Best Advice

The title of this blog is 27 and Still Learning. Basically like I said in the last blog I realize now that I still have sooooo much to learn. On Monday I was tired (bad), emotionally drained (worse) and just couldn’t think straight. I went to my normal Serve the City and ended up in a discussion about the current situations in our life. One girl said her prayer these days was to Protect her Mind and Pace her Heart. I don’t think any 7 words could have struck me harder.

I’ve been guilty lately of not protecting my mind, listening to advice that I shouldn’t and just letting my mind wander, especially when tired. I’ve not been pacing my heart. I’ve been guilty of thinking what comes next, where will this lead and what’s my next step. This isn’t the life I want to lead. I don’t want to be rushing through life. We only get this one. Currently, while not perfect, this life is good. Thankfully we aren’t all the same, I’m pushing myself passed boundaries I wouldn’t dare go in life before. I’m pushing myself to let go of the past, of control, and of the thought process that I’ll never be good enough.

So my prayer these days is to protect my mind and pace my heart. I want to live this life in the moment, in the present. I’ll be more than happy to continue this prayer into year 28. I can’t express how my gratitude for the new people who bring insights, advice, prayer and love into my daily life. Life may be messy but it’s good.

27 Years and 11 Months.

I guess technically tomorrow is 27 years and 11 months but hey who is counting 🙂 I’ll let you in on a little secret, I love birthdays. I love just about anyone’s birthday. So of course I love my birthday. I don’t really make big extravagant plans anymore, I’m 27 I have to grow up at some point, I guess. I think one of the best things you can do for someone on their birthday is just let them know they matter, presents are great but just showing up and living life is even better. That’s one of the bigger things I’ve learned in my young 27 years of life. I decided to start off celebrating my 27th year in a month-long remembrance/lessons learned in what has been an overall great year.

1. The number one thing is that I know nothing. Seriously, I thought I had some of this life stuff figured out, NOPE. The only thing that is for sure is that the heart of life is good, thank you John Mayer. Life is a messy mix of hope, joy, sadness, hurt…but I think the dark times make me appreciate the good times even more. I’m learning to be ok with the not knowing. I mean my “planned out” life is so much more boring than the unexpected life I’m living now.

2. Communication is key. In all areas of life. I saw a great quote today that said something about those that are most successful are the ones that are willing to have hard conversations. GOSH. I suck at this. I will let you walk all over, or some people run over me with a Mac truck before I decide to have a hard conversation. I think that’s a goal in the next year. Say what I need to, talk to the people I need to about the stuff that matters, let go of the rest.

3. Accepting yourself. Since very few people read this I’m ok talking about this little fact here. I used to be overweight quite a bit. It’s still something I struggle with, accepting who I am now. See the thing is no one tells you that your fat. No one focuses on your weight. They focus on everything else, well when you lost weight EVERYONE focuses on it. It becomes a balancing act of the people who knew fat-misty to the people who know me now. It’s tough when people focus on your image all of sudden, I became self-conscious and worked out realllllly hard for years. I think I over did it for a while. Year 27 was hard. I haven’t worked out as hard, and as one of my Serve the City kids so sweetly pointed out my belly jiggles a little. But that’s ok. That belly has enjoyed dinners with roommates, and friends, and a boyfriend. I’d rather have a belly than be unhappy anymore. I’ve always believed that accepting myself would come with age. It’s one of the reasons that I have looked forward to getting older.

4. Never, I mean never make decisions when you’re hungry or tired. Seriously when you become self-aware to this fact your life will become about 65% easier…I also realize I’m hungry or tired 95% of the time. Maybe I should work on that too in year 28.

5. Other than the previous statement, do not use the word never. It will come back to bite you in the rear-end. Case in point I said I do not date younger guys, I said that about 15 minutes before I met my babe, who is younger.

6. My friend told me she like 27 was my year, not really sure what that means exactly, but I think it’s great to start out every year with some hope. 27 has been a great year. A learning year. I mean I dated some not great guys but have great stories. Met an amazing man who teaches me everyday to trust myself and just believe. I met a group of girls who participate in life with me, who show and support me at a baptism even when they knew I might be upset that they did (thank you for not listening to me). I feel like I really started to become the woman I’m supposed to be, that feels great.

7. I can’t say enough about my friends. There have been MANY posts about them over the course of this blog. As I get older I realize what a great resource and support system they can be and how great it is to find friends to grow with you in life. It is true there are seasonal friends but then there are people you met that literally change your life. You move and grow and change together.

8. Don’t believe you’re ever to old to meet new friends. Some of the people who have come into my life in the last 3 months have rapidly impacted my life for the better. Open hearts people, let’s have open hearts.

To be continued over the next month as we celebrate!

Throwing Off the Old Truths.

So a little background information here: I go to Southland Christian Church, my decision to attend SCC is probably one of the best decisions I’ve made for myself in a long time. We just finished a sermon series on Plan B, about what happens when Plan A doesn’t work out. Last week’s sermon hit me to the core. It rocked what I’ve held onto, and used as a crutch for so long. I absolutely recommend going to watch “Choosing to Trust Instead of Please”  … you’ll see where he talks about self-awareness and confession. Two things I will avoid at ALL cost. Let’s be honest most of us do not want to be self-aware to the things we believe about ourselves. It’s not pretty. I am an overall, kinda, confident girl. I put on the front that I’m fine, but self-awareness causes me to acknowledge that I’m not fine. That I have been hurt in the past, like most people and how I have allowed those hurts to developed how I think about myself. I have learned to believe that being vulnerable isn’t good and no guy would like that. I believed that I inherently would not deserve love until I looked a certain way, got to a certain size. I believed that I had to convince people to like me, that I had to only show the primped, always “on” side of myself to be loved. That I shouldn’t ever struggle because no one else wants to deal with my bad days. Perfect is my enemy and does me no good. It tells me I’m no good. It tells me that I’m unlovable until I’m perfect. It tells me my past defines my future. God tells me something different. He tells me I’m loved. That He can reach me anywhere, that if no else loves me he does. He takes my anxious heart and says be still, remember who I am, remember I’ve got this. I’m learning that I can be loved with my faults, with my bad days, with my anxiousness. I’m learning that I’m fine the size I am and the shape of my heart matters so much more. This is a scary place for me to be because I’m allowing my heart to feel things and be open and belive the actual truths about myself. Not the truths I made up along the way.

These scary places aren’t exactly fun. But I’m learning to live by the mantra that if it scares me it might just be good for me (although not haunted house scary, that’s never good for me) I’m stretching and learning and loving in ways that I didn’t know were possible for me. At 27 I had resigned to that this is how life was going to be because getting my hopes up only led to disappointment. I didn’t hope for too much in the future saying that you can’t plan for life like that, but really I just didn’t want to say Hey I want marriage, I want kids and I believe God put that desire in my heart. In the past 5 months, but more specifically in the past 3 months the stretching & learning has led to what Shauna Niequist describes best as “Aching Muscles In My Heart that haven’t been used in a while.” In these times I forget to be thankful, I forget to remember that I do not have to be perfect. I get scared, I imagine that I’ve messed up my entire life because I slip up and doubt for a moment. You know the whole 3 steps forward 1 step back. Well in my mind that 1 step back wipes out the 2 steps forward I still gain. I’m slowly, and painfully more painfully than I realized until this week, choosing to trust that I’m worth it. That when people see the me, the real me that I am good and that they won’t leave. They’ll see my scars, my pain, and my heart and still choose to be around. My friends have quietly, most of the time, walked me through the hard times hand in hand. They’ve stood beside me, built me up and let me figure out these truths. I’m thankful. Right now when times are mostly good, they rejoice with me as I take my steps forward in this life. As I learn in my new relationship, and happily walk blindly into whatever this future has.

I want to remember perfect doesn’t have a place in my life but being present does. Self-awareness and confession do. My friends and this great man do. He reminds me to rely on my faith and without even knowing helps me build up new truths about myself, helps me believe in myself. I’m not sure I could adequately say how thankful I am to have him in my life, I don’t think I really believed this could exist for me until him.

This isn’t my usual type of post. I typically stay away from my faith but this week has been a major growing spurt, where I’ve failed miserably but that doesn’t mean I am a failure. I’ve finally chosen to step out of my fear and get baptized again, that is if the weather choses to cooperate. I feel like I have a more basic understanding of what I’m doing this time. I’m ready to wash off those old beliefs and those old “truths” I held onto and move into a future of an open heart that’s more willing to love and hurt and live the way it was meant to. Full of grace and kindness and understanding. Move into a life with a heart full of joy, not fear.