Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thankful for Family

I hope this blog is following a great Thanksgiving for everyone! I think I decided that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. There's just something beautiful about family. I really like the idea of a group of people in different stages of life who maybe annoy each other, work out conflict together, and yet love each other fiercely, fight for each other, are real with one another, are stuck in this melting pot of life and make the best of it together...messy but beautiful. I decided this weekend that I want to have a big family. I was sitting around the dinner table the night before Thanksgiving when it occurred to me. I was with my mom, my stepdad, my brother and his wife. We were enjoying a meal together, a glass of wine, and dabbling in the art of conversation. Really, we were enjoying one another, and dinner was a convenient medium. What a blessing! Surely, God has given me more than I ever thought He might. Right now I'm sitting at my parent's home, on the couch, with my cat Charlie curled up in a blissful ball of fur and resting his head on my hand. My mom and brother are on the couch with me watching the game, the sky through the window is pleasantly overcast, and I have a wonderful evening to look forward to with my family...what could be better?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Stupid Mis-belief

Good morning!

Today is a good day - I can feel it! I hope the horizons are as bright on your day as they appear to be on mine. I hope that as you look about, you begin to feel it in your bones. The sun rises on the day, the trees are green again, the sky is blue again, and the color has returned to your eyes. The joy has returned to your laughter, and the warmth to your smile. This is my hope for you, Reader.

I was studying at Paradise Cafe the other day. When I study, I can't help but people-watch at least a little. Across the way was a family: mom, dad, a little girl and a little boy. (At one point the little boy, maybe four or five, walked by saying 'wazzup, b?' Haha!) But once when I looked up from my papers I caught the little girl staring at me. I'd seen that look before. I'd given that look before when I was a little girl. In a flash moment, I recognized that she was perceiving me to be something she looked up to: a "big girl", not the less a college girl (when you're that young, people in college seem so much more grown up). It caught me off guard, and as I said, only lasted a minute. But it was a paradigm shift. Coming from her eyes, I was this big person that seemed so far beyond her. But coming from my point of view, I was half dressed, didn't give a rat's rear how I looked that day, and was thinking of other things, namely why I hadn't studied for O-chem earlier. How easily we take ourselves for granted! I wonder if the gaze of a child is truer than the lenses we look through concerning ourselves. Because there are a lot of things that I tell myself that aren't true, or ways that I choose to see myself that even I know aren't accurate. I cover myself in all this complexity, when perhaps the barest is the best. Simplicity. Simply: we are beautiful and there is a certain inherent power in that. The end?

Another thing I found myself wondering that day (which didn't help O-chem get any more cemented in my brain) was what we would be if we didn't believe all those untrue things about ourselves. Seriously, it amazes me how much is bogging us down. At any given moment, I am capable of unconsciously (and the key is unconsciously) assuming all kinds of things about myself that wouldn't be true if I didn't believe them to be true. I think them, and therefore I craft them into existence in my life. I make assumptions about myself in my friendships with people and therefore take actions of their's to confirm those things and find myself hurt over nothing. Meaningless! Or when I speak, sometimes I don't think what I say matters, so the way I say it almost asks the listener to think that. At such a time, I speak quietly, and trail off as if to say, 'you weren't really listening anyway'. But what good does this do anyone? Because what if what I have to say is important? By denying that, not only am I hurt by confirming to myself something that isn't even true, but the listener too has failed to hear what I intended for their good.

In talking with some friends recently, I feel that I see this pattern emerge where we each have a unique fingerprint of the lies we believe and how it affects the way we read others actions. And so it becomes this circus where no one has intended harm but miraculously, in each of our inidivual ways, we walk away wounded somehow. It's like a well-oiled machine, a system that works well for the worst purposes. (Why honesty is so important!) But I repeat my question: what would we be if we were not bound by this? What if we could simply deflect the blows of these lies by seeing through them? Because I will repeat to my deathbed that they are, in fact, lies, and therefore meaningless. What nothings control us! It angers me as I see the damage that this has done to so many incredible people. Mocking bondage!

Please, consider the untruths you believe about yourself, and release them from your heart. If you have believed you are not good enough, know that you are. If you have believed that you are insignificant, know that you are incredibly significant by design. (God is an artist. He doesn't make trash.) If you have believed that you don't have what it takes, search within yourself and find it, because it is there. If you have believed you are ugly, or average, or any politically correct way to say less than beautiful, stop it! For you are stunning. Let your incredible beauty shine from your eyes. I repeat that God is an artist, and it is a very poor artist who makes the same thing over and over again. You look the way you do because God wanted it that way. If you have believed that your personality is not good enough, or that you are somehow unacceptable, please, for my heart's sake, stop believing this about yourself. You are very intentionally not the same as those around you. And for that matter, it's important to really know the person that you are so that you may live in your strengths - as they are unique to you - and contend with your weaknesses, as we all have them. The world needs your strengths, because no one else is in the same exact position you are, rubbing shoulders with the same people you are, in the same vocation as you are, in the same location that you are, with your precise strengths. Use them, friend, and see the good that is harvested from that.

Reader, please know that you are so loved today. Please rest in that. Please, please hear me in this. Understand the weight of bondage, and the glory of freedom. I am endeavoring to do the same.