The Feelings Calendar

Here’s something I’ve noticed: we give the calendar way too much power over our feelings.

That day is coming. Oh that day is a hard day for me, when that one thing happened years ago, ooh, it’s gonna be a tough one. I might need a glass of wine, or to cry, or curl up in my jammies, eating comfort food. For anybody else, it’s just a regular Tuesday, but OH THAT DAY.

I’m all for grieving, folks. I’m all for feeling all the feels, crying it out, not bottling up, and being honest. But… you have to allow yourself to believe in the concept of being okay afterwards.

As in… that day rolls around next year and it is just a Tuesday.

Do you remember everything? Yeah, sure, but that was another year, a long time ago. Sometimes, it hurts again, and that’s okay too.

What makes me sad is to see you make a HOLIDAY out of something bad, and celebrate it every year by making yourself miserable. We make holidays to remember, sure, but it feels a lot like a minefield when your calendar is full of pitfall days, when you’re expecting to feel ALL THE FEELS and expecting life to just completely overcome you.

My used-to-be miserable days all mostly landed in November. I’d be like NOOOOO…. vember. I’d flinch, brace myself, and let myself just fall into the hot mess that were the feelings I allowed myself to feel, including but not limited to self-pity, regret, shame, fear, anger, and sorrow. AS IF a date on the calendar has the power to completely disrupt the progress I had been making all year long.

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A friend gave me some tough love and I love her for it. She basically said that November didn’t have to be terrible at all, and that I had power over this. And the concept at first was very foreign. You mean I don’t have to re-feel all the bad things? I don’t have to beat myself up for my mistakes, yearly, on the date of them? Oh… like… freedom or something? Or healing? This is new.

I believe that you can have regular Tuesdays. You can have regular Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays too. You can have a good day that just so happens to land on any day of the calendar. And that you have those memories, yes, but that you don’t have to celebrate them if you don’t want to. You can remove all the flinching and you can let those days be like nothing ever happened on them.

At first it might feel like you’re faking it, but really you’re not. You’re not in denial. You just might be okay, and you don’t have to think about those things if you don’t want to. You might have to push the thoughts away, and stare at your face in the mirror for a few minutes, and recite some scripture about being a new creation. You might have to forgive yourself. What you don’t have to do is have a bad day on purpose, when you allow your feelings to overcome you.

Also, if you were on a desert island, and you had no calendars, it would be just another day. Hence probably why I decorated my entire bathroom like a desert island… I wanna be on island time with Jesus 24/7.

Side note, I believe that winter is cold. And sure, it’s not fun to go outside and be too cold. But indoors, it can feel like the indoors of summer. You don’t have to change your mindset, love. Jesus is still just as good, all year-round.

You don’t have to brace yourself for the wave of bad that comes when you turn the calendar page. It’s seriously in your head, as it was in mine. Take it from someone who celebrated deathaversaries, divorceaversaries, dayheleftaversaries, and failanniversaries… stop. You deserve to stop.

With all that said, have a great Tuesday!

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A Fool For Love

The more I follow Jesus and His calling, the more I think I’ve lost my mind. Is that what a renewed mind feels like? I have uprooted myself so many times, left the tangible stuff behind, and walked away from what I personally wanted.

In the middle, searching out what it is that God wants… It’s been brutal. I look back, certain I made the right decisions, but it hurts. This Way is painful!

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Bald cartoon of myself?

There’s a book called Deep Unto Deep, and it is exactly that: deep. It’s taken me months {seriously} to read it, because I’d sometimes read one sentence and shut it.

I challenged myself to finish it in the airplane, on the way home from Thailand. I did finish it, and I remember feeling kinda drunk. Not in the alcohol way, but in the “everything is hazy, I shouldn’t operate machinery or make big decisions” kind of way. A bit stunned.

Here are some quotes from this book that ricocheted in my head and made it to my journal:

What He calls lovely is indeed lovely though all the earth may disagree.

It is a sign of truly comprehending the heart of our Beloved when we reach for His love from the pit of our darkness. It’s a risk we take that demonstrates our confidence in the strength of His love.

How many countless hours have I wasted distancing myself from the One who loves me?

The person who feels loved and pure, overflowing with dignity and desire, is fearless and tenacious in love.

Love is not love until it is expressed.

Paraphrased concept: desire for Him is ardent and desperate. Increasing ardency and desperation aren’t signs of dissatisfaction, but of growing affection.

Also: the exchange of tangible inheritance for unseen inheritance.

We were made to know more than longing. We were made to taste. … to experience, to receive… We were made for the fullness of joy.

Yet many times we think we are in winter when we in fact are in spring.

Concept: this misinterpretation buds from doubt of His manifestation and the lack of knowledge of His heart.

When we know that love is always the objective {of God}, we can say Yes to whatever the process.

What the enemy meant for silence, God has ordained for song.

Concept: spring seasons are times of discovering (revelation, impartation, movement). Winter seasons are times of remembering (stillness, hope, thanksgiving).

Good is always the enemy of the best. (On secondary pleasures)

We are surprised to find that with the heights of Love come the depths of Love.

With the power of the resurrection comes the fellowship of suffering.

He is just as acquainted with suffering as He is with conquering.

Let us not receive the tidal waves and refuse the deep unto deep.

I am comforted by all of this, challenged to perceive hardships as welcomed parts of the journey of knowing Him. Every crazy thing I have to do for love, let me do it in the awareness that I can’t out-crazy the Love of God.

There is always reward with sacrifice and obedience. Breakthrough comes down from heaven, in His perfect timing, soaked in the fragrance that was poured out on Christ’s feet. Crazy love that wastes whatever treasure it has, in order to be demonstrated, expressed. What a beautiful, foolish waste. He’s worth everything, my all-consuming Lover.

Whatever it takes, whatever He asks me to do, to go to places far or unfamiliar, to stretch my heart in ways that hurt in order to align with His, to confound my mind in order to renew it, to run out so He can pour miraculously… yes.

I can’t mess up His plan with a surrendered heart. My fatalistic fear is driven out by perfect love, perfect faithfulness. No mistake I make can fall too far from grace. I put one foot in front of the other and hold on tight.

Let me be a fool, if it is for Love.

Why I Dyed My Hair RED

I can thank Pinterest for inspiration, or use the fact that I hadn’t done anything to my hair in 3 years as a reason. I can say I wanted to be like a rockstar with mermaid hair, because it’s fabulous.

But that’s not really why I dyed my hair RED.

Something inside me changed.
Not just the part of me that I won’t miss, but something hardened.

Hardened like clay being fired up.

There’s been a fire, and it was awful, but it was refining.

Most of you know how affectionate I am, how I hug a lot, yeah?

Hugging feels weird right now.

Last night at work, I had two coworkers come hug me, and I almost stepped back away from them. I don’t understand that. Physical touch is my love language, scored a perfect 12 on the test I took in 2012. But now, no? I guess I’m different.

I noticed this in Thailand, too. I didn’t hug my team that much, not as much as I would have normally. You can ask my Uganda team how much I used to hug. Yikes. I’m practically a koala bear, and other people are trees to me. Yet now not so much. My closest friends have moved away, the ones who cuddle. I went through my last storm pretty much alone physically, aside from my girls on the phone.

And maybe it’s a maturing thing, a growing thing, to develop this harder edge. Maybe it was good for me to not be coddled, cuddled, or brought stuffed animals to. I’m 27. I don’t need to go crash at a friend’s house for 3 days when life goes upside down. I almost did. I almost drove 4 hours for that kind of comfort, but God did something different.

He comforted me instead.
I’ve had times when even my phone wouldn’t work, and I would frantically scramble and sometimes pull over in my car, and just cry. Hold the steering wheel and cry. And ask God why I couldn’t even talk to my friends. And He would instantly respond “you need to talk to me” and I’d just cry harder.

This, my sweet friends, is red.

This is why I dyed my hair red.

Not for attention, no. God knows I get enough attention, why would I need to change my hair? I’m seen and heard. I’m a dominant presence from birth, and I couldn’t hide if I tried.

No, this red… this red is the proof I survived the fire and it changed me.

Consuming Fire came near to my broken heart and it hurt and hurt, and I thought maybe my heart was finished. And I know it isn’t. Daily, I’m told it isn’t. He’s bringing my heart back to tenderness, He is. He must.

He is helping me to set my logic aside, and my formulas, and my calculations, and my data… because none of it can stand up to the miracle of His mercy for me.

T2014-08-09 10.39.12he red of His blood.

The red of His passion for me.

The red of His anger that I got hurt.

The red of the rising sun in my life.

It’s a new season, and I want to be reminded that I’m different, that I’m a work in progress, that the fire I carry isn’t done with me yet.

For what mortal has ever heard the voice of the living God speaking out of fire, as we have, and lived? -Deut 5:26