Choosing Hope

“You are never too old to set a new goal or dream a new dream.” – CS Lewis

There have been so many times in my life when things aren’t exactly as I’ve expected….and recently, I find myself in a whirlwind of times like that…

I feel like therapy sometimes lacks/neglects an integral piece – connection on an “I’ve been there” basis.

I love what I do (about 95% of the time) and most of that 5% of time is made up of paperwork no one told me I would have to do & I hate it…but a small portion of that 5% is that piece that I feel is missing:

Our professional decorum often prevents us from getting further down into the muck of people’s lives with them, giving them a glimpse into what we’ve struggled with.

I know my kiddos (the older ones, especially) have a hard time connecting with me at times, because all they see most days is the successful counselor who got a 3.8 GPA in high school, graduated, went to college & grad school, and has lived a great life. They see someone well put together & seemingly without struggle.

What I never get to show anyone – what regulation dictates I keep to myself is:

The success was born out of many sleepless nights, when I did homework, read, or watched TV only because I was not going to sleep anyway.
That many nights are still spent this way – how most of my creativity & studying comes about.
The amount of nights tears stained my journals, all with similar messages: God, why is this my life? Don’t you love me? Why am I so worthless and unlovable?
The work was all about being enough just in who I was, and I could never seem to get that.
The only reason there are no physical scars is because by the time I knew what self-harm was all about, I had one “acceptable” form, along with knowing how to do it without leaving any marks. So the scars only live in my soul.
The amount of days the only reason I made it out of bed was out of anxiety for what people would think if I didn’t…and some days even that wasn’t enough.
That I was so traumatized by my middle school experience I have since never set foot in the school building – and am not sure I ever really want to.
That I cried so many tears in my high school – their high school – and didn’t know if the future would be as bright as I always pretended it would be.
That the only reason I am where I am today is because I refused to quit fighting, even on my darkest days. I chose to believe in hope and then live each day as if that belief were true.
The bullies didn’t stop, the pressure didn’t loosen, and the pain was with me day in & day out, as I made the choice to do something different, hoping one day it just wouldn’t be there any more.
That faith was more of a fight most days than a given…and it is that precise faith & walk with Christ that is the only reason I am where I am today. He didn’t give up on me, even when I was ready to give up on myself (and on Him).

I mean, my clients & my kiddos know a little bit of my story, but professional guides would limit what they have access to; and in the therapy world, that makes sense.
So, I will stick with this, as this is the path I am currently on…

I just don’t know if this is the exact place God will always have me.
As a matter of fact, I know it’s not. I know His call for my life involves so much more.

But, right now, He is teaching me so much where I am. And, for that, I am thankful.

I am also praying for doors to open and opportunities to present themselves for me to walk in others’ mess & share the hope that I’ve always had, but sometimes had to consciously choose. I am praying that, even with the proverbial “hands tied,” I get to be hope in a hopeless world, as I am tapped into the ultimate source of hope.

I wish more of my clients would understand Lewis’ words, and that I would also embrace them…instead of feeling “stuck” in the choices I’ve made that got me here, I’d like to trust that after I’ve mastered this step, lived this dream, God has another one ready & waiting; and the same for those around me…

Church that isn’t “Church”

Today, I visited a new church – in an art studio. Bringing the number of interesting places I’ve attended church services up by yet another. The list includes:

  • Churches
  • Night Club
  • Movie theater
  • Art studio
  • Grand Hotel Ballroom (Disney’s California Grand Hotel)
  • Homes
  • School Gyms
  • 100+ year old school house
  • Cafe’
  • Camp
  • Parks

And I love it!

I love visiting different places and seeing how God is moving and working. I enjoy seeing the needs, seeing things I can pray for & be a part of.

And, honestly, I love seeing how pastors of small church plants keep their hope despite hardships & opposition.

This church I visited today, in the community I grew up in, was small. Welcoming. And, encouraging.

The pastor & his wife, who I see around often, have clearly been called by God, and have bravely answered that call. They have seen some recent hardships, but have not let that dissuade them.

It’s amazing how when we step out into something God calls us to the enemy tries to keep us down. The enemy’s best friend is our comfort, fear, and

When I encounter people like these pastors, at this church, at the small churches in California I have been blessed to be a part of – pastors & ministers who step out in faith, whether with great support or little – I get excited & hope for that kind of bravery myself.

I’ve alluded to that desire to build my Tiny Home & travel doing creative youth ministry.

And, anyone who reads this blog knows that writing is a part of my passion…

But, my need for security often overcomes the bravery that I so wish for and pray to have.

So, I am so thankful God has placed so many of these brave souls in my life, as leaders, teachers, and friends. I am so thankful that, so far, many of them have wanted nothing more for me than to follow where God leads, even if the rest of the world thinks the vision is crazy. I am so thankful for the richness each of them has added to my life, shaping how I live, pray, and worship.

I will take their cue & continue to move forward in the dreams God has placed in my life.

And, if you are in the Oklahoma City area and looking for a welcoming church, I know of several.

The one I visited this morning is Fusion Church of Yukon. The pastors there are so welcoming, so full of life and vision, and really love people in such a unique way. I recommend checking them out if you are new to the area, looking for a smaller & welcoming church, and/or are looking for a church that is kid friendly. They really show a great heart for the kids of their congregation.

During my visit with this church, I met some great people. I had some incredible conversation with the pastors. And, I found a gluten-free, tiny house loving friend. I look forward to visiting again in the future.

I can’t wait to visit more places that God opens up to me, and I can’t wait to pour what I learn from them into what God is doing into my life.

Also, look out for more of my Tiny House journey – it’ll happen, I have faith 🙂

 

I’ve had a lovely Halloween night.

Made this gorgeous dinner:

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Hung out with Little Seester, passed out candy to the few trick or treaters, watched Halloween movies, cleaned the kitchen, and packed my work bag for tomorrow.

Honestly, though, I have to say good riddance to October. It’s been a heck of a month & I’m ready to say goodbye &

Hello to more of my favorite time of year. Colder weather, cuter clothes, & more motivation for my dreams (fall and winter always seem to wake my sleeping heart).

See you all in November 🙂

All By Myself – I Do What I Gotta Do

So, here we are, almost to the end of the month…

I’m not sure if I’ve really gotten much in the way of singleness – but, the beautiful thing about this point in my life is: it’s really all the #SingleLife.

I mean, I am single, and content…so, it’s all about that single life.

And, for some of us, during that single part of our life, it’s about doing whatever we can to take care of ourselves.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I one day want to find someone to build a life with & to take care of each other, but for now, It’s just me…

AAALLLL BYYYY MMMYYYYYYSEEEELLLLFFF!!!

Ok, just kidding, sort of.

At this time in my life, I have a good job, my own place (that I share with Little Sister), and I enjoy my extra activities.

Unfortunately, there are some months where I don’t make quite enough. So. I got some extra work, because I do what I gotta do to build the life I want for myself (that Tiny House ain’t gonna fund itself 🙂 )

Something I have learned, we all do what we gotta do for ourselves and our families. For instance, I’ve gotten back into the Scentsy game – direct selling. Honestly, I’m not the best salesman (ahem, woman), but I love the community & filling the world with smells that fill the soul (hence the #ScentFilledSoul)…

But, it’s not just us single girls going into that direct sales game:

It’s the college student trying to get herself through school to her dream life. That one is Little Sister – her Zeal life is now a business. And, let me tell you, as one recently diagnosed gluten sensitive (as well as other things) & instructed to cut out gluten, this is one supplement I can take without fear. It boosts energy, gives me all the vitamins & iron I need without making my tummy ache, and really, just puts my body in a good place. Check it out here.

It’s the stay at home mom trying to do her best to support her family by means of a business that allows her to spend time with her kids & filling their world with products they love:

  • My friend Ashlie helps her family by building her Younique business. I love her ticks and tricks for quick mornings, out the door with the kiddos. It allows her to spend time with her little, and do things on her terms. Check her stuff out here.
  • My friend Laura Noelle (my readers probably know her by now) – she and I have been doing the business stuff almost our whole friendship..As a matter of fact, she started my Scentsy journey with me back in the day, but, now, she’s in that Young Living life. She’s my go to for essential oil tips & information. I love all my Young Living oils that I get through her, and they make my world a little bit better. Peppermint as a natural way to soothe my tummy, lime to make my H2O better, and lavender to help me sleep 🙂 Check her out here.

These direct sellers I know (and you know) we all have a different story, a different reason for doing what we do. If you are interested in any of these products, go check em out. Show them some love.

If you want your world to smell amazing, check out my Scentsy site.

Or, if you have your own “do what I gotta do” story, share it with me. Lets support & encourage one another.

“Life is definitely a journey, not a competition” – ?