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what marriage counseling taught me...lesson #4

As I was reading Brene Brown's latest book, Braving The Wilderness, this literally jumped off the page and into my heart. This explained my latest lesson perfectly. Let me rephrase it the way that my brain saw it :

If spouses really want their loved one to show up, speak out, take chances, and innovate, we each have to create cultures where the other feels safe - where their belonging is not threatened by speaking out and they are supported when they make the decision to brave the wilderness, stand alone, and speak truth to bullshit.

I want to show up and speak out, with a transparency that begs for a deeper intimacy. I want to take chances and bring new ideas to our relationship that catapults us even higher. I want to be vulnerable and open and speak honestly. And I want all of those things for him as well.

When I first met my hubby, I was fresh out of an abusive relationship. Like 3 weeks fresh. I was a walking mess of fear and insecurity. I didn't feel safe, ever. I d…

come together

About a month ago, I put this*(pic below) on my car because I desire to live in a world where we can all coexist. One where kindness overtakes lack of understanding, where generosity outshines differences, and where love wins the battle against fear and hatred. I have to believe that most all of us want that same world, but what do our words say? our actions? What are we saying to, or about, those who look, act, speak, believe, vote, live, worship differently than we do? How are we treating them? with the same love that we wish to be treated with? with the same respect? Change comes when WE change - our thoughts, our words, our actions - and begin to BE the world of love we wish to live in!

This was a post that I put up yesterday on two different social media outlets where I share my heart. I knew that it would be better accepted on one of those (5 times better at this writing), but I'm not one to keep quiet about my truth, even when others disagree. That is the true beauty…

get out of the pit and live

*Friends don't let friends wallow.

Sometimes people want you to agree with their negativity-and then want you to just be okay with them living there. They’re perfectly content to live in the “sucky,” though they know it sucks & they don’t want to live there-they just don’t want to change enough to actually make a change.

This post hit me right in my mind, my heart, and all my feels. I am stubborn. Like, stubborn with a capital S. For most of my life, if I wanted to wallow, I expected everyone in my life to either leave me alone, there in that mess, or join me, which really justified my thoughts. I was that friend, perfectly content in the sucky.

Jesus isn’t gonna just sit around & wallow with us in our mess. He’s not gonna be like, “Aw, I’m sorry, baby, let’s just go ahead & make some snow angels in this.” No. He’s like, “All right we got this handled, let’s go; moving forward,” because He wants more for us.

It wasn't like I didn't know that I was wallowin…

wise choices and self love

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

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

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

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…