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Posts Tagged ‘Life’

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10 years ago, around this same time, my girls were 10 and 8. My oldest would have been just getting ready to go into 6th grade and my younger into 3rd. I would have just finished up my first year of teaching 5/6th grade and (unknown to me at the time) one year away from teaching high school English lit. My girls were homeschooled. I was pursuing my SLP degree. My husband was AGR in the Air Force. Life wasn’t bad and there was so much on the horizon.

Since that day so many things have happened…. We transitioned the girls into public school. My younger into an arts charter (later a small IB middle school, and finally to Renaissance HS) My older daughter into Renaissance HS. They’ve had their ups and downs. Friend transitions, school transitions, leaving the church, hormonal years of Jr. High, the pressure years of high school. And they’ve turned out phenomenally. They are both kind, compassionate, thinking, caring girls who want to make the world a better place. They both have gone on to graduate high school with honors, obtaining their IB diplomas, and are excited about their future. I couldn’t be prouder of the people they have become.

Alongside the girls getting older, my husband and I have had our ups and downs. Just a few years into my 30s we hit a fork in the road, divorce felt like the only option, fear, anger, and uncertainty rested like a cloud over our marriage. And we didn’t let that stop us. With the help of phenomenal friends and a lot of hard work we learned a new dance; one that would honor both of us. We shuffled through what type of music we’d both like, stepped on each others toes, and prayed more than ever that God would make it work. Six years removed I can say that it was all worth it. I can’t imagine living life without Steven; he truly is my best friend, my place of comfort, and my love.

Reflection.jpgAnd I, I have changed… So many lessons have been learnedthrough the abundance of loving, caring friends over the years. I have learned how to trust, and to be trusted. I have learned how to have confidence in myself. I have learned how to standup, step out, and support those in dark places. I have learned that each person’s deepest hurt, is their deepest hurt (their deepest level of pain, is their deepest level of pain) no comparison is necessary. I have learned that God is so much more than I can ever comprehend. I have learned that God is always good, and he’s reflected in every good thing. I have learned that though things are imperfect, God is not, and he moves in and through the imperfect. I have learned that compassion is gained as you listen to the stories of others. I have learned that I don’t have to compromise my morality in order to have compassion for others. I have learned that the stories I make up in my head are often warped representations of reality. I have learned that my body will forever change, so I’d better learn to appreciate it like a loyal friend. I have learned that death is the win and life is a gift. I have learned that a smile, a text, an encouraging note can be life changing. I have learned the decisions that I think are life changing often are not and the decisions that I think are flippant are often the ones that change my life. I have learned that family is priceless, that friends are precious, and that community is essential. I have learned that my emotions are often not a representation of the current situation. I have learned that there are few things worth fighting for. I have learned that my mind, body, soul, and spirit are intertwined and each one needs to be cared for, nourished, and honored. I have learned that most things are not what they appear to be. I have learned that forgiveness is freedom. I have learned that connection and communication happens in vulnerability, truth, and love. I have learned that shame grows in the dark and dissipates in the light. I have learned that courage and fear are catalysts to faith and trust. I have learned not to be defined by my past. I have learned that I am worth more than I think I am. I have learned that I don’t know as much as I think I do. I have learned that I can learn from everyone and every situation. And I have learned that there is so much more for me to learn.

As I move forward into my 40s I hope and pray that I will remain open, soft, and sensitive to all of God’s nudges in my life. That I will see each person for who they are, where they are, and the purity of who they were created to be. And that I would walk to the rhythm of his heartbeat for me, growing in trust, courage, confidence, faith, hope, and love.

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Analogy of a Hammer

One of my favorite Einstein quotes, “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.”

I love the value this quote places on the uniqueness of people. In realizing that we are each created as individuals, and that we can’t impose expectations on others or ourselves that weren’t meant for us. It’s a beautiful parallel to the passage in the Bible that talks about the uniqueness of the body being made up of many parts. It’s a passage that has brought me much comfort over the years, and one I need to remember as I ponder my heart and dreams for the future.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about life, dreams, and contentment. I’m still processing it, and don’t really have many conclusions. And as one who often thinks in pictures, an analogy was brought up while I was talking with my love that helped define some of the processing. It’s simple and yet for me it is a profound reminder to trust, wait, hope, and dream.

– Even a hammer will make a great paperweight, in many ways much better than the traditional paperweight. In fact, people may pass by and say, ‘Wow that hammer is the best paperweight we have. It has never let a paper fly off the desk, and it’s long handle allows more of the paper from getting blown in the wind.’

Yet, inside the hammer knows it was created for something different. Even though it realizes that it makes a good paperweight, there is a longing inside to do what it was created to do. It just isn’t sure what that is.

And a hammer sitting next to a nail may feel like it’s getting closer, it may feel like it’s purpose is right there to reach out and grab. Yet trying to force things would only create unwanted holes, hurting not only the nail, but leaving the hammer feeling worse for causing such harm.

Only in the hands of a craftsman with a vision and goal in mind, will the hammer be content being used. With each swing of the arm, with each pound of the nail, the hammer will know it was fulfilling its purpose.

Until then, the hammer must wait; it must find joy in the journey. Realizing that being used as a paperweight is better than being left in the drawer, in the dark. Still the hammer dreams of days when the craftsman will pick it up to create something beautiful, it waits in peace knowing that it was created for something more, trusting the craftsman’s sovereignty and vision.

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