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wise choices and self love

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At one point last year, the hubby and I were discussing a situation with our hindsight glasses firmly in place, pointing out where we took the misguided step, and chalking the experience up to a life lesson. Because doesn't that sound better than saying we made another mistake? Life lesson sounds like we are learning and growing and moving on from it.

But, I was tired of life lessons piling up behind us. And I said so.
"We need to walk into life making wise choices before and lessen the amount of life lessons behind."

It became a joke at first, throwing out the words "make wise choices" anytime we were faced with decisions. Then, the more we said it, the more that it stuck with me, and I started thinking it into all areas of my life.

Look at that pretty pair of LuLaRoe...     is that a wise choice?

Starbucks drive thru is so convenient...     is that a wise choice?

I'm craving french fries, or ice cream, or...     is that a wise choice?

I am not one that is…

do this, don't do that

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Do this. Don't do that.

The list of all the ways that I have seen or heard to better my life is long. Politics, friends, religion, family, news, social media. Everyone has a different take on the way to achieve a better you, a better life. But, what do you think? What is in your heart to do?

As a child, I needed rules and guidance and someone older, more mature, to show me the way. As I grew, I needed to explore the boundaries of those limitations. I needed to see if they were right for me, for who I am. I found the places that needed adjusted, places where I could expand out into more, or where I needed to draw the line back. I discovered that my lines of who I am are more fluid than I first believed.

Some of this was done within the confines of a strict religious mindset. Some of it was done in the turbulent days of a youth gone wild. Some of it was done under the (false) assumption that following rules would bring acceptance. Some of it was done when my very soul was conflict…

death and life on the windowsill

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I do not have a green thumb. It isn't even a brown one. Basically, it's the black thumb that rides in on the plant horse of death. seriously. I've tried everything and eventually, the end comes for them all. It doesn't deter me from trying. I believe that one day I will have a plant that lives on, taking whatever care I give it and flourishing! 

I have a windowsill in my kitchen that currently houses four plants. Until this very morning, it was five. That fifth one gave me hope for a long time. Eighteen months, eleven days, and seventeen hours to be exact. I thought sure that we would make it, together, my beautiful plant and I. But, alas, about a month ago, things took a turn for the worse. And this morning, I decided to just let it go. 

Because I can't keep alive that which is already dead.

Standing in my kitchen, on the last day of this year, I determined that this plant was just a withered and brown representation of many other things in my life. relationships…

put your money where your mouth is

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Put your money where your mouth is.

I heard it clearly, but I asked again. How should we give?

Put your money where your mouth is.

About this time last year, God and I were discussing money and giving and the heart of it and this was His twice given answer to my twice asked question. I know where my mouth is a majority of the time. It's on love. If you know me, you know that this is a huge part of what I believe - that we are all called to walk in love. Nonjudging, overwhelming, indiscriminate love.

It is easy to declare love, to sprinkle the words around like glitter, sticking to everything in sight. But love is a verb. It is an action. It is words set in motion by our mouths, welling up from our heart, and followed through with some sort of activity. And now, the effort that He was asking of our family was to give from our wallets to that which we have sprinkled words over before.

I wasn't exactly sure where or how this would take place, so I simply said, "Show us and…

my truths

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Rejection formed a lot of my earliest thoughts about my worth, and it was from that atmosphere that people pleasing was birthed. I didn't know my truth. I simply knew theirs, and adjusted who I was accordingly. I accepted their thoughts, their opinions, their words about who I was, and I swallowed it all, deep within me, until I was all those people. and none of them. an inaccurate representation of who I was created to be.

Two years ago, I felt the shift coming. I knew that change was on the horizon, but it was hazy, unclear. Still, I welcomed it with open arms, confident that my Papa wouldn't lead me into places that He hadn't readied me for. Together we journeyed, into my known and my unknown, into my remaining masks and my authored identity, into who I thought I should be and who I was created to be.

It was here that I quieted all other voices, including mine, to hear Him. It was here that I removed all that was hindering my sight to see Him. It was here that I shifted…

I am home

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Everyone wants to belong somewhere. I've spent a lifetime searching for that place, and yet, always feeling like I'm sitting right outside of it. Like all of my neighbors had a block party, and despite being in the midst of it, I wasn't invited. I discovered early in life that inclusion equals security, approval, acceptance; a place to rest, be fed, grow; a home.
And I've spent my life homeless.
black or white. be tamed or live free. the church or my truth. fit in or be me. real or raw. belonging somewhere or belonging nowhere.
In each home I would come across, I would run from room to room, searching, frantic to find one that embraced me, that girl who is both black and white, who bristles at domestication and instead breathes her fierceness, who deeply loves Jesus and finds religion stifling and hypocritical, who longs to belong and chooses to stand apart. Where was that room?
The drive to belong somewhere, anywhere, has had me moving into unfit homes all my life.  S…

what marriage counseling taught me...lesson #3

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I am a thinker. A lot of thoughts flow in my mind and sometimes they spend an abundance of time drifting around in there. If I don't intentionally examine each one for truth, they will seek out other like-minded mates, binding together for strength and twisting in ways that mask their falsehoods. Unattended to, they will wait at the back of my throat, looking to seep out, giving voice to inaccurate representations of who I am, and worse, who others are.

Unfortunately, we seem to hurt the ones we say we love the most, and my hubby has probably been the biggest recipient of these distorted words. I know who I am. I know who he is. And yet, there are times that my wounds have walked in agreement with these flawed thoughts and created counterfeit truths. And then, I have turned these mere thoughts into detrimental words, disintegrating into narrow-minded actions. What previously had no power has now become a powerful force of destruction, a cancerous mass of cells threatening the heal…