Unplanned & Ever-Changing

The sun was shining brightly in my eyes, I tried shielding them as I had forgotten my sunglasses in my friends purse the night before. This wasn’t the night I had expected or planned. See I had planned on reading/spending some time studying before my meeting. Instead I received a call asking me for a ride. At first I selfishly admit at first I didn’t want to give up my time that night but I just knew I am called to do more. That this would be time well spent.

That night I was blessed more than I gave or deserve with a great conversation, and an understanding into who my co-pilot really is. She’s a woman doing her best to provide for her daughters, who isn’t looking for handouts, and truly wants better. She thinks that I sacrificed that night but really God used her to show me something, to remind me.

When we chose to really see people we usually can relate to some part of their story. See I grew up in a not so wealthy family. My parents did everything they could to provide for my sister and I, which allowed me to grow up not realizing how much they sacrificed. Being able to tell my co-pilot my story, my heart and why I am the way I am, was a blessing.

My goal is to make her see she is noticed, she’s not forgotten, we’re similar. It’s not about “changing” people. It’s about reminding them who they were created to be, who the God of the universe made. He thought about us, he put us in time at this very moment to do something. He didn’t haphazardly create you or me. He put thought, care, and purpose in everyone. Sometimes it takes a unplanned drive and an evening with a stranger to remind me just who I am.

God uses moments like this, because honestly this week has been long, and it’s been hard. Hard lessons have been learned, weaknesses pointed out, and faults magnified BUT in the end I’m on the road toward Christ. On the road to a better me, to the best me. I will never arrive there but I do know if daily I put my selfishness aside, lift my hands up and say what would you like me to do today, and stop trying to fit God into my plan that I will be better than I was yesterday. This life is ever-changing and it’s beautiful. I’m choosing to see people for the beauty they are, knowing God created better stories than we’re telling. I’m letting his grace wash over me, and I’m learning to listen for his voice and guidance. I’m loving and serving because I know my purpose is within those things. I know he gives me the strength and the joy to complete this race and I know it’s his encouragement that gets me through hard days. I know he’s working in my life and in the lives of so many around me. I’m grateful to be able to live this life.

Psalm 43:3–4
3.Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!
4.Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.

I see you.

Sometimes we just need those friends to show up. I wasn’t scared to get the tattoo, I knew it would sting but it wouldn’t hurt, I just need the friend to stand there with me saying I accept your need for this. I accept and love you, just how you are. No Questions Asked.

When someone looks at you at says “I see you. I don’t see your past, your past relationships, your past mistakes, your sins. I see you the person. I see who you are.” I can’t tell you how beautiful that is and why it is important. Our pasts shape us, it moves into our presents and futures far to often though. The past controls more than we should let it, by we I mean me. I find myself unworthy and decide so does everyone else. I’ve written about this struggle before. The fear of people just walking out of my life when they get to know me. What I deem the real me. Then someone says those simple words “I see you” and it’s freeing. Allows me to dream without limits. It’s a daily choice though.  A daily choice to bury the past and remember what my future is made of.

My future is planned by a God who dreams bigger than I could. I struggle to remember that.  I wish I could tell you that at 28 I had one ounce of my life together  but honestly I don’t. I think it’s ok. I remember that God see’s me, he hasn’t forgotten me and he placed people in my life who see me.

So to those night-time dreamers, those sinners who feel controlled, I see you. I see you for you, that heart of yours that desires goodness. That heart that wants to change the world but you’re not sure how to yet. Just be you, unfearfully you. Love God, love the people around you and be joyful. Change the world with your daily actions. Change the world by smiling at someone. Change the world by spreading joy. It’s hard to be in a place of waiting, I’m there now but I know that God is working in this waiting. I know when that door opens what God has planned for me will blow me away. That my past, present and future will melt together into this beautiful story.  A story of mistakes, a story of redemption, a story of questions but more importantly a story of hope and love.

Refining Work.

There’s a certain amount of power in letting go of what could have been for what will be. In believing that the desires of my heart are known, that God wants to give me those, and much more than I could ever dream.

Right now the process of letting go hurts, there are lots of tears and darkness, a lot of hiding from people BUT in the end I know that the process refines me. Makes me stronger, my vulnerability isn’t weakness, it’s human. I don’t know how this turns out. I can’t see how it turns out great but open palms Misty, open palms. I’m not meant to understand everything and probably best I don’t. Let me chase this life. Without hesitation knowing what’s meant to enter my life will enter at the TIME it’s supposed to.

I spent part of the past week at the beach for a friend’s wedding. Effectively taking time away from life. Time to rest, to lay in the sun, to laugh with friends (which is a post for another day), and even cry a little. Time to think over and accept what I think God’s been telling me for a while. To walk away. It doesn’t mean I love any less, just means me spending my energy in other ways and love differently. That God will do the work I was trying to do. It means I’m going to pray and love, from a distance.

There are plenty of changes happening right now. That if you had told me 11 months ago were happening I would have told you that was crazy talk. I think that’s how God works though. Life’s never going to be perfect. There will always be transitions, always changing parts, and new people entering our life. I want to learn to live with a heart that just gives during ALL seasons knowing that’s what I meant to do. While at times things feel dark I know the light is there, and shining. That the darkness is trying to keep my from my destiny and I can’t let that happen. My life is meant to be great, and I’ve got some amazing people pushing me towards that greatness.

I’ll finish by pointing out a line from a devotional reading the other day that has become a beacon — “Noah and his wife were in the middle of a storm they did not understand, but they waited for the Lord, trusting Him to be their refuge and strength.”

Life is good, let me live that way CONTINUOUSLY in all circumstances. Let me love openly, with open palms and run forward to see what the plan is, trusting Him as my refuge.

It is still good.

Last week I was blessed enough to spend some time in NYC for work. It was a nightmare getting there and home but the in between was great. I am, admittedly, a bad traveler with a group. I get easily frustrated with delays and I like my space at times. I went into this trip with some different goals. I am really working on enjoying everyday for what it is. Finding those tiny moments that make up life. I got up early on the last day to walk around Central Park for a little quiet time. I’ve been to NYC a couple times and never took the time to walk around the park. This small space in the middle of city was so quiet and beautiful. The tall skylines that surround this little paradise in middle of the island were such a beautiful reminder of all the facets of my life. I spend most of my time in that frantic, skyline, city area of my life. Running from project to project. Moment to moment without as much of a thought to slow down. I want to develop the habit of spending more time in that quiet, peaceful place. The center of my life. The soul of it.

 CP

Because when I stop and appreciate what a day has brought instead of focusing on what I lost or am missing life gets better. When I step out of the way and let God do his work, there’s more peace. Why is it so hard for us to let go of clenched fist and control of relationships when we know patience is sometimes how God works? His planning is much better than I could dream. If I’m honest, please don’t judge, I’ve found myself with angry clenched fist. Angry that life has changed in such a way that was unexpected. Angry that I’m doing the supposed “right” things and what feels correct, what feels like what God would want me to do but I find myself depressed. Angry at God for giving me a desire, but I sit by and watch friend after friend have that desire fulfilled for them. In that anger I realized I let the dangerous thoughts of my worthiness be questioned. This does no good and only pushes further into a dark place, its a well worn path that I’m changing. I’m thankful to be able to recognize those moments now. I’m grateful to have (amazing) mentors that reinforce the positive. Thankful that I understand the Daniel 3:18 & even if not, God is still good. Just because a promise isn’t kept in our timing doesn’t mean the promise isn’t kept. I have to believe the positive. There’s a reason these people and this place are in my life. So maybe if loosen up my grip, let the anger go of what was supposed to be and appreciate what is I can see what I have. I can live a lot more in love and kindness, without conditions.

There’s a PURPOSE and just because I do not understand doesn’t mean the purpose isn’t good. So I am being more resolute in just being who I am. Not trying to be more or less for people. Accepting what is, and being thankful for that time.

ifNot

Here. Without Words.

Sometimes it’s not the words in our prayers it’s about us saying God I’m not sure I have the right words at the moment but thank you, or I need some help.

I found myself struggling to pray the other night. I have so much to be thankful for. Healthy sister and new baby nephew. The sweetest 12-year-old nephew already doting on his little brother. Proud supportive parents who are in love with their new grandson. And a host of other things, not involving my family. I have a place to live, a job that pays the bills, great friends, and a group of girls in Lifegroup who are a blessing only God could put together.

Still I struggled to find words, and to feel, well anything. So I just let the tears fall and say I’m not sure what to say. I’m thankful for the opportunity to live this life. To be in this place, with these people. Things will never be perfect, and I have to stop expecting them to be before good things will happen. There are good things, great things happening everyday. From a simple text, to building friendships I thought were lost, to the simple smile of my Woodhill kids…I simply decided it was time to ask Him to take the sadness and doubt of happiness out of my heart. No matter how great things have been there’s been a constant sadness, that I wasn’t enough for an opportunity, that the happiness of this moment will quickly leave, that this can’t be real…It’s taken a toll on my mentality lately. You know what though? My life, and yours, is not dependent on what one other person or company thinks of you. Your life is valued, and great beyond measure. I look back and I’m thankful to realize it right now. I said last week I’m glad I’ve decided to follow my own rules and my own heart. I’m starting to enjoy even more mundane things, I’m thankful I saw it earlier than in say 6 years and I’ve missed some great things because they’re not what I expected.

So let me be kind to myself, and you be kind to yourself. We’re valued and we shouldn’t forget that everyday holds something we can celebrate. And when I can’t find the words, let me just learn to go, sit, and say I’m here.

Let. It. Be.

Yesterday’s lunch consisted of animal crackers & peanut butter with some yogurt & fruit. Very simple, and very kindergarten. I fully admit how excited I was about that. I feel like life has been about too many grown up decisions lately. Not enough fun, so today I decided eating a lunch like that was good. I can take things too seriously and think that one small decision can ruin my whole life. (Like the scone I ate for dinner, that for sure ruined my entire diet in my mind) I also, fully realize how ridiculous this thought process is. I’m learning these simple words “let it be”.

I tend to ask silly questions, because I want everyone to be comfortable. I am overly cautious and sometimes an over-thinker. It gets annoying to me, so I’m sure it’s annoying to everyone else. It can, occasionally, provide good laughs. And sometimes really great laughs and conversations to follow. I won’t drop a subject until I fully understand what is happening instead of it realizing I can’t fix everything, let it be.

Slowly (sometimes painfully for those around me) I’m learning those words Let. it. be. No more worrying about silly things, no more holding onto dreams that are dissipating, no more trying to control things I’m not meant to control. Let it be. Breathe. I’m learning when the well-worn path of worry in my brain starts to get over-active I have to just breathe and let it be.

There’s a plan, I’m not meant to understand it right now. That’s ok. Let it be. I’m going to keep on striving and following what my heart says. Right now it says chill out. Do design work. Bake some cupcakes. Work hard. Love my friends. Go on dates, ONLY IF I feel like it and I’m ok single, it doesn’t define me or say my worth. There’s so much more to life.

Understand

Go Be Great

We all have this little spark inside of us. Something that moves us forward. I like to believe we all these dreams inside of us, some big and some small. My crazy big dream is to work for a sports network one day, even crazier as a sideline reporter. I love sports, I love being part of the environment and that is my crazy dream. I realize that at 28 it is unlikely for that to happen but I’m okay with it. It’s a dream.

More realistic is I want to design things, make things. Such as invites, wedding programs, save the dates, wall prints….it’s something I love. I’ve been talking about it for a while. In my head I was trying to make sense of how to make this work, talking myself out of it because it’s a risk, and it’s not a career (what if I’m not good enough). Then I told some people about it and what I would need to invest to make this start. Everyone, everyone told me to take the risk. That it in reality is a small investment to make a little extra money and more importantly do something I love. One even took it further and said “You’re good at that stuff, it’s what you like. So do it”

Why is it that it takes a friend to tell us for it to click. Why did I need confidence from that person. The investment isn’t huge but any amount of money spent is big right now (I’m trying to buy a house next year). But I’m worth it, even if it’s scary. I like to believe that scariness is pushing me further. I’m moving forward, into the dark. This waiting period of life right now feels lonely, and it feels dark. I have no idea what the future is holding but I’m tired of not living my life. I don’t believe that God wants me to sit and wait and do nothing. He wants me to trust him and move, hands up-not out and he will lead me through darkness. Waiting doesn’t exactly mean sit still. He gave me this gift. He gave me this spirit and big dreams. One day there’s going to be someone who isn’t scared to dream big with me. That’s what He reminds me. Stay kind, stay true to yourself and you’ll be surprised what support you have when everything seemingly falls apart.

Let’s believe that today is great and that it’s meant to start living our dreams. That the scariness is fear. The fear of failure, and it’s okay to feel that but we must not let it over come us. We’re worth more than that, we’re not meant to live in a bubble and be so careful all the time. Hearts are meant to break, life is meant to be messy, dreams are meant to fail (and try again).  Let’s live and see what happens because life doesn’t start when we have what we want (boyfriend, husband, kids, house, career, etc) life begins right now. Your story matters, live it.

Believe