Tag Archives: life

There is a Season….

Can you feel that? Can you see that? Taste and smell it? The winter has turned to spring. I saw it with my own eyes this morning. The buds on the trees are bright green. The warmth of the sun has already tinted my skin and the fresh air is littered with scents of new growth. And, people are smiling. For no reason except they are outside and it doesn’t hurt anymore!!!! The season has changed.

I think about life in terms of seasons so often. Because it’s every changing. Sometimes with the climate seasons, sometimes faster, sometimes slower. Some may call it a cop-out, an escape or maybe even an excuse.

I call it freedom.

Freedom from perfection. Freedom from measuring my life according to yours or his or hers or what society tells me to.

And I find it so helpful. Because it helps me stay present to the life I’m living. It helps me not live in the past or be filled with anxiety and anxiousness to get to the future. It gives me freedom to live freely within each set of circumstances I’m offered.

And yet I am so affected by my surroundings. I am so easily influenced by the attitude and passions of those around me. Easily encouraged or discouraged by connection with others. Energized or depressed by the weather.

But even though my circumstances can dictate my mood. They can’t take me out of the game of life. I am content. I am content with who I am. I am content with what I have. I am content with my God.

Some days a miserable and hard and uncomfortable. But there’s an acceptance I can have when I have the right perspective and think of my life in seasons. And ask God, what *this* season has to offer. Can I find growth in the suffering? Acceptance of those around me who are different than me in the discomfort? Time for continued education, meeting a friends needs or re-focus on the direction I’m heading?

But right now I can say I’m happily unemployed. And I expect that soon I will be happily employed. Does it help that the weather is beautiful? Yes. Does it help that I have friends to spend time with? Yes. Does it help that I have some much need time to run, rest and write? Yes. Does it help that I’ve been here before and I have experienced the journey being so much better than the destination? Yes.

I won’t hurry through the days and hours worrying and being anxious about my future. Because just like winter turned to spring and just a few months ago my unemployed life turned into a working life and just like my single life turned into a life with someone. This too will turn into something. And I’m so excited to see what that something is.

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Connecting to Holy Week

It hit me like a ton of bricks this year. Some times, some ways, some things just connect differently at different times. It’s what I love about faith. It’s alive and exciting. It touches my soul, connects to who I am and meets me right where I’m at.

Lately I’ve been thinking about making a pretty big life decision. A career move if you will and it’s met with all sorts of advice and thoughtful comments from people who I know love and care about me and have been close to me in certain seasons of my life. I value every word they say, and also know that I have to make my own decision.  And no matter which way I go, I will be met with good and sometimes challenging circumstances.

Last Sunday was Palm Sunday, the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, as predicted by prophets of old. And in that moment he was celebrated. He was held in high-esteem, he was praised and made known. He was celebrated for who he was, the son of God.

I wonder if this could have been on of those moments for Jesus when he could see heaven on earth. Those moments of peace when every thing collides to connect with your true self. That moment when you feel known, understood and have purpose. But at the same time, Jesus knew that some of the people with him, closest to him, would betray him. And the same people celebrating him would put him to death. The downturn of this comes quickly, forcefully and with out any compassion. 4-days later Jesus in betrayed, and then beaten and killed.

And still he lived in that moment. He experienced Palm Sunday (or travel tuesday, whatever they called it 2000 years ago). He let them celebrate God. He received it.

I think about my life. The changes that are to come. I think about my life transitions. The beginning often filled with celebration and excitement, but then the downturn comes. Life gets hard, the honeymoon period of relationships end, expectations are left unmet and dreams fade into reality.

But Jesus shows me how. How to live regardless of what’s to come.  Regardless of the unknown that lies ahead. How to celebrate again and again. How to love regardless of what the future holds. And no matter which path I take, it will have a beginning filled with celebration, and a middle filled with ups and downs and a Jesus to show me how to love and be loved through it all.

Over the next several days we will remember, reflect on and celebrate Jesus’ final journey here on earth as a man. It starts with a meal with friends, and then quickly turns to betrayal, torture and death. But it doesn’t end there – there is the resurrection. Because no matter how bad it gets, the end is just the beginning with Jesus. He offers more. He offers redemption. And a future that one day won’t be tarnished by pain and suffering.

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Finding New Wisdom, After Another Year Goes By

Each year it’s different. But each year it’s the same.

This year felt different when I had to tell my roommate what today is. And I cried. Last year I remember being at work and having to tell people. And I cried. Telling people is hard. On a normal day, telling people my brother died isn’t so hard. This day,  the anniversary of his passing, it’s hard.

Maybe it’s the trauma of the day it happened. Maybe it’s knowing my parents are hurting especially hard this day. Maybe it’s thinking about my sister in law and knowing it hurts her and I can’t fix that. Maybe it’s thinking about my nephew never getting to meet his Dad. And maybe it’s just because I miss him.

I miss his smile. I miss his hugs. I miss his words of wisdom. Yup, I said it, my little brother had some good words of wisdom. Mostly along the lines of protecting me from boys who broke my heart or not being afraid to live life to the fullest. Because that’s what he did. He lived.

Devin was a daredevil, a bit of a risk-taker. I’d like to think I get some of my risk-taking guts from his example. I often think of him when I’m making life decisions and think, WWDD? (What would Devin do?) Dev just went for things all out. He lived life “out-loud” with his whole heart.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been waking up with this idea to live my life “out-loud.” And for the most part I think I do. But I want more. I’m not quite sure what all of it means just yet, but I think Devin was a good example of living life “out-loud” and I want to keep learning from that.

He might be gone, but his passion for life lives on. I’m so thankful he was my little brother.

This is the first year in a while that I don’t live at home. It’s hard to not hug my Mom and Dad today and not be there to spend time with them. I know it’s hard for them.

And so as I ask every year, please pray for them. I know they hurt, I know their lives will never be the same, and I know they will always miss my brother in ways I can’t understand.

DevTizBabies

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Life Lessons on My Bike

I live in Madison, WISCONSIN

I don’t say it right. That’s what most people say when I say, “Wisconsin.” Apparently I have a bit of a Boston accent. Not much, but enough for folks to know I’m not local.

Which is true. Just about a month ago, I packed all my stuff and moved half way across the country. And I’m settling in quite nice. And I think I owe a lot of that to my bike.

When I’m on my bike, it’s like I’m a kid again. There’s a freedom and innocence to riding a bike, I think. Ok, let me get a little cheesy (I am in Wisconsin) for a moment. I’m riding down one of the many awesome bike paths, with the wind blowing my hair and cooling my face. The orange and yellow leaves creep in on either side of the path and rain down when the wind blows. The sun shines bright through the branches and each opening leads to bright blue skies that have no end. The warmth comes from within. It comes from that feeling of being alive and being free to be me. In that moment, everything is right. Nothing is holding me back.

And I think there is some cool life lesson type stuff in here. Like living life in the moment. Letting go of what I can’t control or make happen on my own. So much of this transition time, from the time I decided to move and even now, I just keep asking God to keep me present. Help me live in the moment. Help me see, feel and live right now. I don’t want to worry about the future, or try to figure it out.

And despite circumstances that aren’t “just right” or going “my way,” I’m really happy. It’s been such a gift. Just like my bike. I’m so thankful for it and even more thankful for the friends who gave it to me.

And my bike is so cool. It’s perfect. It’s old and a little rusty, it’s yellow, it has mustache duck-tape on the handle-bars and mini-flashlights as lights. Often when I lock it up, I forget to wrap the lock around the actually bike and just lock my lock to the railing…and NO ONE has taken it. It’s perfect.

Kind of like life. It’s messy, and doesn’t always look “put together” but it fits me just right.

Image

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Wiper Wisdom

As I was driving in the snow storm today I was struggling with the right speed for my windshield wipers. Silly, maybe, but it was all too fast and kept making the screeching noise.  And it seemed wasteful.  I hate waste.  And I felt like the wildsheild wipers were wasting energy (more on that another time).  So I changed to the intermittent one.  And it went and then stuff started piling up on the windshield and I was like, “ok, come on windshield wipers, do your thing!”  And then I got worried, “they’re not going to show up,” I said to myself, “it’s not going to happen, I’ll have to do it myself.” And then bam!  Right before I could, the windshield wipers swished across the windshield.

And then I thought.  How often do we do this with God?  How often do we say, “ok, God, I’m totally doing this with you, let’s go do this, whatever you say.”  And then when it gets uncomfortable, or things start to pile up, we bail.  We just jump right off the God train and start trying to figure it all out on our own.  Wow, I can look back in my life and see this.  

Now I want to know, what am I missing out on by taking it back at the last moment?  I don’t want to miss out!  I don’t want to miss you Jesus.

Thankfully I am surrounded by people with awesome faith who help push me to stay in it and help me from jumping off the God truing. And when I do stay aboard, God always shows up, just before I fall off the road.

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Walking Away and Looking Back

Today I am thankful.  Today I am full of unexplainable joy.  Today I smile. 

But the following blog entry is from where I have been.  It was a few months back.  It’s what I’ve left behind and learned from a series of events.  I’m forever grateful for failure and disappointment. 

April 4, 2012

I’ve made some risky life decisions lately.  I like making risky decisions, I like taking risks, I like adventure, I like living by faith.  This time some decisions I got to make, others were made for me and they were all heartbreaking.  Heartbreaking in the best sense of the word.  I’ve been hurting.  Deep, intense, cry out to Jesus just to breathe; pain.  It’s good for me.  It’s hard.  It feels like it’s almost over.

I don’t like it when I don’t write for a while.  Sometimes it’s because I’m busy, sometimes it’s because I’m just a bit down.  Sometimes it means I don’t have a lot to share and I’m in the midst of pain so the words won’t come out.  That’s where I’ve been lately.

Things end, things change.  It happens to everyone.  We all have seasons.  Life is a rollercoaster.  Sometimes we’re on the top; sometimes we take a big leap to the bottom.  It’s good.  It’s where we grow.  It’s where our character is tested, broken down and made new.  It’s where we get on our knees and cry out to God for relief.  It’s where we find ourselves.

A few things have ended for me recently.  The relationship I was in, ended.  And in step with that I ended my employment with Straight Ahead Ministries.  There is a strong team working to open the coffee shop/community center that I know God will work through to bless the Main South area and every kid who walks through the door.  And I hope to head over there and volunteer at some point, but not yet.

The ending of the relationship I was in was one of the hardest things I’ve ever been faced with.  My heart’s desire is to find that special someone to team up with and live this life with.  And I’ve given that search to God.  Asking Him to bring my best friend into my life so I wouldn’t keep giving my heart away.  The relationship I was in seemed to happen so organically.  It felt like God was leading us together.  I look back and I see God’s hand working in each one of us and in the relationship and I see opportunities I could have walked away.

I have learned a lot from the relationship and from the ending of it.  I look back and think, maybe I should have walked away sooner, maybe I was holding on too tight, maybe I wanted it too badly.  And then I think, maybe he wasn’t ready, maybe God has something better, maybe my job was just to love him while I had the chance and then to let him go when he walked away.

I’m thankful for the insight I have into the situation.  God has blessed me with clarity so often in my life.  I know He will reveal just what I need to know about a situation as I need to know it.  I need to have confidence in those revelations and not look to others to confirm them.  Don’t get me wrong, wise counsel is important and I will continue to seek it, but one of my biggest lessons in all of this is to have confidence in me, in what I hear from God and in my decisions, without needing everyone else’s approval.

I will admit I’m scared.  I want to love again, I want to connect with someone, share life with them and let them into who I am.  But my heart has been broken.  It’s healing but it’s fragile.  Maybe that’s right where it needs to be.  More guarded than before.

Part of me feels like I’m back to the beginning.  Back to where I was before those “big dreams” fell into place.  I am and I’m not.  I am in the sense that I don’t have a job, a partner in life or big project I’m working on.  But I’m not too.  Because I have renewed hope, I’ve healed and worked on things through this suffering and I’ve found new strength in Jesus.  And I’ve been humbled.  I’ve laid it all down before Him and He’s shown me some of my “weeds”.  We’ve ripped them out.

I have direction from God to keep pursuing church planting, I have hope that He will bring my partner to me in His time and I have faith that the right job is right around the corner.

Life’s goal should never be to avoid suffering; it should never be to avoid pain.  It should be to embrace suffering, to embrace pain, to cry out to God and say thank you for this.  Thank you that in this pain I can cry out to you Jesus and you will rescue me.  And it’s that rescue; it’s that love from Him that is more than enough.  And in this pain, in this suffering I say thank you and pray that His glory is revealed.  I ask God to use this pain for His good and to not waste a single tear.  I know He won’t.  It’s His promise.

7/2/12

Update –  I am back with Straight Ahead Ministries, working in the café.  You should come by sometime…it’s a great place to be and I’m so thankful God let me go back!

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Life Happens – Don’t Let it Pass Me By

So I wandered onto someone’s blog today and it ignited a spark in me. It was once a fire but lately it’s been just a faint stream of smoke. I want my fire back.

I’ve always had a bit of a free-spirit. Always willing to take off at a moments notice. The ability to take a moment to enjoy a sunset amongst a crowd of people blocking my path. The passion to create, write and live life with a care-free happiness that doesn’t dwell on circumstance.

Have you had a moment lately to just stop? Take a step back. Look at your life. And say, wow….I’ve done some pretty amazing things in my life! I feel like I’ve been too busy to have those moments. Which has a tendency to create a “my life is boring” or “I never do anything fun or great,” outlook. (I think winter in New England also has something to do with it!)

I’ve been too busy to write. Pulled in too many directions to remember what it is I want in this life. I want to be happy. But what makes me happy? Have I forgotten? Have I lost sight? It’s not money or things, the right job or the best parties. It’s also not being so busy I can’t see straight or being pulled in so many directions, each one only gets a little piece. Don’t get me wrong, I love to be busy. I love days I don’t have time to stop to eat. But I don’t love those days continuously for weeks on end. I love one-on-one friend time, my high school friends spending a Saturday night at my house and alone time. I love to be with people and I love to be alone.

Can we talk about busy for a moment? Are people busier these days then they’ve ever, ever been? I scheduled a phone conversation with one of my closest friends today. We are that busy! That’s crazy! I can see so many good things to that – and so many, not so good things. But that’s a whole other blog!

I was thinking today. That’s a good sign I guess… 😉 We all want people to “get” us. Like really understand the kind of gal or guy we are. Get our jokes, encourage our life-questions. I like when people “get” me. I need people to “get” me. I want to spend time with those people. They draw out that care-free spirit. So does being alone…taking a walk, just me and God.

So back to the blog I read. It had a life-list. And it had some fun and everyday life sort of things on it. I always say I don’t have a bucket list. But maybe I do, maybe it’s more of a life list. I’m working on my list. Even if number 47 is walking through the park at midnight engaged in the most riveting conversation. I want that one my list. Even things like that, that I’ve already done but I want to do it again.

I want to travel, I want to run and jump, stay up until 3am discussing life and love, hike a mountain, jump into the ocean, sit outside at a camp fire, run and run until I can’t run anymore.

I’ve done all these things before. I want to do them again and again. I want to do them alone. And I want to do them with you.

p.s. And I want to watch some Red Sox games this year! My dog’s name is Fenway and I’m embarrassed to say I only went to one game last year and watched maybe two. This year needs to be different! 😉

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