December 19, 2014

Normal

I’m still finishing up my thoughts on breaking, but in the meantime I was thinking about what is normal.

We all judge ourselves based on what we think is normal. But whose to say what is normal? Is there even such thing as normal?

Are you normal? Am I normal? Is what you do normal? How you live... Is that normal?

What is the baseline for normal?

Some synonyms are: Usual. Standard. Regular. Ordinary. Typical. Customary. Common. Average.

One definition is: conforming to a standard, usual, typical, or expected; the usual, average, or typical state or condition.

So maybe the question is do we want to settle for normal or reach for above average and the extraordinary?

Be back soon for the conclusion of breaking. 

December 16, 2014

Tickled


After several heavy posts it’s about time for a bit of a light hearted conversation so I’ll humor you with some conversation that took place tonight and got me a little tickled.

Persons present: Myself, Peyton Anne, Russell, and Nathan
Relationship explanation: Myself, Peyton Anne and Russell- Siblings;
                                              Nathan- Peyton Anne’s fiancĂ©
Lets set the stage: Gathered in Russell’s bedroom, his sisters are giving him some job hunting advise. Maybe the advise was asked for and maybe it wasn’t. I’ll leave that to your imagination. Nathan enters after a night at work serving tables with a hard earned catfish dinner from the good ‘ole Cracker Barrel.

The conversation went like this:

Nathan: (directed toward Russell) “Is it okay if I eat in your room?”

Russell: “Sure, dude. I don’t care.”

Elizabeth: (as Nathan appears to dig into dinner with his bare hands) “Ummmm… do you have utensils for that?”

Nathan: (as he has a puzzled look on his face and looks in the bag) “Why yes I DO!”

Elizabeth: “Ok. Good. I thought you were just going to dig in with your hands there.”

Nathan: (in his humble, innocent voice) “Just let me know if I’m being too loud.”

Peyton Anne: (immediately and referring to his smacking) “Yes, you need to be quiet!”

Myself: (referring to his talking) “Yes, you need to shhhhh!” (followed by my hand motion to shut it)   

Myself: (guilt sets in for the abruptness of our response to his innocent concern of interrupting us) “Are you SURE you’re going to be able to handle us?”

Nathan: (after a pause of hesitation in how to answer the question) “Ummmmm… We’ll find out, but it looks like Russell has survived.”

Russell: “And THAT is a feat!”

A little later…. I am gathering my things to head home for the evening.

Peyton Anne: “Wait, don’t leave yet! I GOT A GIFT FOR YOU!”

After running down the stairs to catch me before I left, she presents me with a book.

Peyton Anne: (with extreme excitement) “Here! It’s a book! It was in the free bin at McKays and looked like one of those self help books you like to read so I thought you might like it!”

Myself: (not sure if it’s really a gift or if she’s trying to tell me I really DO need help) “Ummmm… ok. Thanks?”

Nathan: (yelling from the other room in the background) “At least tell her it was 50 cents!”

I proceed to read the back of the book and we discuss if this is a book I should read or if it is a “quack” book. Everyone collectively agrees I do NOT need to read a quack book and that I have enough quackers quacking in my head right now due to the tough past 12 months.

My future brother-in-law (that I previously hushed with my hand motions) ever so kindly does a quick google on the author and we decide it is not a “quack” book.

So a big thanks to the sis for another self-help book to add to my collection!

And to the fellows in my life that get me laughing when its been a tough thing to do lately.


I’m tickled each of you are in my life! *quack, quack*

December 15, 2014

Broken Part 2


My name is Elizabeth and I’m a recovering perfectionist, worry wart and control freak.

And my world has slowly been blown apart this year. Professionally. Relationally. Personally. Spiritually. I’ll spare you the details, but you can imagine the blow to a performance driven personality when you discover there are things that you simply cannot perform or control no matter how hard you try.

The more you try. The more you fail. And the more you break.

Fortunately, He was kind enough to cushion the blow before the shattered pieces started to fall. He’s just too good to me like that. Those of you that know me know that I find hearts all around. Be it a heart formed cloud, a heart spray painted in the middle of the road, a spillage of coffee in the shape of a heart, a heart shaped shell- you name it. I’ve seen it in the form of a heart.

When I first started seeing hearts they were not perfectly formed hearts. You could say I had to sometimes use my imagination. In fact, lots of them were what I would call broken hearts. I longed for whole hearts. In the summer of 2012 after finding a shell in the shape of a broken heart, He told me that “He heals the broken”. I don’t exactly recall when I started finding whole hearts, but I do recall when MY heart was broken.

I was done with the performing and perfecting and people pleasing. I caved into life and pleaded for a new way. I started doing a lot of soul searching and self evaluating. ‘Ya know- digging into the hard places; the scary and dark and cold places.

I’m very much aware that in order for Him to heal the broken, you have to break first. During this time I often need reminding of His promises and like Ellie’s song says, “I’m better off when I begin to remember how you have meet me in my deepest pain.” He’s already brought me through days I doubted. And there’s no doubt He’ll get me through these doubting days too. The beauty of it all you may wonder? Remember… He heals the broken! And in the end MY heart will be whole and it will be more beautiful than before!

I am unsure of how long this process of breaking will take. In the meantime, I will cling to the promise- He heals the broken. 

But the question remains. Where is a breaking heart to turn?

Come back and I’ll wrap it up soon. 

December 13, 2014

Broken Part 1

If you know me, you know this year has been a tough one. Full of change. In too many areas for my comfort. And I’m breaking. Not fully broken, but in the process of being gently shattered.

But fear not! In order to be made whole you must first break.

I found myself in the worst possible place for a breaking (Christian) woman to be: a room full of fellow (Christian) women. *Gasp*

Don’t deny it. You know what it feels like. To be surrounded by women that appear to have it all together while your life falls apart. They are all smiles, hair perfectly set, children well behaved, make up perfectly applied, handsome husbands at side, clothes perfectly ironed, and nails beautifully manicured. I used to be that woman that appeared to have it all together.

A friend of mine asked me if I was coming to this particular (Christian) women’s event. And while I really, REALLY didn’t want to be around a bunch of (Christian) women while in this process of being broken and self-aware of my extreme sensitivity, I felt a tug on my heart to go to this particular event with other (Christian) women.

*Delayed disclaimer: You too will be sick of (Christian) women by the end of this post!*

And what do ‘ya know?  I attend this event and He slowly breaks me just a little more. Right there surrounded by all those well put together- yep, you got it- (Christian) women! During this season of breaking I’ve been soaking in Ellie Holcomb’s, The Broken Beautiful. ‘Ya know when a song just speaks to your heart and gives you the little speck of hope you are groaning for? 

You can listen to it here at this link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpOXrY4BHMA. Yea- sit on that for awhile.

Let me brag on Him a little and tell you that I got to experience a live performance by the great Ellie Holcomb herself. Be jealous. Yes, at this event that I dreadfully attended He was so sweet to give me a kiss and open the event with a live performance from the artist singing “my song.”  Talk about broken. I was undone and He had my attention. There IS a greater purpose amongst all the pain and He is right here by my side through it all.

More to come soon. 

November 5, 2014

Believe



"I believe there are angels among us... Sent down to us from somewhere up above." 

Yes, I believe. Perhaps someday I will elaborate.  

But for now you can listen to the song. Enjoy :) 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7RCsdSGQUc

October 30, 2014

Boom

I’ve been asking God a lot of questions here lately.

In particular, one question over and over. I guess in hopes He would change His answer. He is not changing His answer.

So, I decided to ask other questions.

Then… This afternoon I asked Him to give me the right questions to ask.

Later… Tonight I came across this quote from Phil Wickham: “The most important question is, ‘What are you going to do with Jesus?”

***BOOM***

He doesn’t always answer this clearly or this fast but it is nice when He does.


That is all for now. 

October 21, 2014

Time

“Do you want me to bring you anything, honey?”
            “No, thanks. But thank you.”
“Are you sure? Anything at all. Day or night. You just let me know.”

Then it hit me. 
Time.
I wanted more TIME.

I didn’t want my favorite drink. Or flowers. Or my favorite candy bar. Or even my favorite music playing in the background. All I wanted was just a little more time.

That was the conversation as I was explaining between sobs that my dog of 12 years had a tumor that was bleeding out and we didn’t have much more of that precious thing called time.

I was quickly reminded how precious time is.

I was reminded of how much time I let pass since I have last shared my thoughts on paper. For an instant it feels like forever and for another instant it feels like yesterday.

The last 8 months have seen much to say the least.
Jobs have come and gone.
Relationships have come and gone.
Life has come and gone.
Dreams have come and gone and dreams have come again.

There has been much joy and much sorrow. Much mercy and much grace. Brokeness and healing. But most importantly time has come and gone. And by His mercy, time remains.

What will I do with the time that I have? I have slowly been wising up on making the best use of my current time. It’s been a little painful. Some of my ways of thinking and doing things have had to change. But it’s been good. And I’m learning that life will go on regardless if you are ready or not. Why? Because time is constantly changing and moving forward. And time can be used to your advantage or to your disadvantage.

I want to be ready! Ready for the gift. Ready for the dream. Ready to live the abundant life to the fullest and get the most out of the time I have been given.


More later… Right now it’s TIME to head to the beach!!