November 28, 2007


Over the last few months with a group of girls from church, we've been taking a journey through each of our lives as we read/discuss chapters from Dan Allender's book To Be Told. The objective of the book is to get a clear picture of the life you have lived until now and to determine the life God has intended you to live in the future. If we can learn to listen to our own stories,we'll find themes that will carry into the future that God hopes we can co-author with Him.

It has certainly been an interesting journey and thought provoking to the point of exhaustion and sometimes pure restlessness. This last week was particularly convicting as I examined my choices. The fourth chapter, Listening to What Moves You- The Passion That Defines You we dissected the notions of our realities. Allender says,

"We are both powerless and unimaginably powerful simply because we have the ability to choose... We are the sum of every yes that we udder...Seldom do we know the implications of our choices".

Listening to my heart and saying yes or no (making choices) determines my future and helps me to more closely examine what Allender labels as the Ideal Self, Real Self and Ought Self. Upon reading the section on Ideal Self, I took into consideration who I am as a physical being: wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, believer, worker. Within each of those labels I determined the characteristics/adjectives I'd like to possess: devoted, strong, ambitious, honest, trustworthy, creative, knowledgeable, loving, compassionate, & passionate.

Allender points out,

"Our ideal self is revealed in what we value (passion), how we understand the world (belief), and what we do to reach our ideal (behavior). Our passion belief, and behavior fit so intimately that I can say this with confidence:

  • What we do is what we really value.

  • What we value enough to do tells other what we really believe.

  • What we really believe shapes what we become.

...So we always choose what we value most, even when our choice does us harm. We won't change our behavior until we first recognize what we value most deeply and then honestly face how our passions reinforce what we really believe. We can change our beliefs, but doing so won't alter our behavior until our beliefs transform our values. We can change what we do, but the changes won't last if our values and convictions are not transformed."

This made me think. As the Real person that I am strives to reach the Ideal which I'd like to become, what am I willing to risk, compromise, fight, and fail at to achieve it? What moves me? What are my greatest pleasures, desires and passions? What has God already created in me to become? These are tough questions for me. But here's what I know: I am uniquely designed to reveal something about God to others. I also know that this will include my child(ren), spouse and family. But, am I willing to gather and refine the components of my Real self to become who God intended me to be? Am I someone who is only willing to do the most comfortable thing because I'm too afraid of failure, rejection or discomfort?

I think of all of these as they relate to my life now. I am a stay-at-home mom and I love my daughter more than anything but the one thing I have found missing from my days is the fellowship with others that keeps me going, feeling loved and motivated. I used to get just enough interaction while working outside of the home but now those days are over and although my purpose as a mom is being fulfilled daily (which I love) my purpose as a friend is withering. I think all of this relates to the friend funk I've been experiencing. I am searching for those friends that relate on a deeper level. I feel so often that I share of myself, putting myself out there- sometimes maybe too much because I feel like I have no filter...I'll tell you what ever you want to know (or don't want to know). I'll let you in, let you know me and my heart in hopes of being genuine, genuine enough that other feel they can be the same with me. For some reason this hasn't happened yet-at least not in the circle of friends I've surrounded myself with over the last 6 years. Another girl in our book study is opposite of me. She is a terrific listener and asks the right questions that get people talking and opening up yet she isn't willing to be vulnerable with others herself. She too is on a constant search for her "BFF" -struggling the same yet with a different approach. So although I think of myself as a good listener, I think I'm not listening the right way. I hear what people say but do I really hear? Do I process and actively participate in the content of their being? I would have to say no.
As I look at my past I realize I don't have friends from my long past. I don't keep in contact with friends from Elementary/Jr High/High School and only have a handful from College - that I do a pretty pitiful job of contacting regularly. I didn't grow up in a home that was welcoming others in- not to say we weren't a nice friendly family, we just rarely had friends over to play. It was always my sisters and I going to our friends houses not having them over to play in our yard, house or bedrooms the way we did when invited by others. So, what needs to change? I'm what needs to change. I need to stop expecting it to be so easy, stop expecting others to reach out to me, and stop only doing the most comfortable thing. I need to step out and call people, drop in on friends, invite people over or out to coffee. I need to do a better job of investing in other people's lives. I need to listen, to truly listen! I need to share my gifts/interests with others and nurture the friends God has placed in my path.
I'm challenging myself to step out in the next two weeks and meet with at least two girls from my study group that I haven't met with before. I'm going to face the discomfort of being the one to initiate the call, allow for possible rejection but rejoice in the new freedom I hope to feel no longer being prisoner to my "comfortable" self.
"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?"

"Sometimes." For he was always truthful. "When you are Real, you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up, or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once. You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out, and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. but those things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to those who don't understand."

November 17, 2007

I've been Tagged...

Angie tagged me to share seven weird/random things about myself, so here I go in no particular order...

1. I don't like mascots - Justin says I'm "afraid" of them but it's more that I just don't like when dumb things come talk to me or try to make a fool of me. I don't like not knowing who's inside, and what they're thinking, the faces they're making or that they're laughing at the way people do rediculous things around them. It's just wierd to me!

2. I don't like walking on grates/man-hole covers on the sidewalk and roads. It doesn't bother me to drive/ride over them...I just don't like walking on them- it makes me feel creepy!

3. Ever since I was little, whenever I needed to think of something happy or of something not scary to take my fears away I always pictured a group of teddy bears riding in a hot air balloon basket up in the blue sky going over/under a rainbow...looking back on that, it seems more scary to me that that was my "happy" thought...teddy bears are creepy when pictured like that! ...I actually think that image came from a jig saw puzzle I used to have??

4. I always play a game with myself when I'm driving or riding in the car: I look at the license plate of every car that passes by me and with the last 3 letters of their plate number, I try to see if it spells a word. It can spell one on it's own, or I can rearrange them to make them spell one and if not, I think what letter I could substitute for one to make a word. It's weird and really annoying in my head!

5. I have a very strong & resilient head...I hit my head several different years in elementary school! I fell off the monkey bars, ran into the building (literally - it's true!), & went face forward on the parallel bars smacking my forehead on the other bar. Not to mention, it continued in High a gigantic goose-egg on my head during a pep assembly while performing with cheerleading- at least I impressed the football players!

6. I gave birth to my daughter and to a sponge all in one day! During my c-section, a sponge was left inside and the doctors & nurses had to go back in to retrieve it! Yikes...glad I wasn't exactly coherent for that!! I was fine afterwards and it makes for a good story now! :)

7. I met my husband on a blind date...he was my best friend's blind date! Oops! :) Good thing she didn't mind- she even stood up with us in our wedding.

...I'm sure I could come up with more but for now, that's what came to mind. I'd tag others to do the same but I think Angie is the only one who reads my blog. I'm new at this whole blogging thing and according to her I don't write updates enough, Ang, I hope you enjoyed this and maybe even learned something about me that you didn't know before! :)

November 6, 2007

A Better Outlook

As a follow-up to my last post...things are looking up! I think I was in a grumpy mood and feeling sorry for myself, so again, I must apologise for the ranting that occurred. Since that week of the "friend funk", I have had a few girls contact me and had some nice chats. In those conversations I realized a few things about myself. I realized that a lot of my feelings regarding the friendships I have and want are more about me finding who I really am now. What I mean by this is that I am going through a huge change adjusting to being a stay-at-home mom. I know I've been a mom for almost 9 months now but it's more than that. I finished working away from home, no longer going into the office twice a week and I think that after working in the office with my friends and co-workers for 4 years, it kind of freaked me out to be done with that. I am no longer in a social setting that keeps me connected with people, I am now in the world of a 9 month old. This is a really great thing...but scary because it's something I've never know before. I realized that friendships are going to be more of an effort and I am going to have to put myself out there to nurture friendships that I hope to grow stronger. It's not about the popular crowd and fitting in but more about who I want to take the time and make the effort to get to know and who I want to truly know me. I am focusing on who I care enough about rather than what others think about me.

I also realized that in order to make the effort, I'm going to have to stop being such a home-body and be the one to make plans with friends, family and other moms. I am thrilled to have my Tuedsay's freed up so I can join MOPS at my church and know this will be a huge help in making new friends and getting to know others on a deeper level.

Justin and I want to take the initiative to invite people over for dinner and get to know couples. I want to make play-dates with other moms and their kids to take walks, go to parks, shop together, meet for lunch and coffee. I also would love to plan a Bunko night and just hang out!

So...I have a better outlook now. I'm feeling proactive about frindships and am creeping out of my pity-party. I'm going to a Movie night on Friday, having friends over for dinner Saturday, and will attend my first MOPS meeting next Tuesday...Go ME!! :)