Edits: Sorry everyone in my haste to post last night before going to bed I completely forgot about a title. Wow. Guess my blonde roots are showing there. Also while I was at it, I also added a section on the books I am reading currently, so be sure to check that out too!
Gather Around Everyone,
Grab a cup of coffee and join me for some heartfelt confession, some challenging thoughts, and some heartwarming encouragement.
I found some new voices to bring into the mix today. So many of them were perfectly timed this week, challenging me each day with words I needed to hear. I hope they speak to you as much as they did to me.
On Lessons I Need To Learn:
Happy people experience fear and worry, but make an important distinction between feeling it and living it. When fear or worry crosses a happy person’s mind, they’ll ask themselves if there’s an action they can be taken to prevent their fear or worry from happening (there’s responsibility again) and they take it. If not, they realize they’re spinning in fear and they lay it down. ~ Tamara Star
Huffpost Women is someone I love to follow in my Facebook Feed, as it is constantly filling my feed with voices and experiences of women just like me, and many others with numerous other diverse thoughts and experiences that I can learn from. Typically any of those posts though that start off as a list in the title, only catch my interest every once in awhile as I have seen in many others where they are far too general or cliche to provide meaningful advice to ponder. This one however was definitely an exception to that norm. Each area challenged me as I considered to what point I struggled with these different aspects. The one that stood out to me the most though, was #6: You Consider Your Future With Worry and Fear. Oh Lordy, does that hit me square in the middle. Some days I am better than others, like today. Other days, like yesterday, my emotions and fears run rampant and I am stumbling and desperately trying to wheel them back under my control. What hit me the most about this particular piece though, was the personal responsibility promoted and the reminder that living my life–whether that is a moment, an hour, or days of your time–overwhelmed by fear, anxiety, and worry is my choice. It can also be my choice to stop, to take a breath, to own the fears and the emotions for what they are, to learn what lessons I need to learn, and then lay them down.
As a recovering perfectionist and barely-adult, I used to act (I hate to admit this) as though mistakes were preventable. I couldn’t have articulated it then, but I believed it in my core. If you prepared/studied/planned appropriately, and didn’t do anything stupid, then you could get it right the first time, every time. If you didn’t it was your own fault. ~ Anne
Don’t worry Anne, you are not the only one to fall prey to that perfectionist trap. I too find myself all too often berating myself for not having been more careful to predict and plan more, so as to avoid failing or making some mistake. The reality is that in the midst of berating myself and listening to the screaming voices of shame and scarcity screaming at me that I, as a person, am a failure for any mistake I made and that I will never be good enough — I am failing to listen to the voice of experience and wisdom — that voice that teaches us through our mistakes and failures to be just a little wiser and more prepared for the next time. Perhaps instead of replaying the incident with a bad repetitive, remix of only how I failed, instead I could focus on all there is to learn from the situation and learn to give myself some grace.
Living with less gives birth to a wealthier life: more freedom to live in the moment, more love for fewer things, more energy to invest in the commitments where I’m truly dedicated, more savoring of the truly delectable. ~ Tsh Oxenreider
Tsh challenged me again this week with her life and words calling readers into an intentional life of simplicity. This is such an appropriate and timely challenge for me, as I have spent this week seriously evaluating the season I have found myself in, what I have been my time in, and how I have been organizing my time, my life, and my home recently. All of these things seem to tie together in one way or another right now, and the reminder to weed through them all to discover what is truly important to me and to work on clearing out the extra is just what I needed to hear. This is just like when I pick through my flower pots to pull any dead blooms or dying leaves off of the plants — all that is left is what is living, vibrant, growing, and beautiful.
On Our Work:
What do we do? We live and breathe and talk and dream. We have hopes and fears. We are working on being better humans every day. We do selfish, selfless, foolish and smart. We do prideful, beautiful, creative and cruel. Sometimes we do jobs we hate, sometimes we do jobs we love, but that’s not all we do. For God’s sake, that’s not all we are. ~ Ashley Hames L’Esperance
Being a 20 something currently working in a job part-time where I too am underemployed, undervalued, underpaid, and underwhelmed — this article was very timely for me this week. The reminder that my work or where I receive a pay check from is not my end-all source of value could not be more important or comforting right now, as I am not yet to the career track or job of my dreams yet. When I will find that and what it will be, I really don’t know for now, and stressing over a future I can’t predict is not going to help me be any happier or anymore apt to take advantage of any opportunities that this season is offering me.
As I’ve noted here before, we live at a time when parenting—especially mothering—has been rachetted up to the nth degree. There is a lot of worry and fear in modern parenting. Intensive parenting is back, and the pressure to meet its demands reaches from the rich to the poor. And yet, this study suggests that if we want to help children, especially children from less privileged backgrounds, a focus on raising income and improving maternal education will be far more successful than guilting parents for the time they spend away from their children. It also suggests that our children’s outcomes may be most strongly influenced by factors ultimately outside of our control. ~ Libby Anne
One of my greatest “what if” fears I have faced through my educational path and career experience so far, is the fear that I will fail at juggling a career and motherhood, despite knowing that there is so much more opportunity and support for me to work and to be a mother someday than there was even a decade ago. A lot of this comes from the messages and doctrine poured into me for years, claiming that my highest calling in life I would ever undertake would be to be a mother, and that to purposely do that and work would be selfish and detrimental to my children. This article discusses some recent research discovered by a study comparing quality of time to quantity of time spent by parents with their children. The findings are comforting to know, and reading Libby Anne’s thoughts help me know that I am not alone in recovering from that small view of women questioning their ability to contribute to both a career and their family. If this study is correct, what I am pursuing in life right now, increasing my level of education, is only going to benefit my future children more — so at the very least, I got that right. 🙂
On Our Relationships With Others
I’m not big on faith rules but if I had to choose one – it would be that every person must choose a faith issue upon which to hang her hat that requires HER to change – not somebody else. ~ Glennon Melton
Glennon has such a beautiful and powerful way with words. She challenges us to see all the good, the struggling, and the areas that we are inconsistent in and need to work on — all while making you feel like you are getting a hug from mom at the end of that needed, but hard conversation. Her love for God and for people is truly something that continues to shape and touch my life in a very needed way.
Relationships of value are worth fighting for. They’re worth the difficult exchanges and awkward conversations and heated words needed to try to rescue them.
Love keeps seeking the words that will reach the heart. ~ John Pavlovitz
John’s work this week came at a time in my life, where I am examining the relationships in my life — particularly close ones with family, and remembering why they matter and how I can/where I should be working to improve them. His reminder to keep speaking and to keep having conversations with those we love is just what I needed to hear today.
On My Nightstand
1. Bad Faith by Paul Offit
This book was a hard book to read, but really good none the same. I just finished it, and learned a lot about the history both good and bad between faith, science, and the practice of medicine. Having grown up around many of these circles, I have been trying to learn more about what started the fear and resistance towards modern medicine, healthcare, vaccinations, etc.
2. Tattoos On the Heart by Gregory Boyle
This book was a find via Monastery and came highly recommended by Glennon Melton. It is a beautiful read in its love for God and people. I’m loving it so far.
3. Leadership Without Easy Answers
This book is actually a text book I just finished reading for a class, but I surprisingly found a lot of wisdom in it and rather enjoyed it, instead of merely finding it educational. For anyone who might be interested in studying leadership more, his analysis of the civil rights movement and its leaders is really insightful and informative.
4. Fried Green Tomatoes by Fannie Flagg
I recently watched this old movie, when I found it on Netflix and loved it. So with that I decided to go find the book to read, as I heard it was even better than the movie. I am currently just getting started, so I will have to let you know how it goes.
What about you?
What is on your heart lately?
What has been speaking to you?