Choosing Awesome

Sometimes I get stuck in a horrible place in my head. It’s the place that believes that my lot is destined to be difficult and my future is clouded and full of lots of stuff I really don’t want to do.

No joke. It’s not pretty to admit it, but  I feel like admitting this might help me get out of the ditch I find myself laying in the last few days.
I wrestle and worry, crunching my eyebrows together and looking for places to hide. But it’s a little like slamming my eyes shut and cursing my self inflicted blindness. Since I cannot predict the future, what stops me from anticipating awesome things?…

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Coming to Town

Christmas comes but once a year.
Oddly enough that seems pretty frequent.

Every year I go through the same stages of Christmas Gift Anxiety. First, I don’t think about gifts until someone I know says they’ve almost finished their shopping. Then I think “holy crap, if they’ve just finished and I didn’t think about it until this moment, I’m way behind!”

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So if stage 1 is Oblivious, stage 2 is Stress. At this point I consider all of the people I want to bless and weigh that against all of the money I don’t have. This leads to stage 3, Disappointment. As a reaction to the disappointment I tell myself “it doesn’t matter. Why do we do this to ourselves every year? Everyone else knows how broke I am and will totally understand if I don’t get them anything.” I’m not sure what to call that stage… Denial?

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The Excellence of Joy

Several things want to burst out of my head and go galloping across this page.
I’ll start with the first and hopefully I will not get lost in a tangent and forget the big second thing.

Excellence
Last week this woman, a prophet, came and prayed  over us in class. Whatever you may think of prophesy or prayer, this woman was a beautiful, loud and honest version of wonderful. She said something to me about my desire for excellence in the details. At first I thought she was saying that I’m Detail Oriented, which would be an extremely inaccurate way to describe me. Unlike my mother and most of my close women friends, I am not a bean counter or an organizer. I do not get so much joy from making lists and checking them twice.
What she really meant was that I am Beauty Oriented….

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Part of You Pours Out of Me

Growth is painful. I attest to this.
Do I have to ask whether it is worth it?

Would I change the things I have gone through if I had the choice? This question has always bothered me a little. I wouldn’t want to boil down my hard times to one or two “why”s. Oh, THIS is why that happened. I don’t want to do that because it seems to limit the ripple effect of growth.

Today a friend payed me a high compliment by saying that he enjoys how honest I am with myself… not just honest to others about who I am, but honest with myself about who I am. After he said this I considered how it would be if I did otherwise… or rather, how it is when I do otherwise. I constantly come back to the reality that I must always live with myself. I cannot get away from me, no matter what I do or where I go. I am with myself when I wake up in the morning, at my side all day, and then, still there when I lay down to sleep at night…..

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Multiple Choice Personality

I recently took the Meyers Briggs test again. Several years ago when I took it said I was ENFP.  Extrovert, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving.

The info given seemed pretty accurate at the time.

When I took the test the other day I came up INFP. I went from being an extrovert to being an introvert. In one sense this is not such a big deal- my score as an extrovert several years ago was pretty close to the middle and my score now as an introvert is pretty close to the middle.

Somehow it still causes me to see myself differently. I have a  list of some of the main characteristics of all of the personality types and I find it interesting how much more I identify with the INFP than I do with the ENFP. So the shift is possibly not superficial but goes deeper into the ways I have been changed in the last few years.

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Beloved, listen to me

Yesterday morning I spent some time reading Isaiah. For some reason this is the main thing I read when I read the Bible.

I’m drawn to Isaiah.
I find myself identifying with him, craving the words there to be spoken to me and also,  I’ll be honest, I find myself a bit confused sometimes. I used to struggle with making his words personal. I wanted to, but I often told myself,  “No, this was a long time ago and God was just speaking to Israel”, but there are actually many places in Isaiah where God speaks directly to those ‘outside’.

Here is what I read yesterday…

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Intimacy vs. Isolation

Although we have been talking about Creative Process this week, the thing I have been thinking about (in my “spare” thinking time) is the difference between intimacy and isolation. They are, I believe, absolutely apposed.

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Intimacy: close or warm friendship or understanding; personal relationship, emotional warmth and closeness

Isolation: the failure of an individual to maintain contact with others, apart from others

I don’t think I know anyone who does not long for intimacy. There are several ways to experience this kind of closeness – but it is difficult to cultivate and maintain for some reason. It requires trust. And vulnerability. And there are a lot of unhealthy short cuts……

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Unbirthday Gifts

Currently I am sitting across from two of my nephews. Randall and Jonathan. They are 10 and 11 years old. Cousins who are also friends. Randall is fake coughing to make me laugh or … annoy me? He is also a little annoyed that I’m writing about him on the internet. Jonathan explains that I may be planning world domination with my typing. So we sit across from each other and make silly faces and noises. When he discovers that I’m  typing about our interactions, Randall furrows his brow- an impressively clear message is given.  He is not pleased with my public communications about him.

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Later in life he may be both proud and embarrassed to know what an amazing Aunt he has and how much she adores him.

But this is not what I meant to sit down and write about….

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Talking to Strangers

I have been hearing a lot lately about “The Woman at the Well”.

This is a story about Jesus and a Samaritan woman found in John chapter 4. The messages that I’ve heard recently point out various interesting points and thoughts about what is said in the story but I realize as I read it myself that I am not a great scholar. I read my notes and am moved but then cannot remember how it is connected with the words in the story. So as much as I want to  share with you the profound things I heard, I think the only thing I can share with you is what I read for myself in this story….

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The haze and high of Falling

Listen, basically I think a lot. I also talk, but much of the time I’m thinking. Sometimes I think in circles but I seem to be getting better about recognizing  when my thinking is unproductive and I attempt to stop thinking about whatever that things is… like the rubiks cube when you start to sweat and use cuss words ( although I have never been that into solving a rubik’s cube). It’s just not worth the trouble- especially when most efforts become less fruitful when you’re frustrated.

So lately I’ve been thinking about “romantic love”. Not like, dreaming about it, thinking. Pondering….

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