March 2015 archive

Blessings in the Break

1289egg_shellBishop TD Jakes laid it DOWN in my living room today while I was working. If you don’t know the story of Five Loaves and Two Fishes just google it, but basically Jesus told his disciples to feed the thousands of people who had come to hear Him speak. When they told him there was not enough food, he noticed a little boy with five loaves of bread and two teensy fish. The little boy blessed them and was grateful for them and agreed to share them. Jesus broke the bread and the fish into little pieces which, miraculously, continued to multiply within the baskets as the disciples fed every last person full.

Today, though, the Bishop dropped this –
There is a little boy with two fish and five loaves of bread. But then the miracle begins to occur. He took it and he blessed it. He’s blessing something that is not enough. Until you can be thankful for something that is not enough, what you have cannot be multiplied into what is more then enough. 
We are certain that he had two fish and five loaves of bread as he broke them. That’s where we lose count. You understand, then, that the blessing is in the breaking. That which refuses to be broken refuses to be blessed. It is the breaking of life that produces the blessing of life.

HELLO?!?!?!?!
I’m going to keep my commentary as short as possible because so little I could say will even COMPARE to that…but the blessing is in the breaking. And if you refuse to break, you miss out on the blessing.
I know people who refuse to break. I know people who insist on staying out of the vulnerability, the pain, the honesty of breaking. They either deny or remain unconscious to the breaking and emerge on the either side…the exact. same. person.
In 2013, I broke. BROKE. And I’m not sure I made the choice to break. I couldn’t physically hold it together.
In 2014, I LITERALLY broke. A LEG. I’m not sure I made that choice either.
But the blessings that emerged from those two GIANT breaks have given me amazing blessings.
I am still very, very sad about all the breaking I experienced and that change my life’s path so drastically. I still look over at that other path and wish I could have somehow stayed on it, raising my son in a family and living in a house I so love. There’s no but to any of that. I am still sad. That’s the reality of breaking! It’s sad.
I also have love like I’ve never known. I have career opportunities that are blowing my mind. I live next to a river where turtles, river otters, birds, and fish greet me every morning outside my window. Like damn Snow White! I’m healthy. I’m safe. I’m full.

Bless what you have. Break when it’s time. Trust that you WILL be put back together.

 

 

Eight Things that Give Me Anxiety

Eight things that give me anxiety:

1. When the Keurig machine sputters and I think it’s going to stop working before I’ve had a chance to look in the mirror to see if going out in public to get coffee is even possible for me today.

2. When I am out of recorded Dr. Phil episodes on the DVR because I need something on in the background while I work that is interesting but not SO interesting that I actually want to watch it.

c2e36790389ffc6f447f5e4add0d68923. When someone gives my son sugar before bed. Or right after he wakes up. Or ever.

4. When there is only one weed growing really tall in the front yard because I know I won’t go out and just pick ONE weed.

5. When I realize that I’ve been stepping over the same dirty towel in the bathroom for 2 weeks and NO one has bothered to pick it up and I’m stuck wondering if I should leave it there to teach someone a lesson…

6. When I remember just HOW many pillows I want to make.

7. The moments between I hear something hit the floor and the time I actually see what my son dropped.

8. When a light bulb burns out and I know it’s up to me to remember to get another one when I go to the store.

I Do Care

I-do-care2I’ve been super anxiety-ridden these past few weeks. I’ve been seeing dishonesty and self-serving behaviors in both people I care and even some I don’t particularly care about. I have been torn between calling people out, sharing what I know with others (i.e. gossiping but that just sounds RUDE), and just keeping my mouth shut. I have kept my mouth shut, but every few days it builds up again and I just feel like I’ve got to tell SOMEONE what I’m seeing. The INJUSTICE!

Finally, yesterday morning in church, I heard something to the affect of- try and be the kind of person Christ was. That doesn’t mean PERFECT. That means try to be honest, trustworthy, forgiving, hard-working, loving, gracious, GRACIOUS ERIN!, grateful, giving, and fair. And only I know when I’m honestly trying to be those things (versus when I’m trying harder to shed light on those who aren’t).

People say you shouldn’t care what people think of you. For me, that isn’t true. I don’t base my life on every other person’s opinion of me, but I do take note when I hear what someone thinks of me. I first consider the source, and then even if I feel like the source is not a worthy one, I think about what I might be able to take from that opinion. Is there a message in it? Something for me to HONESTLY consider about myself and the way I am living my life?

Relatable story break:
A few weeks ago, Bear was running a cornhole tournament (if you don’t know what that means, relax and click the word to learn more). One player (Arther) offered advice to another player (Mark) on how to throw, and Mark got mad at his suggestion that Arthur could POSSIBLY teach him to be better. Later, Arthur approached Mark again, saying that he was only trying to help and he was sorry if he offended him. Again, Mark responded in anger, telling him to mind his own business.

When Bear found out about Mark’s anger, he called the Arthur and apologized. He explained that the anger was not a representation of the type of tournaments Bear likes to run and he hoped Arthur would come back despite that experience. And you know what Arthur said? He said, “That was an opportunity for me to learn what other players want, and maybe my advice isn’t helpful sometimes. That’s ok. I will be back to play!”

He didn’t thank Bear for taking his side, and he didn’t resent angry Mark for a seemingly unnecessary outburst. He thought about what he might learn from that situation EVEN THOUGH his intentions were good and Mark appeared to have overreacted.

He did care what Mark thought, even though he didn’t have any good reason to.

And I learned from him.

I want to worry more about what people think of me rather than what they might be thinking of someone else. I want to focus my energy on shaping their opinion of ME by being honest, trustworthy, forgiving, hard-working, loving, gracious, GRACIOUS!, grateful, giving, and fair. I do care about what people think of me. I care about what I think of myself, too. And I no longer choose to care about whether or not I should announce the injustices I see. I’m not the judge. I’m not the truth-teller. I’m not in control. Basically, I’m not God. I’m just me, and hopefully a better VERSION of me each and every day.

 

 

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