Tag Archives: reality

reality.

Like I was saying the other day, no one can prepare you for the things you believe you are capable of and the things you actually are capable of. This goes both ways; just like you are far more capable of doing certain things that you might think you can’t, there are some other things that you feel capable of that you just aren’t.

This is what we like to call a reality check.

For me, September and October have been the months of reality checks. For some reason, these two months I’ve gotten some wild hairs up my butt or SOMETHING that have “inspired” (???) me to try a bunch of new things.

But not just try them — dive head first into them.

  • Blog everyday for 31 days
  • Work out everyday for 30 days
  • Reread the entire Harry Potter series (I’m on book 6 since starting 5 weeks ago)
  • Meal plan every week
  • Come up with and maintain weekly chores schedule
  • Continue doing other life things as usual

Let me just be honest and say that this blog post is not like the one in which I find out I’m capable of way more than I think I am. Oh, on the contrary. REALITY CHECK: I am stretched T H I N.

But it’s all good, though! Because sleep is great. And sometimes I do that sleep thing.

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Filed under life, personal

the ministry of authenticity.

I love Sundays. I work at the church in the morning and then take my sleepy, almost two-year-old son (who already thinks he’s two, thankyouverymuch) home for his nap. He still takes teenager-long naps, usually four hours, which gives me time to either keep working or tidy the house (ha) or enjoy a little quiet “me” time. And although our cool but perpetually gooey white tiled floor is begging for a sweep and a mop (after, of course, all the toys and clothes are removed) I am here, painfully aware of the time that has passed since I last blogged, feeling guilty and ashamed.

What better place to be raw and exposed than in front of my blog/the entire Internet?

Being authentic has been a sacred echo in my life lately. Because I work at a church, most of my interactions and friends have been born out of that building, and many of my friends in the church have explained to me that they struggle with being their full selves all the time. They have separated their personalities into little compartments — the “church” self against the “social” self, the “intellectual” self, the “vocational” self, etc. People feel like they can’t be the same person they are around their pastor that they are around their friends and I don’t like that.

I remember when I first moved here, I told someone what my favorite movie was, and they were shocked that I had the courage to admit that fact about myself in public because it’s “so inappropriate”. (It’s Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, by the way.)

A few weeks after that interaction, a dear friend of mine was upset at church. When I asked her what was wrong, she choked back her tears and said, “It doesn’t matter. I’m just going to hold it all in and pretend I’m okay like we’re supposed to do.” I basically blew up at her.

“NO!” I shouted. “You can’t do that! You have to be okay being upset right now, because when the time comes that I need to be upset, I need to know that this is a place where it is okay for me to be upset!” (For the record, we miscarried a month later and I let the whole world have it.)

It was in that moment that my eyes opened up to this idea of dividing ourselves into different people and the danger it poses to us as Christians because, by falsifying our testimonies we dilute our ministry. 

I’m not entirely sure why but I’ve never been able to be more than one person. I literally can NOT be someone I’m not, despite the pressures put on me by other Christians. Like it or not, I’m all me all the time. I’m a Christian who also has the mouth of a sailor. I’m a Christian who gets angry and frustrated. I’m a Christian who (thankfully!) has friends who aren’t Christians. I’m a Christian who, by the grace of God alone battled (and overcame!) an eating disorder. I’m a Christian who likes admittedly bad Jim Carrey movies. I’m a Christian and there are dark parts of me that are dirty and messy and need to be washed clean every freaking day. And I’m sure I’m not alone, but so many people are afraid to admit it.

Why does this happen? Why do we Christians (or people in general, honestly) feel so much pressure to be perfect all the time? Why does the world end if we are seen with a beer, or seen walking out of a counselor’s office, or seen angry at the world for a minute because — gasp! — life sucks sometimes?

In Matthew 11:28-29 Jesus says, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

Maybe I’m reading the wrong translation, but that doesn’t look like Jesus said, “You know what? Make sure you’re burden-free before you come to me. Make sure you’re smiling 24/7. Only come to me when you are in the best mood ever with no desperation or fault. Check your baggage at the door before you come chill with me.” So where do we get this crap from?

How can we fully expect to lead other people to Christ when we put on this unrelatable show of perfection? How can we expect anyone to buy into our faith when they can’t even buy into our own bullshit?

Let me be real. In about two weeks, we’ll celebrate our one-year anniversary of leaving the brown baby hills and crunchy sorta-dead grass of Tallahassee to live/do ministry/perpetually sweat in the ever-paradisical Naples. Moving here completely wrecked me. Much like ripping the bandage off of an infected wound, the pain was big and fierce. I feel like if I had felt comfortable enough to be authentic about my pain, I might have healed more quickly. But that took a long while.

But the good news is that healing has definitely happened. Scars remain, but the blood flow has ceased as I’ve done my best to bring people into my realm of authenticity. And I am grateful for the little changes I’m seeing: the tears shed on my own shoulder, the angry text messages, and the willingness to accept grace and love amidst it all. And just like that, both feet are inside the door. I am here, planted, ready to continue this life in this place with these people. My shoes no longer straddle the metaphorical threshold, the outside foot ready to bolt and drag the rest of me with it at the first chance. We are here. We are living. We are doing authentic life together and each day it becomes more beautiful.

That’s what Jesus came for, guys. In Luke 5:31-32 he says, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.”

Amen.

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Filed under God, life, personal, transformation

a clarification.

Yo. Readers. Sup.

I get a lot of comments on my blog, both in the actual comments section and on Facebook, that are really encouraging. Stuff like, “OMG don’t feel bad about yourself! You are great! You are lovely! Don’t worry about pleasing other people!” And so on and so forth. Very uplifting, very sweet, and very much what I need to hear sometimes.

But I need you all to know something.

I don’t write this blog to fish for encouragement. That is not my intention at all.

At this point in my self-love journey, I get all the encouragement I need from my own self-talk, the people closest to me, mentors, my faith and prayer time, and all the bags of salt and vinegar chips I can get my hands on. Fear not! I am not lacking in that department at all. I write this blog because I want to normalize and talk about the very real insecurities a lot of us women have that, for whatever reason, we feel the need to cover up most of the time. I write to point out what is real and what is true so that everyone who stumbles across my little corner of the internet can heavily EXHALE and think, “Thank goodness I’m not the only one.”

That’s really it.

Don’t get me wrong — this is not to say that I don’t enjoy your comments. I really really do. They bring me life and joy and peace. So keep them coming if you so wish. I just don’t want you to think that if you don’t comment on my blog a rebuttal to every satirical self-deprecating post I write, I’ll jump off the nearest bridge. Don’t worry. I won’t.

Unless the nearest bridge crosses over a river of chocolate. In which case, well… I can’t make any promises.

creep

Mmmm. River of chocolateeeee…

 

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Filed under commentaries, life, transformation

tuesday tip — mentality vs. reality.

Heads up: this is one of those blog posts that is more for me than it is for you. If it helps you, great. But honestly, I just need to blog because, like I’ve said a thousand times, I blog because I can’t afford therapy.

Three weeks ago I tore my ACL at my dance class. I landed wrong after a jump and, well, my knee decided to rip in half or something. I’m going to see an orthopedist on Thursday and I’ll most likely have to undergo surgery at some point in the coming weeks. Ha. Wow. I just typed that, flippantly, as if it’s something that people just do. Just like that.

“Oh hey, what’d you do today?” — “Nothing really, just had some knee surgery and then swung by Starbucks, whatevs.”

At any rate, the past three weeks have been challenging for several legitimate reasons (I can’t move my knee certain ways, I have to wear a brace every waking hour, I have to let people wait on me, etc.) But, they’ve also been challenging for a big, stupid, dumb, not-legitimate-at-all reason: I can’t exercise and it’s giving me anxiety.

You see, the thing about those affected by eating disorders is that they are constantly plagued by both the need to control everything and the desire to attain perfection. So, strict diets and unreasonable exercise routines win out to quell both cravings.

While I’m “recovered” from my eating disorder (some would argue that an eating disorder isn’t something you can ever fully recover from and that you can only merely learn to struggle with) I’ve found myself in a situation where my body and what it looks like are beyond my control. AND I HATE IT. The fact that I can’t burn off the calories I consume is tormenting me. I freak out about each food item I eat because I know that, if I’m not careful, I could gain a butt-ton (pun intended) of weight in the coming months. The mentality of it all is breaking me down.

But that’s the thing — the mentality is breaking me down. Not the reality.

My  mentality: I’ve gained weight since tearing my ACL and that’s really awful.

The reality: Even if I have gained weight, which is highly unlikely, it’s no big deal.

I bring this up because I know I’m not alone in this. Maybe it’s not a knee injury for you. Maybe you’ve gotten behind on your housework and you just haven’t had time to exercise. Maybe, because it’s wedding season, you’ve had to attend a thousand hitchings in the past few months and have eaten dinner after delectable, catered dinner and you feel as though they are taking up a permanent residence in your fat cells. Maybe, because it’s summer and the entire country is experiencing an out-of-control heatwave, you just haven’t gone for a jog in a while for fear of dying of heat stroke.

Whatever uncontrollable circumstances are arising in your life at the moment, breathe in, and remember that the reality is that you are wonderfully made and oh, so very loved.

Your mentality cannot change that, no matter how negative it might be at any given time.

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Filed under eating disorders, food bytes, life, psychology