Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Living in the Shadows- Toes in the Light

In so many ways, when I look back over all my years (I feel like I should not use that sentence unless I'm 95, but too late. I already did.) I feel like I'm exactly the same as the girl I was in high school. (I haven't grown taller, that's for sure.) Of course, there are the many ways I'm not the same (I haven't come my hair on fire in years. That's gotta be a plus.) Tonight I'm talking about the parts of me that are the same.

I was a worrier and a thinker and a wonderer. I was a closet creator, not quite sure of where I belonged and how my weirdness was not something to be worried about, but just something to be. I would worry though. And think. And I would wonder. What should I be? What should I do? How should I do it? Where should I go? Is it the right thing? Will I know if I am wrong?

I moved in to college doing the same worrying and thinking and wondering. Of course worrying, thinking and wondering can cause you to miss out on the activities that happened in front of you. So I faked my way around. Pretending I was living in the day all the while trying to turn the page and peek into tomorrow. I remember laying on my bed in my dorm room, talking to my mom and saying, "What am I gonna do? What should I do? Tell me what to do." And with all her wisdom she said these words.
"Stephanie. Just be. Where you are right now. That's what you are supposed to do. Be right now. Do what is right now. Not tomorrow."

It should not have been surprising to me that when I went to see Beth Moore a few weeks ago (a speaker, and writer, a mom, a Jesus fan) that when she spoke to the 190,000 listening (including pod-casters) that she was speaking directly to me. I should have just set up on the platform right next to her because while I was listening to her I literally said, (Okay, I literally whispered it) "Okay God. You told her to say this." As she was speaking, and giving her seven points, in there was a line directed toward me. And so I paraphrase the message that God has been sending to me for weeks before (and now two weeks after):

Stop. Just stop. Stop worrying. Stop thinking. Stop wondering. Stop flurrying around trying to figure out what and where and when, and how. Do today. Don't worry about tomorrow. Do today. Don't worry about where to go tomorrow, what you are going to do tomorrow, if you'll wear real pants tomorrow. Just stop. Do today. Be the Light today. Be You today. But STOP.

I don't like it. I have to be honest. I do not like it. I do not like the waiting. The stopping. The holding still. I want to be moving. Sometimes I think even if I were to go sideways, it's be better than being still because I'd rather be moving. And it's true that in the land of the Trains, there have been many times that instead of waiting for the train to finish I have flipped a U-ie (how on earth do you type that?), and gone around a whole block only to find that I did not get where I was going any faster.

The truth, the definite, no questions asked, truth is that I am not being productive with all this hoopla that I am putting myself through. I probably waste a lot of gas driving blocks out of my way when instead I should just be waiting. And in the mean time I'm setting up a tent and staking claim on a piece of property in the Land of Insanity. (It's jest not pretty.)

In all my thinking and wondering and worrying I'm also questioning myself. At times I find myself becoming edgy (not fun hipster edgy), but moody and uncertain. Unsettled. Cranky. When I do this thinking and worrying and wondering, when I refuse to just let go and trust God, and do not rest where I am, I shrink into the shadows.

I know that God is working. I just can't always physically see it. I have to believe that He has good plans for me because He did say it. I just can't always hear it. I have to hold on to the fact that He has someone good for me... I just haven't met him yet. I also know when I let go, open my hands and ask for peace (and actually sit still long enough) God provides it. I know it's true because in those moments the shadows dissipate and instead of sitting with only a foot and an elbow in the sunshine, I move all the way into the Light.

So now I have to ask myself, what's it gonna be little Weirdo?
More needless driving?
Or perhaps a little waiting would be just the thing?

Much love and chocolate,

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Becoming a Doer Being a Human

The last few months I have been truly considering what I wanted to be when I grew up. Since technically I arrived at "grown up" sometime over the last 15-ish years I am possibly arriving late to the game. However, the quest is on.

I could write.
I could be an interior designer.
Motivational Speaker.
I could be a fashion designer.
I could be an investigative journalist, or write for National Geographic/ National Geographic Adventure (Which would technically be awesome).
I could be a Jammer in Roller-derby (which seems totally exciting and yet absolutely terrifying/horrifying. Me. Traveling at high speeds on wheels) and you get a super cool name (which saying super cool probably lost me all the super cool points I earned today).
Lead guitarist in a garage band, appropriately named something like Garage Band.

All while working with the kidlings at my church (which I honestly love love love doing!)

Part of the trouble is that I don't want to do just one thing. I want to do them all. I want to write and design and create. I want to shoot photos and investigate. I want to learn Spanish and be able to play the piano and the guitar. I may be stretching it just a touch when I say I really want to Roller-derby gal (because again, me on wheels... terrifying!)

I've been considering them all. Calculating time- which is short. We don't know how much time we will have. Given that, I need to do with it things truly amazing and meaningful.

Yesterday I was considering all this, determining Stephanie's next step, when suddenly a word slapped me in the forehead.
Yep. Do. Do. (Did I say I work with kids? Because that's the excuse I have for reading those words before this sentence and then laughing.)
Do.  The thing about Do or doing is that it is a reflection of who we are, who we be. I have a tendency of putting so much effort in doing that I forget about the being. 

Being. Totally a weird word when it's just said alone. However, it's such an important one because what we are busy doing is usually a reflection of what we are being. The being is so much more than the doing. And what is it about my being, my inner "guts" that are requiring my attention? What qualities of my being am I displaying by my doing? Are my actions kind? Are my actions nice? Are they helpful? Do people see me and see Light? Or do my actions display anger, and meanness? Am I a gossiper? Do people leave me feeling better?
Ultimately, who I want to be is so much more important than what I want to do.

I am most certainly going to keep on doing. Paying extra close attention to my being. I am going to be kind. I'm going to check my attitude. I'm going to be a Light in the great darkness. I'm going to dance good to weird music (or is it dance weird to good music?). I am going to focus on my *guts* so that by the time I do I exude. And when (not if but when) I make a misstep and fall? I'm going to get back up. Clean up my tunic and give it another go.
I cannot write this without saying that God is who I want at my core. I don't always do Him justice, but I'll certainly keep giving it a go.

What about you? What are you being that is causing you to do? Are you going in circles? Not finding you? Talk to me because I have been there.

Life is messy. Deliciously messy. And my "do-ing" dilemma will most likely go on.  But in the midst of that you will find me being here at Pearl and more than likely making some type of mess in one of these rooms.

Jesus-follower. Great-Nelson-Tamer. Motivational Speaker. Daughter. Best Friend. Nerd. Crafter. Photographer. Guitarist. Planner. Designer. Teacher. Niece-r (sounded weird with no "r"). Love-spreader. Sister. Truth-teller. Writer. Geographer. Language(s) speaker.
And all in a day's work.

Be True,