Thursday, February 25, 2016

Confession and a Book I Read

Just checking in, trying to discipline myself to write some thoughts. Why do I put off things I ultimately enjoy because the getting started part is hard? I guess it's just being human. JUST START. Here we go, metaphoric pen to metaphorical paper!

Ok so the confession part first, because it ties into the book reading: Lately something has been annoying me. (I know, this is so out of character for me!!! Is this really a confession or a trick to complain and have you read it?! It's both) Non fiction books aren't my first pick. They aren't my jam, as they say. Sure I love a good biography by a comedian or athlete I like.  (Bossypants anyone???)  Here's the thing (the confession part) : I GET ANNOYED by every christian lady on Instagram showing they only read non fiction books by christian bloggers. WHY does this annoy me? Oh, so many judgmental reasons of course! Allow me to rant for a minute or two:)

So, I guess because I love fiction so much it annoys me when people "don't read". I understand if reading isn't your passion, you don't enjoy it, and it doesn't align with your sense of "accomplishing" something. That's totally fine and I get that. Because other people enjoy running 26 miles and I don't understand THAT. A lot of people are "doers" as the yelling guy from Home Depot commercials would say and if they don't have something physical to show for their time, they feel it's been wasted. So a lot of these doers when they do read, it's always a non-fiction "self help" or christian lady blogger book (which depending on what it is, can be very similar NOT that theres anything wrong with either of the two genres--I have read both).

There is definitely wisdom in reading about someone else's perspective and life challenges. But I do hate fads. Especially in Christian ways of thinking. And it's always revolutionary at the time. And everyone's freaking out. By how so and so reinvented the wheel. I don't even like fads in non christian ways of thinking. (I'M LOOKING AT YOU KONMARI METHOD!!!!) Basically I guess you read with a grain of salt and take away some key points that DO resonate with you. Or tuck away nuggets for the future. Or totally disregard it because it's the worst (aka the book that says you don't have to diet or exercise to lose weight but be "mindful". I'M SICK OF THE WORD MINDFUL!!!)

Also, when it comes to fiction; I often feel like the writer lets on way more about their ideologies and life than they know. I like learning lessons through fiction more than non fiction many times because  of that very fact. When you're writing in your own voice you're more self aware but you  may miss the point because it's really hard to see yourself and your whole "thing". It's like Ferris Bueller looking at the painting with the tiny dots. I guess to tie it all in with why it annoys me about Instagram ladies is like because of blogs (my love hate relationship with blogs strikes again!) it's like what are they writing that we haven't actually read before ??? Why do blogs equal book deal? Should I just accept that is the way things are now? Why do I act like I'm in my 70's and want to go back to type writers and Ernest Hemingway and scotch and being mean to women?  I don't, for the record-but yeah I'm crotchety at the very least).

Ok anywho--with all the instagram and "oh my goodness I LOVE HER"'s going around it  often seems like a culture club, the ol christianity culture/popularity contest that swears it's not a culture but is totally it's own microcasm. The competition. The who can be the most gritty, the most having had been/are a sinner, the most redeemed, the most good at all the things even though proclaiming they aren't good at all the things, tee hee. Honestly I feel like they can be more damaging than good sometimes.  I get grouchy and it seems pharisaical and that's just mean of me because I really haven't read all the books enough to know if that's true. So I guess that makes me the pharisee grump in this story rather than hardworking authors.  All that to say-- I READ A NON FICTION BOOK. AND REALLY LIKED IT. AND LEARNED A LOT. AND THE AUTHOR WASN'T HUMBLEBRAGGY TRYING TO BE THE NEXT "IT' GIRL IN ANYWAY !!!

I'll segue now!

So a friend actually lent me the book, and I DO trust her opinion on books to the max. She said it wasn't life changing but good. And the topic directly related to something I was telling her I was struggling with so she was very kind to think of it. Something I've come to cringe about women's Bible study type things is that I feel that it's all so incredibly softball if you will. Seriously every women's Bible study I've went to has been about being a godly/biblical woman. WHICH IS GOOD to learn about, of course! I don't want to sound like I'm scoffing the Bible or anything. But basically we would always end up talking about modesty and how often you cook or clean the house. SIGH. EYE ROLL.  UGHHH. PERFORMANCE. PERFORMANCE. PERFORMANCE!!!

The book I read is called "You're Already Amazing, Embracing Who You Are, Becoming All God Created You to Be"-by Holley Gerth.

Ok, so the title is a little softball BUT the subject matter was really good for anyone who has struggled with the "performance treadmill" of Christian life. Basically the point of the book is to emphasize that we are not intended to do it all and be it all to everyone. We all have strengths that make us different than another and it's ok and GOOD to not "be like her", aka the girl in your church or Instagram who is "doing it all". I took notes and I'm excited to share more of what I hope I can remember to incorporate into my life. It felt like it all rang true with struggles I've had in the past with self comparison. I'll save the more in-depth for another post, because yes this one has gotten out of hand and super long. I'm excited to use my strengths for a larger purpose! And to now go read some more fiction.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

thoughts on finding out

Yesterday was a big day. An important day. A nervous day. A fun day!

Yesterday we had our anatomy scan and we got to find out the gender of little nugget!

I don't know why I was so anxious, I guess I get that way every time I have a check up of any kind.

I want to know everything is ok. That the baby is ok. That's literally all I care about. I start to feel ok after I see or hear proof (just call me Thomas, o ye of little faith!) And I start to doubt as the weeks creep by and there are still weeks to go until you get to check in again. But God is SO GOOD. As soon as the nurse pulled out the ultrasound wand (or whatever it's called) there baby was, all curled up in the fetal position--napping. And when the poking and prodding began you started to move around and the tech said "Well, it looks like you'll be using your girls name!" And just like that we knew what had been predetermined all along. WE'RE HAVING A DAUGHTER!

I really and truly would have been happy no matter what but those words were just so sweet. A girl! For whatever reason I always pictured myself a boy mom--not because I don't want a daughter just because I thought that's how it would be. But we're having a girl and we're so excited and thankful and just...relieved to know? We finally know something about our kid! I loved that she was sitting kind of indian style (like I do) and at one point rolled all the way over onto her face--looking like she was either throwing a fit or trying to escape the wand. (faceplant!) She seemed like she liked being curled up. I can relate!

Before our appointment, we went to Starbucks to sip coffee (I finally got one, I wanted the baby to up and dancing around so there would be no confusion about which gender) and hang out and talk. We ended up playing Checkers and having fun. I think we were both pretty anxious so the Checkers took our mind off of things.

I'll have tons more to write later...I'm so thankful and just trying to live in joy and enjoy this gift to the best of my ability.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Things I Want You to Know

They tell me to talk out loud to you. That you'll start to recognize my voice. I gotta admit, by myself I feel weird doing that. When I'm by myself it's almost like I shut down on the outside so I get to live solely on the inside (which is pretty much my favorite). A robot with a human heart. I think this voice (my writing voice) is often times much more my true voice than anything else. So for the moment, I'll use this voice to talk to you. Maybe one day you will read this. Maybe not. I hope if not you will still know these things I want to tell you because I will have told you. Or showed you by example. Or taught you. Or all of the above.

The things I want you to know are many. I'll simply begin. I could write volumes and there would be volumes more. Because basically I've waited my whole life to "talk" to you! That's a long time for thoughts to pile up. I'll just start with a few for now:) You're welcome, wink wink.

I want you to know that the pursuit of joy is far greater than the pursuit of happiness.

They are so close but so very different. You'll be able to find true joy when you're walking with God. The world is going to roll it's eyes and tell you we just get this one chance and that's it. That the idea of God is just a band aid to console the lesser minds and the weak. That if you open yourself up to enlightenment you won't need God, because you are one. You aren't. But you are fearfully and wonderfully made. You have a purpose, you are one of a kind, and you are important. Your view point and set of skills and talents will bring to the table something very necessary but the world will try to tell you it isn't. You aren't enough. You're less. Don't believe the lies and remember to pursue joy. Because you can have joy in the midst of sorrow. You can have joy in the midst of things not going your way. You can have joy whether or not you're the best. If there's anything the long journey it has taken us to get to you has taught it's been that pain and hardship can refine you to see with clearer eyes and a more compassionate heart which truly transforms the world around to a more beautiful place.  Because your eyes are open to it. Seasons. Friendships. Laughter. Animals. Learning. Music. Books. Literally thousands of other things! Joy is found in the smallest of moments, not only the shiny big momentous ones. So if you look there will be so much of it for you to find. I can't wait to see what kind of things give you joy.

I want you to know that doing your best is better than being the best. 

At the risk of sounding like an after school special, I do want you to know about doing your best. It is a competitive world and if you get caught up in being the best (really there are so many things we humans find to compete with each other about! You'll find out about this) If you worry about being the best you will never find peace. Resting in the knowledge that you've done your absolute best is the BEST feeling, haha. You won't have to wonder "what if" or "if only". Sometimes doing your best looks like different things; sometimes doing your best is getting on your knees and praying. Sometimes doing your best is exerting yourself physically.  Sometimes doing your best is knowing you can try again and learn from a mistake rather than going to pieces. Sometimes doing your best is to simply be prepared. Sometimes doing your best is having the wisdom to know which battles to fight and which to walk away from. Sometimes it's all of this! When you jump off the performance treadmill (aka others and society's expectations of you) you will find freedom. And it will give you more energy to do your best rather than putting everything into being perfect.

I want you to know it's ok to have both roots and wings. 

Oh you don't even KNOW how happy and excited we are to finally have you in our arms and home. It's like Christmas to the one millionth degree! We're going to enjoy the heck out of you!  We want you to always feel loved and valued in this family. But we also want you to have the confidence to go into the world and do what you're supposed to be doing. To open yourself to your own life experiences with us cheering you on all the way. I want you to know that no matter where you go there will be this invisible but unbreakable string that ties us together. It's permanent. We are inextricably linked.  But the string is as long or as short as it needs to be at any given moment.  I want you to know I'll do my best to equip you rather than make your decisions for you. I want you to know I will truly give it my all because I'm so blessed to be your mother. 

And for some shorter but still important tidbits;

-I want you to know it's ok if we don't share the same tastes in music or movies but let's be cool about giving each other's "stuff" a chance. Deal? Just say you'll like the Beatles! I mean this is more for when you're older but still. Also tennis. It would be cool if you at least tolerated it. No pressure.

-I want you to know that we might not be rich but we're going to have fun. You're gonna find out soon enough I like to make things fun.

-I want you to know that we really really can't wait to see what your personality is like! You're going to be just what we needed.

-I want you to know that we'll do our best to adapt our parenting to your needs. We'll try not to make you feel like a square peg.

-I want you to know that we love you an amazing amount but God loves you more. And I pray you will love Him too.

-I want you to know we won't be perfect. There will be things you will resent us for probably but then you can just over correct that when you become a parent. It's called the circle of life!

There's so much more that I want you to know. This seems good for the moment.