Monday, January 12, 2015

I don't wanna be...

I want to be a writer,
I want my blog to grow.
I want my words to have purpose,
I *need* my words to flow.

At times my words aren't poignant,
At times it's rambling stuff.
But I want to be a writer,
Fill this space with my word fluff.

Two nights ago, during an all-too-common {and equally annoying} battle with insomnia, these Seussical words snaked their way into my head.  Rising and falling on the sulci and gyri on the surface of my brain, nestling deep into my cortex, where osmosis took over and the words permeated into pangs on my heart, nagging jabs into my soul.

With the assistance of the dim light inspirationally reaching across the mounded blankets on my bed, I scratched that 'poem' onto the backside of a random reminder for a conversation I'd like to have with my doctor.  Folded in half, I slid my quasi-prayer into the cover of my kindle, and opted to make the most of my time awake buried both deep in my warm bed, and in prayer.  {While I *need* to be a writer; I [more importantly] need me some Jesus!}

And then I awoke.

Sunday mornings are one of my favorites--sipping coffee and relishing in the comfort of knowing I have one more day before the madness of a kid-filled, laundry-filled calendar takes over and demands 'crustless sammies', halved strawberries, homework guidance, clean clothes, timeliness for school, etc, etc, etc.  Sabbath.   Rest.  God's day.

Rain dumped mercilessly over the greater Houston area as we climbed into and tumbled out of the car, wrangling umbrellas and skipping over gushing mini-rivers and boot-soaking puddles in the church parking lot.  My anxiety levels were feeling challenged, as I dreaded the damp and chilly mess that would ensue whilst delivering my circus train of people to their appropriate spots within the confines of our expansive church campus {shout out to the awesome volunteers ridin' dirty on the plastic-enclosed, germ re-circulating golf carts!  I could never operate a semi-translucent capsule full of damp and drippy people without having something stronger than coffee in my mug!}

But my 'God meter' was greater than my anxious heart {shocking, I know}, and soon enough I sat in the refuge of my church home.  The annoyances of navigating a cold and rainy morning with children had been left clinging for life  right alongside the drops of water that dotted the inside of my plastic courtesy umbrella bag.  My anxiety washed away; my senses were awakened by the sights and sounds and tastes of a community of people on a mission from God--for God.  My standard order, vanilla latte from the cafe tasted all the bit sweeter; a perfect blend of espresso and milk, the flavor just right for what my tongue craved.

My constant companion, a black Mole Skin notebook emerged from my satchel, along with it the bold-tipped pens I so desperately seek out each time I peruse the enchanting office supply section.  Cracking open the pages, scribing the date in the top right corner, writing the topic for the day's message.  Typically a mindless action while waiting for the worship to begin; yet for some reason, it felt different.  It felt intentional.  It felt inspiring to pen the words "My New Selfie {part 2}", and to write, without hesitation or mistake, "2015" following the name of a month marked with anticipation, hope, and expectation.

Soon the familiar bass tones of a personally well-known and loved Gavin DeGraw song infiltrated my inner being by way of my auditory system pathway.

I don't want to be
Anything other than what I've been trying to be lately
All I have to do is think of me and I have a peace of mind
I'm tired of looking 'round rooms 
Wondering what I've got to do
Or who I'm supposed to be
I don't want to be anything other than me.

As the service went on, tears gathered courage enough to brim my eyes while the congregation sang "Blessed Be Your Name", along with a passion-filled rendition of "You Make Beautiful Things".  The tug on my heart was noticeable; my need to create filling the deep spaces of my soul.

Our pastor began his message with a quote he remembered from a conversation he'd had with a man years back about things they liked versus things did not like.  His conversation partner had stated, "I don't like NOT liking something."  Pastor presented the quote to us by way of a challenge--to resolve to like something that you don't like.  Not a fan of leafy green vegetables?  {I'm talking to you here, Gavin...}  Rather than dismiss that food item from your repertoire, why not expand your horizons and make an effort to dislike them less.  Cringe at the thought of scary/suspenseful movies?  Perhaps wrapping yourself in the coziest blanket you own, keeping all the lights on, and watching one with your comforting significant other during BROAD DAYLIGHT, rather than right before bed could help turn a former fear into a little less intimidating situation {this just *might* be a personal trepidation with which I struggle...}.

The trick is to find an avenue that will help you acknowledge your former nemesis, and find a perspective that will make it a little more tolerable.  {And in case you were wondering how to improve those leafy greens...the answer is bacon.  When in doubt, bacon.}

Life change doesn't happen without action.  The birth of a fresh new year is always an inspiring time to resolve to change.  To set goals, list expectations, quit bad habits, begin healthy ones.  The change of a digit in the ones place sparks a match within that is fueled by the realization that time is passing, regardless of the futile attempts to capture it, bottle it up, and post it on social media.

The year 2014 felt like I was a Roomba robotic vacuum.  I randomly moved around in my space, gathering up whatever was in my way--good, bad, and everything in between--and containing it all inside in a capsule that wasn't quite air or water tight.  It leaked.  While some of the good permeated throughout my body, most of the dust and dirt and crud that was bad also found their ways through the porous parts of me, causing me to operate in a dysfunctional manner.  When I found myself on a path that was limited by cliffs or walls or obstacles, I didn't utilize my inner strength to transcend; instead I'd bump into the wall, nudge the obstacle, teeter along the edge of the cliff...and then turn the opposite direction and run.  Then there were the times when I came upon the edge of the cliff, and rather than use wisdom and intellectual instincts, I took to the air like an over-caffeinated base-jumper without looking back.  And when I finally did look around find myself mid-air without a parachute, I flapped and flipped and scrambled in a fruitless attempt to right the downward spiral.  It was is exhausting; physically, mentally, emotionally, relationally.

So I find myself at another precipice.  A calendar-based, dawn-of-a-new-year kind of precipice.  The deep rooted desires for change bore harder and deeper as I crawl from the depths of my previous years' lows.  I am a seeker.  I am a reader.  A learner.  A devoted wife and mom.  A friend.  A daughter by both earthly and heavenly standards.  I'm a craver.  I crave peace and order mixed with just the right amount of whimsy.  I crave to create.  Food and art, laughter and decor, inspiration and words.  I crave to create it all.

I don't like the fact that I go for long bouts of time feeling like 'not me'.  I don't like the times when what my mind and heart and soul and body crave and desire don't all mesh together to make feeling better a 'quick fix'.  I don't like the times when I feel like I'm not doing what it is that I'm called to do.  It feels uncomfortable to be in that space; flapping and scrambling for something that gives you a sense of security that you're on the right path.

But when I think about what my pastor said during the opening of his message, I am challenging myself to like being in those spaces more.  To like the disarray of my life at times {read: all.the.time.  three kids equals perma-mayhem, yo.}.  I'm challenging myself to embrace the fact that what I consider {and have considered} me, isn't really so...and that the real me is who I'll discover when I do what the song says, '{a}ll I have to do is think of me and I have a peace of mind.'  I really don't want to be anything other than me...because to be something else, someone else is to discount the person my Creator made me to be.  How disrespectful it is to say, "I don't like me" to the One who made me!  So I challenge myself.  To like what it is that I don't like.  To find the avenue that will help acknowledge my former nemesis, and find a perspective that will make me make it a little more tolerable.

So to meet this challenge head on, what makes me more tolerable to 'me', is writing.  Growing in my words.  Expanding my repertoire.  Climbing toward my bucket-list, deep-rooted soul desire of being a published author.  Adding to my verbiage on the page--computer screen, paper, whatever medium available--foster and grow the legacy I want to leave for my children and grandchildren, so they may glean a snippet of what it means to grow through life having sought and caught a heart for God, a heart for self-betterment, and a heart for the human experience.

And of course, I'll also be utilizing the gift of bacon.

Because...let's be honest.  The number of things made better by the meat salve of the universe far outweighs things made worse.  Me included.

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