound ignorance with anger.
....and my face flashes crimson.
I lost my sh*t yesterday, but you know what I also did...later after hours I sent a private text to the witnesses of my outburst with an apology for losing it in front of them (no matter the reasons). You know what they did? They replied back with no worries...we love you....and one sent a response in Pig Latin that I did not understand but made me LOL...he explained it this morning when we all came in.
You know what that is called my friends?
Grace. Goodness. Growth.
I may have found another fragile edge last night, but you want to know what else I people...locking catch love.
The world is hard. People lie. Mean people are everywhere. Religions vary. Politicians are (shockingly) politicians. Opinions differ.
Love can permeate and neutralize all of it. ALL of it.
Respond in love today to whoever needs it...and let me just say from someone who knows....start with the person looking back at you in the mirror. That person is doing okay...give them a fist bump.
Yesterday I really HEARD this song for the first time "Hot Gates" by Mumford and Sons and let me say the meaning is Don't look away from the tough stuff. The tough stuff is a disguise for the GOOD stuff. I don't know about you, but bless my heart....I want more of the tough stuff because I am addicted to the good stuff I find in it.
Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :) 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

An Open Letter To My Bully

I hate open letters, but I hate bullying here goes...

A fourth grader's letter this morning is stuck in my heart...I have tried to shake it, but I can't. If a fourth grader has enough spunk to ask the BIG question(s) relevant to their age and circumstance...than can't I, a 44 year old woman do the same?

Lord Jesus I hope so....

This is an open letter, but a private letter to the person will be drafted and mailed. Just FYI.

Dear Bully:

I am so sorry.

I am sorry that whatever is happening in your personal and/or professional life made it feel okay to you to berate and bully a professional organization, your firm's strategic partner, a woman, a man.

I was once you. I once had a big job, a big title, a billion dollar firm behind me (to have my back), a bunch of minions who did my bidding (fearfully so) even when I was operating blindly and poorly. I once made decisions in a vacuum, when angry and frustrated, in a rage, without all of the facts, without listening or counseling with others. I once operated from ego and fear.

Oh who are we kidding, I still do it more often than I care to admit.

I am a recovering "Kicking Ass and Taking Names" executive, fear monger, asshole.

The problem is that when you are "recovering" you can no longer "go to" your inner asshole when someone bullies you. I mean you can.....but then you are no longer are just back to being an asshole.

I cried so much yesterday even my business partner was concerned that I might simply collapse. I cried because I was hurt and frustrated, but when I finally got to the nut-cutting...I was crying because I knew how to make the situation right, but to do so meant that I would unwind all of the lessons from the past three years. Every. Single. One. So I secretly wept throughout the day and then went home last night and wept until I fell asleep...the entire time just pleading with God about how I know I am supposed to let him handle this...why aren't you handling this...I can't stand not being in control...this is the WORST feeling ever...make it stop. Please. Please!

I had a hard day.

You know what?!

Me and 99% of the population of the WORLD had a hard day yesterday. The injustices small and large being lodged against the people on this planet are more numerous than every single strand of hair on every single person occupying the planet today.

You know how the devil takes us OUT? Fear. 1000% every single time.

Fear to step up,

step out,

do something,

speak up,

speak out,

stand up,

stand out,


Huh? Wait. What???


How radical would it be if when someone was HORRIBLE to us we simply loved them? Gave them to God and simply loved them?

I can't do this so I am looking for teachers, but the best teacher that ever walked the earth was Jesus...and he gave us such a precious example of how to love others. An example that try as I might I cannot replicate daily.

Bullies suck. I mean the whole thing about bullies is that they want to feel POWERFUL and make everyone around them feel POWERLESS.

Good thing I am already powerless...because I gave mine up to Jesus a long time ago....and every time I get the urge to pound my chest and right a wrong...I have to remind myself of this lesson and lay my lousy excuse for power down at the foot of the cross.

Not my will, but yours.

Not. My. Will.

I am weeping (AGAIN) typing this....I don't want to give up my power. Every cell in my body is screaming and resisting.

Do I trust God or am I just playing Christian?

That is the question.

I really want to trust him...with my heart, my life, my body, my mind, my soul, my company, my family, my future....the whole entire thing....but when I am really is the hardest thing I have ever done.

To the latest bully in my life...I am sorry. Someone hurt you and this is the only way you know. I won't perpetuate that hurt by fighting you no matter how much I want to...I love you and want nothing but healing and wholeness for you. Someone once believed in me...that I could be better...they believed in my higher, better self. I am trying to pay it forward and believe in that for you. Life is hard enough. Maybe we simply need to drop our shoulders, put down our clinched fists, and act in kindness??

If you haven't heard Heroes by Amanda Cook, let me recommend it here and now.

"I lay down my at your feet..."

I am so tired of trying to be the hero of the story...that isn't my never has been.

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

Friday, September 11, 2015

In Search of Joy

For the second morning in a row my body and brain have decided to wake up at 4 a.m. I am not entirely sure what that is all about, but it has given me extra time with coffee and my thoughts (neither of which is necessarily a good thing). This morning I reflected on the discussion our IF:Group had last night...and I realized that at some point I had an epiphany that my JOY has gone missing....maybe yours is MIA too.
It wouldn't be a shocker...I mean the world...feels heavy and unstable...busyness in our days...families hurting...I mean if joy were a byproduct of stability (not that it is) than we are in trouble. By we, I mean me...and maybe you. Okay, I mean we.
This morning I started writing...
"I have no joy.
I'm scared. What if?
Dear God, what if?
What if - "

...and I started making a list.

...and that list looked a lot like a list of fears.

...and that list got long.

Suddenly I realized I felt frozen due to all of these fears...that the fears were killing my joy.

...and then I felt stupid.

I know I should give these fears up to God. I know I am being irrational. I know that the feelings of being too much or not enough are lies from the enemy.
Suddenly...I need someone to confess to...IRL.
Allow me a digression...
I read. A lot.
What I am searching for is not going to be found in the books that line my shelves, or piled on my side table, coffee table, in my bag, or on my desk. What I am searching for is only going to be found in the Word. The Bible. What I need. What I am searching something deeper and more meaningful. Something to help me understand the insanity in our role in heart.
My joy is missing because my heart is broken. The world broke it. Frankly, there is only one person who can put it back together...and he is not of this world.
As I let that hang....
I wanted to share this simple post (LINK) that shares 10 verses on JOY.
There are plenty of people out there to tell you how to think, what to think, how to was a reminder that I have a book full of wisdom right in front of me....and if God is waking me up at 4 in the morning...maybe it is because he has something to tell me.
I got to the office this morning with my Bible and my journal, and I started making post-it notes with "joy" verses on them. I then started posting them around my desk and office. I mean this is where I spend more time than anywhere else, and work is also where the enemy twists me (the most) in knots.
I can't "fix" my IRL voids like relationship, BFF, etc., but I can put big reminders in view constantly that the void is not mine to fill or fix, but God's...and I can start trusting him more with my most private of pain. You know...the one we don't even admit to ourselves is there. *Ouch*
I have less than four months left in this specific season. I am a little terrified...truth be told....of it ending. I thought I would glide through these final months, but the past two weeks have shown me the harsh reality...I am going to have to wrestle with these lessons right through to the end. God is tightening up the vice or the enemy is....right now I am struggling to figure out if it is coming from the enemy holding on or God breaking me free. Either way, suddenly the actual pain in my head (that I ironically described as a vice) Wednesday morning...a pain I had never had prior...I now recognize as a physical manifestation of what is happening deep inside my heart/mind/spirit.
This is going to hurt a little.
The world and the enemy want to destroy us....destroy our hearts, our lives...our joy, and it doesn't take stroll through your social media feeds, the 30 second opener on the morning news, or simply answering the phone.
I am done being a punching bag for the enemy. Done.
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. ~ Proverbs 17:22

To be continued...

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

Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Story of You {Happy Birthday Sis!}

Sis, Haiti in October 2014 {Photo by Jen Primm}

Forty years ago today you were hardly seems possible as sometimes I still feel like that four year old girl who sneaked down the hall of that tiny hospital, peered around the door, and saw you for the first time. I was determined to see you...and when I did, I was in love.

Me...the day Sis was born, 1975

There was nothing about you or taking care of you that I did not love...from holding you, carrying you, feeding you, playing with you, changing your diapers, rocking you, and singing to you (not sure you enjoyed that last part as much). You can't imagine the joy for a four year old in having a real-live, beautiful baby doll....who in 1975 did a lot more than the baby doll I had at the time. You, my sweet Sis, have always been the real deal and a one of a kind.

Me and Sis, circa 1976

My four year old self could never have imagined the challenges that would come for that beautiful baby girl or the four year old girl trying to mother her (from day one). The challenges that we faced separately...and the ones we have faced arm-in-arm. Someday I will surely write a book as it would take at least one, maybe a series, to explain it all....and all of the characters along the way.

Out of all that happened TO us or we did on our own, in the past 40 years my biggest regrets are centered on when you and I couldn't get "us" right. I mean how do I explain that few months we didn't speak because we hurt each other and couldn't forgive, but how when we finally did, we made a pact to never let that happen to us again? How in the nearly dozen years since, we haven't, and how there is nothing I am more proud of than the relationship I work on every day with you. I mean can anyone ever understand how you and David have worked to keep me involved in your children's lives like a glorified Nana (aka Peter Pan), and how I have tried to honor your work to do so...and the faith you have placed in me to teach (good and bad stuff) to your children.

Me and Sis, Haiti in March 2014

As I sit here, the memories are flooding back...your stories and mine intertwined for 40 years, and I am grateful. Grateful to a God that entrusted me with you. Grateful to a God that watched over us and our lives all these years.

Forty years ago today a beautiful baby girl was born...she had lots of curly brown hair and big eyes that have become more green over the years (by a pure act of will....but I digress...;)). She was perfect in every single way. She was little and sassy....and from day one knew how to get what she wanted....she loved animals and baby dolls....she came out of the womb ready to mother the world. She grew up to become an amazing wife and mother full of love and fierce protectiveness of her little family....and she was all in. From the day she said I do to her true love, she has loved him and what they were building with everything she has....she does wife and mother better than anyone or anything I have ever witnessed before...and they love her back just as well. From her kids at church to the football boys to the children I got the pure pleasure of introducing her to in Haiti...she loves BIG and well...and she loves all.

Sis in Haiti, March 2014 {Photo by Julia Sinsky}

Today I celebrate this baby girl and the beautiful woman she IS and I remain grateful to be a part of her life in the small and large ways....Every. Day.

I love you Sis! You are the joy of my and always!

Welcome to the 40 Club! Sorry about that "surprise" coupled with the impromptu dance by me and David...;) :))))

Sis and her CRAZY, beautiful family, Beach, Summer 2015

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