April 29, 2015

Be inspired. Be inspiring.

There are times I have pointed you to others. So much inspiration out there. So many amazing people doing amazing things. And often, I wonder if it's easier for me to point to others than try to do things myself. 

I'm not sure how that seems to you. To me, it depends on the day. Some days I see the lack, and some days I know it doesn't matter. But it's hard, if I'm to be perfectly honest with you. It's hard pushing through and remembering that I'm not too old, too new, or too outside the loop. 

be inspired be inspiring

April 27, 2015

Will your sin keep you from being seen as good?

I've talked about how we should only allow God and those who agree with God to define us. But sometimes we get those definitions wrong. Sometimes theology and politics get all mixed up, and in order to bring someone to an understanding of salvation they make us very aware of our sin. While this is not false, is that where the defining stops? Is that really how God, Elohim, Mighty Creator sees us?



April 20, 2015

We all have our somedays...

Some days I lose my focus midway through a story. I try to figure out where I was going, but generally I don't remember until much later. I'm grateful for those who laugh with me when I realize I'm lost, and those who help me remember where I was going.

Some days I walk right smack into a glass wall. The door was two steps back. I was in the gym which was overflowing with people. I'm grateful for those who check to see if I'm okay before they laugh with me.

Some days I get angry over a situation and want to be justice itself. I threaten. I exclaim. I dare. I'm grateful for those who do that with me in the safety of my kitchen where no one will really get hurt but we can laugh about the crazy people by the end of the conversation.

Somedays

Some days I share a story that is small in the view of the world, but is big in my heart. I open up and share the words which haven't been spoken before. I'm grateful to those who listen and are kind and loving and give importance to my feelings and emotions without sizing them up against anything else.

Some days I'm an observer. Usually because my heart is dealing with something it can't speak of, for whatever reason. I'm grateful for those who sit and observe with me. For those who don't pry but wait and are okay if I never say a word.

Some days I get flustered in the middle of a conversation and don't know what to say. My eyes drop, or look outside, and all that is running through my mind is, "Say something!" I'm grateful for the kindness in eyes when I come back to the conversation, and the understanding of friendship.

Some days I get grumpy and moody. I'm not much fun to be around, and there are only a select few who I allow into that circle on those days. I'm grateful that select few still find it worth their time to be around me, and love me enough to be okay with me even when I growl.

Somedays two

Some days I get weepy about things others are strong about. I get frustrated with myself when I do this, but I'm so grateful for the shoulders, prayers, and kindness of others when I hit that spot.

Some days I make a mess or break something by accident in the last place I ever want to do such a thing. I'm grateful for those who help me believe it's not that big of a deal, even when others are acting just the opposite.

Some days my hurt and pain lead me more than I would admit. In those times I don't reach out very much, nor do I pay attention to anyone else. I'm grateful for those who reach in to me, and help me out of myself gently.

somedays three

We all have these days. Be grateful for those who help you through them.

April 18, 2015

Some seasons you grow roots

I've met a variety of people through my time here on the web. Through classes, blogs, facebook, and the like, our paths have crossed and I still know many of them. I may not be their best friend, but I watch and see how they grow in their lives, and I'm often amazed at the things they do.

I have seen ezines come to life, online classes bloom, business soar, brick buildings moved into, groups gathered, and art created. And sometimes, sometimes, I have a hard time seeing what I may have done in the same time period that they used.

branches

Some dreams are known quickly. Some dreams take years to realize. Some dreams are procrastinated. Some dreams are given up on. Some dreams never get their first foothold.

There are definitely times I feel like a failure when I compare myself to all these amazing people. I wonder about my paths and choices. Should I have done more? Should I have tried longer? Could I have moved quicker? But the truth of the matter is, it has taken me many years to flesh out my dreams. And even still I'm not sure of all the pieces that will go into it or how it will look. At this point it's a heart call. A desire of something I want to do. I'm still working it out.

While the work I have done in the same time period isn't as visible, I haven't been completely stagnate. What I have done is found a few ideas that weren't meant to be, learned there are a few things I do not want to give up, found a direction to move in, and realized an idea I want to hold on to.

plants

These things I have been doing are similar to roots growing on a plant. Plants go through a few seasons where the leaves fall off, the flowers go away, and some plants might even look dead. But often the roots are growing deeper. Or it may just be resting, I'll admit. But both conditions are important to the growth of the leaves and flowers in the next season.

Sometimes building isn't visible. Sometimes growing happens on the inside. And that's okay. This is where we have to go back and not compare ourselves to others. We don't know how long it took them to grow their roots before they started branching out. Don't try to hurry the process for yourself. If you are where I find myself, then know the work you are doing right now is just as important as the work you will do when it's all falling together. You'll bloom in your own time.


April 16, 2015

How are you seeing things?

I read some fan fiction the other day. It was based off of Harry Potter, written as if Petunia had made different choices. Feel free to go read it hereWhat I liked the most was how it took Petunia's story, told it from her perspective and understanding, but helped her make better choices. Choices not steeped in fear and hatred, but love.

The truth of the matter is every story has different perspectives. There is the story from the main character's point of view, the side kicks, the villain's, and the bystanders. Of course, in each story we can all take on a variety of roles, but the fact remains, we have our perspective and they have theirs.


It's hard trying to see a story from another person's perspective. They have to be vulnerable enough to tell it, and we have to be honest enough to hear it. Not just wait until they stop talking in order to tell and defend our side, but to try to understand. Try to see. How different is their story from ours, when we thought we knew it all?

Not only that, but there is the minute perspective which can be compared to the big picture perspective. Sometimes what happens in our little bubble is affected by what is happening two blocks down, but we have to step back to see it clearly. We have to step out of our bubble to know.


I'm not always the best at seeing things from another person's perspective, especially when I'm smack in the middle of it. Oh, I can look at them and explain how they could have handled a situation better, but I can't always see myself quite as clearly. I know that's the truth of it, but it doesn't make it any easier. Sometimes I don't even realize I'm stuck in my own story. 

But there comes a moment when it strikes me: this is not just about me. I have to realize I don't know it all, and there is much I have no clue about. When I am able to have those moments it doesn't necessarily change my story, but I gain an understanding I didn't have before.


Life is hard. Situations are hard. Choices are hard. Sometimes we don't do so well and the consequences are not ours alone to bear. The baggage we bring to a moment in time colors how we see things and what we do. We are not absolved from our actions and words, but understanding how someone got to that moment sometimes helps us forgive them for their actions and words. 

It's not so much about excusing their behavior, as it is understanding.
And through understanding we can being to forgive.
And maybe we can even learn to love and forgive ourselves as well.


Petunia's story helped me sympathize with her situation, her loss. I understood the character a little differently. I don't know if it is how the original author meant for the story to be seen, but that perspective will now color how I see Petunia and her actions, even if she didn't make the loving choices in the original story. Even if she lived out of fear instead.


When we can understand one another a little better, and see things from each others perspective, then things change. Instead of being so sure we are right, we might make room to understand that there is more to the story than we know.

For if another person is involved with the story, there will always be more.



April 13, 2015

I'm my dog's caretaker. So what?

Chip came to us through one of my best friends who had a knack at collecting shitzus. Seriously, she would have strays show up on her doorstep, and she finally opened Tzu Zoo Rescue if you are interested in a sweet pup who needs a home. 

But Chip was one of her neighbor's dog, and the neighbor chose wrong and had to find a new home for the pup. He was three at the time. It seems so long ago. I had decided to get a lap dog; we already had another larger dog who was as sweet as could be, but I wanted something smaller. It was a wild wish. One that she made come true.

Twelve years later Chip is our only dog, and he's fifteen. I've never had a puppy so maybe the training stage is similar to this end stage, but I truly feel as if I have become my dog's caretaker. Not that I'm comparing myself to true caretakers, but it has had a toll on my days, I see how life is different, and the only light to the end of this tunnel takes my Chip away from me.

im my dogs caretaker

Yesterday something stressful happened to my youngest. He's safe and fine, but emotionally it threw us all for a loop. Or me. You see, Chip has not slept through the night in over three weeks, which means I have not slept through the night in the same amount of time. This has made me tired, edgy, and exhausted. Those are not the best circumstances to make decisions or confront someone. So when the stressful event happened I lost it. I was angry, hurt, and I vented for quite a while. I was ready to hunt that person down and tell them just what I thought. 

But those who have slept better than I have talked me through it. Yes, they talked me down. LOL I needed that help because I was going on pure emotion. Now I have agreed to not do anything unless God brings that person right in front of me. It still took me hours to fall asleep last night for all the imaginary conversations I was having, but at least I didn't go off and then regret it later.

life as a dogs caretaker

Sometimes life isn't easy. Circumstances overlap one another, and we aren't always able to take a step away when we need to. But we must learn ourselves. I'm grateful for the help of youngest and Captain yesterday when my anger was getting the best of me. I'm okay getting angry, but I need to share it in the right way or my message is lost. Yesterday it wouldn't have been shared in the right way. 

Whether it's a sweet old grumpy dog who is keeping you awake at night, a baby who isn't yet sleeping through the night, or a loved one who truly requires your time and energy I highly encourage you to know yourself. Know when you need help, rest, to take a step back, or to simply stay quiet until God deems you open your mouth. When we are pushed physically, emotionally, or spiritually it makes it harder to deal with day to day life. It's okay to take a breath when you need to. At least, that's what I'm telling myself right now.

I'm my dog's caretaker, and I am having to be careful about how I move through life right now because of that.

April 11, 2015

The things I didn't do. The things I did.

I've never been one who liked blame. The furtive glances and pointing fingers feel like a target painted on my back where every arrow of dislike, accusation, and hate falls soundly. I've fought blame actively and passively. When the blame truly wasn't my fault was when I really got rankled. I'll take credit where credit is due, but don't try to put something on my shoulders that doesn't belong there.

The truth is, I've got plenty of things in my life which I haven't done which sit like guilt on my shoulders, I don't need any extra, thank you very much.

Stacey's Daze: things I didn't do 


I never wrote that book that I talked about a couple of times. Neither version.
I never wrote poetry daily for a year.
I quit using the hashtag #timeforlittlethings (shoot I can't even remember if that's right)
I stopped serving bread with every meal.
I didn't finish the "do not fear" study
I gave up on the shoulder wrap pattern.
I closed my crochet shop on Etsy before a full year was done.

The things I didn't do can bring me as much guilt and shame as the things I have done.

I take each day as it comes. 
I work hard at doing the things that are set in front of me, and know how I can still grow.
I try to help others reach their potential. 
I want to stand with you and watch you reach great heights. 
I love in the best way I can.
I try.

The things I do can bring me as much peace and contentment as the things I have never done.

Those two categories ("Things I have done" "Things I have never done") are so vague. Their worth is defined by us, as is what falls into the categories. The truth is life is full of both. Every day we choose what we do and what we don't do. Sometimes regret falls in both categories, and sometimes peace is found in both. But this is what I know: it's the combination of it all which helps us move forward or can get us stuck.

Stacey's daze: I didnt do these things

So, how are you going to define the categories? How do you value what falls into each?
Me?

I try to find ways for my family to live healthily.
I work hard to become a better me.
I wont do everything everyone asks.
I will listen closely for God's guidance.
I will find my own path.
I wont walk behind you.
I will enjoy making art out of yarn.
I love making things for others.
I wont be making things just to sell.
I enjoy writing.
I want to write more and more.
I don't know if there will ever be a collection of words with my name on it outside of this blog.
I will help others reach their goals.
I wont work harder than they are willing to work.

The above list is full of things I have done, will do, have not done, wont do and they are all choices which will help me live out the life I want to live. So, wonder and questioning and what if's and regret and blame might try to peak their heads up in the future, but I know that if I choose wisely they wont be able to stick around for too long.


April 8, 2015

Three steps to redefining failure.

So, why is it we always think we should start, first time out of the gate, with great gusto, ability, and high performance? This has been an issue with me in many regards. I have felt I needed to do it completely right, not admit to any weakness, and be perfect.

I might have reason; we all might, actually. I, and I'm sure you, have had people in your life who think you haven't done all things exactly as they think. Maybe they haven't forgotten about your failures, and they don't want you to forget either. Maybe they belittle you because they think you are beneath them. I get it. 

So, what's a person to do with all of that?

I can tell you what we generally do is make ourselves feel smaller, allow their voices to control our heart, and many times we don't even try something because we are scared of failing again.

But let's take a new look at it? As a dear friend says, let's learn to reframe the situation.

park 

First, we need to remember it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. We can not possibly please everyone out there, and we need to stop trying. It will only drive us to insanity or depression.

Second, we need to remember that failure is simply us learning. Even when things come naturally to us, there is still so much to learn and so much room to grow. If we only did what we were good at, and never tried harder, we would become stagnate. When we can't do something it shows where we can grow.

Third, saying there's a certain ability that you must reach before you are no longer a failure is actually comparison talking, which stinks. The only person you should compare yourself to is who you were yesterday. Are you improving? Are you getting better? Then you are on the right track.

shoes

When I first began running, over 2.5 years ago, I could only run the track in the gym (which is 1/12th of a mile) once before stopping. Or maybe not a full time around. I've tried running off and on through the past decade or so, but it never stuck. I never got better. Because I simply stopped and got discouraged each time. This time (with the exception of about 6 months when I began boot camp) I have continued and been consistent, or as consistent as one can be with the weather in Oklahoma. And Monday I ran 5.5 miles. I was so happy!

I was happy because I knew I had come a long way. I was happy because I didn't quit. I was happy because it is something I feel the desire to do, even if I don't have a reason. I ran. A long way. And I didn't die.

Now, I could tell you that my husband's time will always be better than mine. I could tell you that I have no doubt my sister's time will be better than mine once she gets going again. I could tell you those things and they would be true. But it is up to me to find my worth. Do I find it in the hard work, the determination, and the accomplishment of what I have done? Or do I find it in what others do? Because if I compare with another, there will always be someone better.

So, no more comparison. No more listening to those who are negative. No more listening to the negative voice in our own head. Let's simply listen to our heart, keep trying each day, and push ourselves when we need to. 

Because, failure means you know which direction you are able to grow. No more, no less.

April 6, 2015

I'm going to stop waiting and start moving.

I have this ability to wrap myself up in a variety of things which will help, teach, reach, show me the way. Free things. Costly things. As much as I tell everyone else to trust that inner voice within themselves, and as often as I can do it myself, when I am trying to find my way big dream scope I want someone to help me.

Stacey's Daze: time to move

I've decided while there is nothing inherently wrong with getting help along the way, and I have a few different websites which are great resources, if you wrap yourself up in those times and don't really move forward then it is not helpful. It becomes a hindrance. 

It's not that the time I took doing the classes, or away from the blog, or reading a book were wasted. In fact, I will finish the classes, read even more books, and I just printed out 365 writing prompts for my practice writing. It's just that I need to stop waiting for some magical moment where everything will make sense, fall into place, and help me know that I am right where I should be.

Stacey's Daze: let's go

I can use all the prompts in the world, take all the classes to teach me, find all the friends who will support me, but when it comes right down to it nothing is going to change until I'm ready to start doing things. 

Maybe that's what I needed to learn the most through this Lent period. While worrying about what others have to say, while waiting for my ideas to be confirmed a thousand times, while hoping everything will be wrapped up in a pretty bow I'm wasting time. 

So, I'm releasing the idea of bows, and I'm digging deeper into the things I want to do. And we'll see where I end up in the end.


April 4, 2015

Waiting

We can spend our life waiting for something. But generally, we spend smaller amounts of time waiting. Waiting for that thing to happen, inspiration to hit, desire to be fulfilled. We wait for new life, new ideas, new words, new relationships, new days. Waiting can fill up so much time.

rolls

I've been waiting. I'm not exactly sure what I've been waiting for, but a feeling of expectancy covered me, and I have felt the waiting. A corner to be turned. An idea to bloom. A direction to head. I don't even know what I'm waiting for. It's crazy how waiting can become a way of living.

blanket

If we're not careful we come to a complete stop in our waiting. We don't do anything else because of the waiting. We stall out. And sometimes we can grow despondent waiting for a specific something or for what we don't know. Our life loses its purpose waiting for what we thought would be the change to end all changes.

We all wait at different times. That's part of life. But the doing, going, continuing on while waiting is the important part. Because even in the waiting your life needs to continue. Tomorrow isn't promised to us; if we lose today in the waiting, we may have lost it all.


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