Honest, washington whimsy

Fact: it’s not 2009 

I think part of the reason it’s been so hard for me to write the past few weeks is because my words feel incredibly familiar.If I am being completely and utterly honest–these words feel like 2009.

And I don’t know what to do with that
I’ve tried to make some strides. I’ve emailed mentors and (maybe) started looking for a therapist.

I have tried to remember.

I’ve tried to remember that I am different. 

This season is different. 

That I am not the same human as I was in 2009.

I have lived since then.

But that’s the thing about familiar grounds isn’t it?

When we return to a familiar place it can suck all the new life out of us and place us right back where started from.

Situations that reoccur are the same. 

Whenever my mom goes into the hospital–it’s 2009 all over again and I am sitting on my bed in my old apartment. I’ve done that feeling more times then I want too. Or when July 7th hits. It doesn’t sting as bad anymore. It’s a dull, faint ache. But it’s there.

And then there is when the emptiness hits. The empty before caused me to need drugs and therapy and to cry on the floor. The emptiness that caused me to not show up.
Here’s the thing:

This year has been a struggle and there are moments where it feels an awful lot like 2009.

I have wanted to run. I have wanted to stay in bed and not show up.

I have erased more words then I care to admit because they sounded ugly and devoid of hope and whiny. I have erased words out of fear that they will speak that I am back to that.

When you’ve done what I have done, and gone through what I have it’s hard sometimes to admit that you need help. It’s hard to admit you’ve reached something rocky.

Because it was already rocky and you already asked for help.

I have cried a lot the past three weeks (read: I have cried a lot in 2016) I have felt crazy, unstable, inconsistent and a host of other things.

But here’s a fact I know to be true: it’s not 2009. I have been through things. I have faced down giants that I stared at most of my life. I’ve gone around the world and I’ve felt things I didn’t even know were things.

So, right now, I feel empty. I haven’t really known what to do. I have begun to hate the word fine. 
But goodness, at the bottom of it all, the bottom of the tears and the confusion, at the bottom of the bevy of all of things I would like to do (run away, not be present), at the bottom is a beautifully tiled foundation that wasn’t there before.

There is a moment from my second term in Spain that feels like a hug; a moment that is apart of that foundation. I was standing in the Mijouse living room amidst so many people and Andrew came up and put his arm around me and asked me how I was. 

I said I was good.

And I wasn’t lying. I was good. I was stressed and felt a lot of heavy feelings. 

But I knew I was finally in a place where I could figure out how to live through the situation I was in.

And then he looked me in the eye and repeated the question (which meant he was asking as a father). And I said I was ok, I was figuring it out, I would get through it and come out the other side.

To which he replied, “Of course you are good babe, you have Christ inside of you”.

I didn’t hear that as belittling. Because it wasn’t. 

It wasn’t brushing my feelings or emotions under the rug. It’s wasn’t “faking it til I make it”. It was choosing to know that I would come out the other side. It was choosing to know that I had the tools and the people and the heart to move through it. It was choosing to know that doing dirty, messy soul work wouldn’t stop me from living.

I have trouble sometimes ( a lot of the time) asking for help. I have trouble verbalizing in the midst of something. I have gotten better. I have learned and grown and expanded my emotional vocabulary.

So when it feels like 2009. When it feels like a mishmash of emotions.

When I feel like a burden for opening my mouth-I am still able to show up.

 I know that something doesn’t need to feel true to be true.

 I know (so much more of) who I am.

I’m choosing to keep showing up for my life. I’m choosing to ask questions.

I’m trying hard to have grace for myself and to rest. 

I’m choosing to allow myself to cry.

Because it’s not the same mountain. 

There is a different horizon I’m looking upon.

It’s not 2009.

And there is so much more.

Honest, Spain g42

Live (in) Lovely

I remember certain months on the World Race last year where I had so much to tell and yet no words to share the chaotic amount of thoughts in my head.

Welcome to my first month in Mijas, Spain. And learning to “live lovely”.

It’s been a busy, crazy July here. We’ve had birthdays, a wedding, 4 weeks of classes, 5 different festivals in the square, the World Cup finals, no fewer than 80 people tromping through Mijouse, we are just wrapping up the inaugural 5 year g42 reunion where 30+ people came from all corners of the globe to remember and celebrate the beautiful things that happened here.

And we’ve danced a lot.

I’ve had multiple glasses of wine with lovely people. I’ve had 3 blue chair sandwiches so far (I promise I’ll do better Mer), I made the prettiest cake for a wedding that I’ve ever had the privilege of baking, I’ve gotten up early mornings to walk with Tiffany and have beautiful conversation, I helped make 600+ tapas for the alumni cocktail party, I’ve begun to dabble in water color, I’ve continued to write a novel and I’ve laughed a bunch.

And I’ve continued to learn what it means to be loved unconditionally.

During worship last week to kick off the reunion I was feeling incredibly overwhelmed. I won’t begin to even touch on all the lessons and revelations piling up in my head today, but know that there is a lot in there.
So between all the thoughts jumbled inside and the fact that there were 30 extra people in my home I was freaking out a bit.

OK.
I was freaking out a lot.
So I went to the back of the church in an opened space to just breath and look at all these new and old friends in my life.

And I realized something that knocked me off my axis a bit.

They love.
And right as I was twirling into this train of self-doubt, insecurity and unworthiness one of the staff came up to me to tell me that I was appreciated.

(Cue tears.)

I said thank you and promptly turned into the wall away from everyone to stop the tears.

I’ve “stopped” the tears a lot this month.

Because for as much as I’ve been overwhelmed with the reminders of worthiness, acceptance and love I’ve had a voice shouting in my head to retreat, to pull back, that I’m just needed not wanted. It’s a space and place I’ve wrestled with all my life and it is rearing it’s ugly head and I’m having to fight with it as I go through the list of topic sentences that God placed before me.

So there’s that.
It’s not necessarily pretty.
But it is lovely.
And it will be lovely with every step I take down these cobblestone streets. It’s choosing to be present amidst the chaos in my brain, to stand firm in what I DO know, and be ok in questions and not knowing.

That’s all for now. In the next week I’ll be sending out a newsletter with more details of what I am doing and where I am going. But for now scroll through these few pictures of my life here in Mijas and I’ll be back with more soon.
And just as I will, I pray you will continue to be present over perfect and choose to live lovely.

photo 1

(Patty, Whitney and I produced 600+ tapas for the alumni cocktail party)

photo 2

(The wedding cake I made for the wedding that was held at Mijouse the 2nd weekend I was here. 5 layers and raspberry filling!)

photo 4

(my beautiful roommate and friend painted this for me. Many a time have I been given words that say “I’ma bird”)

photo 5

(And last but not least; one of the strongest forces to get me to Spain. Still can’t believe how blessed I am to do more life with her.)