IMPERFECT

So I took a personality test the other day, and they labeled me a perfectionist…

And I just kinda shrugged it off…*shrugs*

But then I messed up. *sigh* And I found myself having a phone conversation w/ one of my friends about the mess up and in the middle of explaining to her why I was so upset, it hit me I WANTED TO BE PERFECT…or I at least wanted to appear that way.

And as I admitted it out loud, it hit me even harder. Because you see perfection is an impossibly hard standard to hold yourself to…🤦🏽‍♀️ (side note: I’ve edited this blog more times than I’m willing to admit…bc it wasn’t…perfect 🙃)

But you know I realized something else quite recently too!! God never asked you or me to be perfect, He’s only asked us to be obedient…to do what He asks, to step outside of our comfort zone, to take the leap of faith…or sometimes just take the next step.

And it’s in that step of obedience He’s honored…not in our perfection.

So if not today, then tomorrow step out of your comfort zone, try something new but before you do remind yourself that you don’t have to be perfect…bc God’s already got that covered.

UNDEFINED

Ever find yourself in the middle of a group of people and not sure where you fit?

Have a math problem to solve only to find the denominator is zero? 😅🤪

Let your imagination run a bit too wild and now you’re not sure where reality and your own imagination collide..? 🤷🏽‍♀️

Have a crush on someone and not sure how they feel about you?

Ever feel like something in life is just undefined?

If I’m being completely honest I have…LOTS of times.

When my life feels undefined (and it did quite recently 🙃) these are the things that I remind myself of:

I am not defined by:

⁃ My income

⁃ My job title

⁃ My address

Or even:

⁃ my relationship status

⁃ the # of friends I do or don’t have

⁃ My Saturday plans

⁃ The compliments I do or don’t receive

Because the truth is I’ve already been DEFINED by the creator of the universe….and if I’m being completely honest, for me that’s definition enough.

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

You are enough.

The simple yet complex phrase that I keep reminding myself.

Because life happens.

And this thing called life is filled with both ups and downs.

And I don’t know about you, but in the midst of life, I sometimes find myself doing something new and different. And if I’m being completely honest, new and different can be uncomfortable…really uncomfortable.

But as I found myself reflecting on 2017 and (looking forward to 2018!) I realized something! In spite of my feelings of discomfort, I was always enough! I was always skilled enough to solve the problem…Or at least smart enough to ask for help! Selfless enough to maintain my friendships…or at least humble enough to apologize for my mistakes! Pretty enough to take the selfie…or resourceful enough to use a filter! 😝

And though we don’t know what 2018 will hold, that “enough-ness” will go w/ us. Because chances are we’re not perfect and our lives aren’t either, but one thing I am certain of….

You, me, we are enough.

“Noise!! Noise! Noise!” 

**In my Grinchiest voice**
Have you ever realized that our lives are noisy?!

Facebook notifications, IG stories, tv, and news apps alerting us to the latest catastrophe or political gaffe…It all adds up to a whole lot of noise!

And I recently realized that when life gets too noisy:

  1. I miss the still small (most important) voice
  2. I begin to believe and accept what the noise is saying
  3. I live my life a little more stressed

So, I took a couple of days, and silenced as much of the noise in my life as I could!

Here were my rules:

  1. No Facebook
  2. No Twitter
  3. No IG
  4. No news apps
  5. No TV (j/k I did still watch TV 😬)

Just a girl and her thoughts ☺️ 💭

And here’s what happened:

  • I actually had a phone conversation
  •  Remembered something that was going on in a friend’s life & checked on her
  • Cooked dinner more than once!
  • Worked a few extra hrs at work
  • Took my dog for a walk
  • Wanted to actually talk to people
  • Decided that I’m adorable 😅🙈
  • Felt more peaceful

And sure I missed out on a few news headlines and Facebook posts, but for a few days my life was quieter. And I was reminded that so much of the noise and busyness in my own life, I have the power to control..!

But bc I can’t live like a hermit forever and bc my friends statuses and posts aren’t going to like themselves (lol) I resubscribed to some of the noise, but this time I was armed w/ one simple reminder: never to let my life get so noisy that I miss the people, the moments and the conversations that really do matter.

I Really Hope So…

I thought I’d be married by now…or at least in a serious relationship…

I just kind of assumed that by now I’d have my own place…

I thought my job would sound more impressive…

My dog would be better trained…

And I’d be working on a book about balancing it all…

But I paused for a moment in late July and it seemed like discouragement met me there (exhaustion met me there too, but that’s a story for some other time!). It reminded me of all the dreams that I do have, but seemed to also inform me of how far off attaining them would be. And I tried to play it cool. Tried to act like none of it bothered me. But if I’m being completely honest, it really did bother me…ALL OF IT BOTHERED ME.

And so I found myself having a moment of seriously wondering what my future would look like.  And while discouragement tried to meet me in this moment too, the voices of two of my friends drowned out anything discouragement was trying to whisper. Because their voices were LOUDER.  They encouraged me and talked about the future, not like some distant dream land, but like a reality that was inevitable and attainable.

And while their encouragement was invaluable and I am forever grateful, I knew that I would have to start drowning out the voice of discouragement for myself. Because they won’t always be there… and in that space of trying to figure out how to encourage myself, I met a new friend, hope. Hope met me there.

Not immediately, though…it took a little while, I wish she would have come sooner, maybe she got lost lbs… But seriously! Hope came and bridged the gap between my today and tomorrow.  It acknowledged that I may not be where I thought I would, but I can still get there! Hope gave me hope!

I found this definition of hope that’s now my new fave! It simply defines hope as “a feeling of trust.” For me, this was so profound because if you had asked me what hope was before I looked it up, I would have written it off as the substance of fairy tales and daydreams, but my new friend hope is so much more than that! She’s not that superficial!

Hope is there when the chasm between who I am and who I want to become feels too great, too big, too distant…hope gives me a feeling of trust that my dreams and goals are gonna happen (as long as I continue to work towards them :)).

Hope’s voice in my life is now LOUD!

So what do you hope for?

I hope…

That one day I’ll find the one my soul loves and we’ll be married!

I’ll have my own place, and it’ll be in the suburbs and it’ll be super cute and filled w/ friends and family!

My job won’t just be impressive, but it’ll be impressively fulfilling too!

My dog will be perfectly trained!

And I’ll write a book about balancing it all!

EVERYONE HAS A STORY.

But you already knew that…

And our stories often intertwine to create relationships some deep and others superficial, but you probably already knew that too…

But I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately…

How everyone has a story…

And it caused me to reflect on the first seven months of this year — the first 7 months of my story called 2017—and if my 2017 story had a title, it’d probably be called Relationships. With a subtitle about being better in them or something like that. Because it seems like I’ve been constantly challenged to extend love when I don’t want to, or to be considerate when I wish a little more consideration was extended to me or to just simply forgive…

And oftentimes when I’m tempted to judge someone else’s story by the way that theirs impacted mine, I have to remind myself that simply isn’t fair!

Because if I was being completely honest, their impact on my story is just a small part of their story.

And their story isn’t finished being told.

And I don’t always have the privilege of having read the previous chapters of their story- of having seen how others impacted it.

And who am I to judge anyway!?

Because if not today, then possibly tomorrow, I may negatively impact someone else’s story with an unkind word or short response or inconsiderate action… And if I don’t want to be defined by my less than perfect moments, then I probably shouldn’t define others by theirs…

So these first 7 months of 2017 have taught me this simple lesson:

It’s unfair to define someone else’s story simply by the way theirs impacted yours…because if we were being completely honest, there’s more to their story…

…and I do so hope that the rest of their story turns out to be AMAZING!”