Monday, February 24, 2014

Coming To the Table

I read something the other day about how your 20’s are a time of figuring out who you are as a person and what you believe in.  As a worker, as a lover, as a family member and friend.  While I was reading, I started reflecting on my own journey of self-discovery.  I realized that deep down, I know who I am.  The version of myself that I present to my husband and my closest friends is the version that’s not always pretty but is always faithful to its identity.  My true problem lies in my ability to trust the flawed and meager aspects of that person.

Don’t we all long to be beautiful?  To be successful?  To be interesting?  I am so guilty of constantly playing the comparison game.  I begin a conversation and immediately commence evaluating how her shoes are cuter than mine, how he is more cultured than I am, how they can afford to eat out more and experience that aspect of what Portland has to offer, even (humbling to admit) how his faith seems deeper and more authentic than my own.  So I begin to adjust that version of myself throughout the conversation.  I bend and alter until I feel like I’m on equal footing but have lost sight of that person I know deep down is better.

Hear me on this: I do not say better as in I really DO have cuter shoes and deeper faith, but rather better as in more authentic.  Vulnerable.  Honest.  Better than the comparisons and the judgments and the fear.  Better than laughing at a movie quote I don’t recognize because I’m too afraid to admit I don’t get the reference.  How hard could it be to just admit “I don’t know much about music, but I’m pretty into books”?  It’s not better or worse, it’s different, and thank God for those differences in this world.

I stopped writing on my blog because I lost sight of the deeper convictions among all the clutter.  I was consumed with the amount of blogs out there, the narcissism sword pointed at my generation, and the feeling that I just didn't have anything new to say.  I came back because of the small voice telling me I may not be more interesting or have new things to say, but I will always say it differently.  There is no one in the world who thinks exactly like me and believes all the same things I believe.  The more I dwell on this truth, the more I am convinced it is true.  There will always be someone writing more passionately, more convincingly or just plain better.  But if I learn to present myself as is -->flaws and all, I believe there is something beautiful and wild, something a little…well, untamed about it.

It’s the new way that I feel God is challenging me in this season.  To believe that I have something to bring to the table, to ANY table, just because I am me and no one else can say that.  

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Welcome 2014

While I was with my family for the holidays, they urged me to write again.  And it sounded delicious and daring, so here I am.

There are two kinds of people who celebrate a New Year.  Those who make resolutions and those who hate those people and make fun of them behind their backs.  For me, a new year is almost as good as Christmas.  There's something about it that is so FULL of hope and expectation and unanswered questions in the most beautiful way.  I believe in intentionality, in setting goals that are attainable and measurable in an effort to force yourself off of the couch (or computer, oopsies) and take a step in a good direction.  Nothing more, nothing less.

So I don't call them resolutions, but I do set goals for a new year.  It's an exciting process to reflect and choose the things I think will stretch me and make me uncomfortable and push me toward something better that I might have otherwise missed. 

So here are my goals for 2014:

1. Find a Bible reading plan and follow it.
2. Read at least one non-fiction book per month.
3. Run two half marathons.
4. Pay off all debt!! (11 loans in total left)
5. Make an exercise plan for each month with hubs.
6. Have one night per week with no TV.
7. Read 2 books together with the boy (about anything).
8. Continue our monthly budget meetings.
9. "Complete" our apartment one room at a time.
10. Write a blog post at least once per month. Checkmark please and thank you!?
11. Give away at least 10% plus $20 per month to church/charities.  Re-start our "needs fund" for when we hear of needs we might be able to help meet.
12. Have one couple/friend over per month.
13. Create plan for keeping our home clean.
14.  There is a 14th, but some things  can stay private. ;)

I know it may not sound exciting, but it's filled with so much promise for me.  It fills me with hope and anticipation of what this year could bring.  I'm ready.

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