Raw

The last week has been hard. So extremely hard. I have cried over and over. Things people said to me have had me completely broken apart inside. The words came from my husband, or a friend, or a family member. . . they didn’t mean to hurt me, they were probably clueless to the devastation I felt,  but the words triggered something deep inside of me. Something I thought I was doing a better job of handling.

A little over a year ago, I proved my brokenness by going to a counselor. I had 10 sessions with her over the course of 5 days. It was hard and ugly and incredibly beautiful. I left the facilities more broken and yet somehow more whole. During that week, we worked through so many layers of pain to get to the root of my belief system. I discovered that I had lived my life based on lies. Three main lies. I left knowing I would most likely face these lies for most of my life in some way or another but I also left knowing that I didn’t have to live my life out of those lies. Facing them is different than living them. So the last year I have been tackling those lies head on or so I thought.

It’s interesting how the lies show up. Recently one of my lies have been showing up in everything, even in nice things.

–It can come in the form of a compliment, “You’ve lost weight!! You look good!!!” I am worthless unless I am skinny. 

–It can show up in a discussion, “You assumed I meant something I didn’t mean.”  You’re not smart enough. You destroy relationships. You’re worthless.

–“Are you sure you’re going to be able to sell that??” You’re a failure. You can’t do anything right. You’re worthless. 

–“I really wish we would do more things with these people.” You always ruin everyones fun. Your feelings are not important. You’re worthless. 

Last night I was barely able to choke down my supper. Tears were running down my face the whole time cause I couldn’t make them stop. I didn’t even know how to make them stop at that point. My stomach was a ball of knots due to the anxiety of it all. I honestly wasn’t sure what was going on except that I was hurting really bad. It felt like I was overreacting. But at the same time I knew I  couldn’t downplay how positively wrecked I was.

My husband and daughter went on a walk, I curled up in a ball in the back room and cried and prayed. Then I grabbed a piece of paper and a sharpie, I began to write out the words swirling around my head. They all ended in ‘you’re worthless. worthless. WORTHLESS.”  As I wrote, the pain came up and out. I sobbed like a the broken little girl I am.

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Then I grabbed another piece of paper, and began to write truth for every one of the lies that I was hearing. I got some giant gold tape and taped the paper to my mirror, mistakes and all, so it’s the first thing I see every morning. Because, let’s face it, I’m not doing a good job of living out of truth. Satan has been winning in the battle for my mind.

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I am once again wearing my truth bracelet. It jingles everywhere I go, singing to me, “You are priceless, You are beloved.” (btw, it’s be-love-ed. if you say it where everything flows together like the newish Christian song, I cringe. I like it better when it’s said the old fashioned way.) I am raw these days. You might see tears run down my face a lot. Or I might look pretty exhausted. It’s cause I’m fighting and it’s a hard, hard fight, but I WILL WIN.

p.s. Please don’t read this and be like, “oh my word, I have to be so careful what I say around her.” NO! NO! NO! That is the furthest thing from my mind. I am responsible for the lies that I believe. The lies that I have allowed myself to believe and live can turn the most beautiful words into something repulsive. Don’t tiptoe around me.  I need you to be you, I love honestly and openness, the last thing I want is for you to hide yourself away out of fear.

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Wanted

This morning I woke up feeling extremely depressed. One of those days where I just want to go back to bed, pull the covers over my head, and try again another day. But my girl needs me to feed her breakfast, the bread needs to be made, and the house needs cleaned. So I can’t do that.

I pulled myself out of bed, got dressed, cause I knew that was the only way I was going to feel motivated to get my work done. . . Motivated, wait, no, no motivation whatsoever. I need determination today. Getting dressed helps feed my determination for some reason.  Got my bread all mixed up and rising, started my laundry, and  then started to clean. I was trying to decide what to listen while I cleaned, it’s usually an audiobook or music. Because I was feeling depressed I chose music, it usually helps me focus on better things. I picked an album I haven’t listened to yet, no idea what was on it. It helped, if nothing else it made me grin cause my girl can’t sit still when music comes on, she HAS to dance. (no joke, we go out to eat and she can hardly sit still long enough to eat cause there’s always music playing, SHE. MUST. DANCE.) Continued to clean and after a bit these words poured out of the speakers, “God, you don’t need me but somehow you want me, oh, how you love me and somehow it frees me to take my hands off of my life and the way it should be. God, you don’t need me, but somehow you want me, oh how you love me, and somehow that frees me to open my hands up and to give you control.” The tears ran down my cheeks and I couldn’t make them stop for quite some time.

He wants me. Not because He needs me. He just wants me.  I didn’t realize how much I needed to hear that. Something in my heart was starving to be wanted, not for what I can give someone but just because I am me. He just wants me. That knowledge did free me to open my hands up and give Him control. I didn’t know I was struggling with control again. I didn’t know my fists were clenched tightly and fiercely. A lot of things have happened the last couple weeks that have shown me just how NOT in control I am. It terrifies me to not be able to keep everything/everyone safe and happy. Those fears and control issues sorta melt away when I remember that He loves me. He wants me. Like really loves me. And really really wants me.

I’ll be honest, I feel weird sharing this post today. That’s what happens when I wait too long between posts. But I WILL push the publish button because maybe someone out there is also having a rough day and just needs to be reminded that they are wanted and deeply loved. If you are that person, please listen to the song: Control by Tenth Avenue North

 

Reality Check

I am the mother of an incredibly independent child. She rarely needs help with things. She will just move them if they are in her way, clean them if they are dirty, fly around the stores in a mad rush, hmmming over the things she thinks she might need. I forget that she’s just a toddler, just 2 almost 3, because usually she’s 2 going on 16.

This week has been a bit over the top in the whining department. (Probably for both mother human and daughter human) Mornings are nightmares, and it usually goes down hill from there, by the time Clint comes home in the evening I am ready to hand him the child and run for the hills. I have been ready to pull my hair out or break into uncontrollable sobs all week. The stress level at the little house on the green has been way up there. It hasn’t exactly been pretty either.

Last night, we came home from the ball field, she was having one of her melt down whining parties. I threw her in the bath tub and went out to water my parched flowers. She was under the supervision of her daddy and I was under the supervision of my Creator. (ahem) He showed me some vital things I was forgetting.

1, My child needs me even if she’s Little Miss Independent. She needs me to sit with her and snuggle on the couch. She needs stories read to her and my undivided attention. She needs kisses and hugs. She needs me to play with her. I haven’t been doing a good job of that. She acts so grown up, I expect her to not need me or even want me to hang out with her. But she’s two. She needs me.

2, I need her. I need to snuggle with her. I need to hear her giggle. I need to stop what I am doing and watch her dance in the kitchen. I need to dance with her occasionally even though it makes me feel like a dork. Sometimes, in all honesty,  I need her more than she needs me.

3, My two most important jobs are —> pursuing my relationship with Christ, and loving the two people I live with well. If I reach the end of the day and those are the only two things I got done, that’s ok. In fact, that’s perfect. Gourmet suppers and spotless houses, shoot, even getting dressed, none of those matter in the end. Loving well, that matters throughout all eternity.

4, Someday I will look back at this time and wish I could live it again. I will miss this stage. So it’s time to stop throwing a fit and be grateful for everything, even the whining.

5, These are not just MY days, they’re her days too. I need to focus on doing something fun/profitable for HER not the loads of work {I} need to get done.

So I came in, bathed my child, who once again had a major meltdown. Breathed deep, asked her if she wanted to put her jammies on and drink some milk. (ultimate comfort for my emotional 2 year old girl) Told her I was sorry she was so sad. She sniffed a bit and excitedly ran out to get her milk. We snuggled on the couch with stuffed animals for a while. It was amazing how much different she acted. . . or maybe it was just my perspective shifting. Instead of a whining toddler, I could see a little soul that needed some love. I am not sure what really changed in that moment her or me. I do know this –> I am so grateful for a God who gives me reality checks. I cannot imagine trying to do life, especially motherhood, without His hand guiding me.

Unquestionably Free

“You are free to go, Jesus has taken your place.”

I was listening to Odyssey last week (Yes, I still do that. Yes, I know I am supposed to be an adult.) and that phrase was said.  It hit me like a ton of bricks.  I’ve been thinking about it ever since. It’s not the first time I have heard that phrase but it’s the first time I really HEARD it deep inside my soul. It seems like such a vital thing to realize. Having known Jesus for as long as I have you would think I would have really HEARD it ages ago. But somehow I missed it

I have grown up in a culture reacting to another culture. In order to keep from becoming too free we have built up all kinds of things to keep us safe. The love of God is there, yes but goodness, don’t focus on that too much you might lose sight of His holiness. The grace of God is there, yes, but don’t get so caught up in it that you forget His hatred for sin. The God I have known has been pretty scary. Sure, He loves me but His holiness keeps me at arms length. Sure, He’s gracious but He knows I’m going to sin again and He’s just waiting to unleash His fury on me. I’ve been working through some of that. I am beginning to believe in His love as unconditional. A big giant hug even though I am covered in filth kind of love, NOT an arms length kind of love. That has been revolutionary. I am finally beginning to grasp that I don’t have to be afraid of the love of God leading me astray, the love of God is actually what keeps me safe. To add the concept of being truly free. . . I can hardly fathom that. It’s like discovering another facet of His great love for me.

“You are {free to go}, Brittany, Jesus has taken your place.”

That means no guilt, no shame, no sin. He has completely taken my place. I can hold my head up because He has taken my place.

John 8:36, “So if the Son makes you free, then you are unquestionably free.”

I don’t even know what to do with all that. . . it’s so incredibly beautiful.

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I Miss Her

Her face comes to me. Her laugh. The sound of her voice. Her pet words and phrases. Her tiny hands and wrists. And the awful, awful sound of the dirt as it lands on her coffin. They haunt me.

Almost three years later, I grieve. And I grieve harder than I thought possible. I thought I had faced it. I thought I had worked through it. Perhaps in some ways I did but I certainly didn’t work through all of it.

I miss her. This wasn’t supposed to happen. She was supposed to still be here. But she’s not.

It hurts.

My last trip to South Carolina was the first time I really had to deal with the fact that she is gone. My trips ‘home’ would be different if she was still there. She knows about parts of my life that only a few others know. She was a big, big part of my life. She missing. I miss her so.

Grief is weird. At least for me. Probably cause avoiding it was my way of dealing with it. To have it all come washing over me like this… I just don’t understand it. To really look at the pain, to not allow myself to look away from it. Goodness, does it ever hurt. It doesn’t feel like it’s been three years, it feels like it was yesterday. Sometimes I can hardly breathe cause it hurts so bad. I often find myself crying in my bed at night. A deep ache in my heart comes out of no where.

If it’s taught me anything it’s that grief does not just go away when we try to ignore it. There’s this big hole in your heart. When you finally look at that hole you discover that so much of life has been affected by it. Instead of getting better, it got worse and infected other areas of your heart as well.

It’s also taught me that life is too short to avoid the people you love simply because it’s awkward, socially unacceptable, or you disagreed, or even fought about something. We only get this one chance to love them well. It might be our last chance. If you love someone, hug them tightly. Forgive them quickly if they hurt you. Go out for coffee. Hang out with them if you at all get the chance… make it work. There might be a time when you wish you could see them one more time and you can’t. Those things (awkward, unconventional, disagreements, and the like.) you thought were big things suddenly are seen for what they really are–ridiculous.

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Tea For One

 

I have had this inkling that something is wrong with me for, oh I don’t know, a couple of weeks months. I have some tell tale signs that show up as soon as things get a little off balance inside of me. I think we all do. I am a classic avoider. So it takes me a while to come face to face with the issue itself. I noticed some of the signs but was like, nah, it’s just some weird thing emotionally it’ll go away. Well it didn’t. Err, hasn’t. So here I am months from the incident, actually incidents, finally realizing admitting that something needs to be done.  In all honesty, I hate this. I don’t like facing these things inside of me. I wish I would just deal with them when they happen instead of waiting. Unlike some cheese, pain does not get better left in a dark room to age.

So I am compiling a list of things for my future self to do when [pain happens].


First, acknowledge your pain, don’t ignore it. If it hurts, it hurts. Trying to talk yourself out of a broken leg would never work and it certainly does not work emotionally. I don’t like admitting that things hurt me. To a person who is extremely sensitive, that’s the stupidest thing ever cause hello, we get hurt all the time. Trying to tell ourselves that we aren’t feeling what we’re feeling well honestly, it’s ridiculous. When our hearts hurt, they hurt. It’s ok to hurt. Even if it’s over what some people would consider ‘silly’ things. If it matters to you it’s a big deal to GOD. The other people don’t feel what you feel. They have their own set of issues. Don’t let them tell you what you can or can’t feel.

Second, take that pain to God. Don’t let it sit there inside of you. Tell Him exactly what you are feeling. Ask Him to walk with you in this pain.

Third, examine the situation. If it’s something someone said or did to you then here is an opportunity to forgive, choose to believe the best about that individual, and surrender the situation and the individual to God. I do want to say that I think we miss something incredibly important when we skip the first and second steps of allowing ourselves to feel the pain. I believe we miss something life changing when we skip the third step. I find myself thinking that I just need to forgive because that’s the ‘holy’ thing to do. I decide that I better forgive and move on without acknowledging my pain and taking that pain to God. It’s a ‘holy’ way of ignoring my pain, classic avoiders of pain know all about this. There is something incredibly precious about taking our pain to God and then surrendering the situation to Him through forgiveness.

Sometimes the situation isn’t necessarily something you can forgive. I am thinking of when someone dies, or when God is taking you on a different path then someone else which then causes separation. Those are hard things, don’t be afraid to walk through those hard things. Face them. Feel that pain. GRIEVE your loss. It’s the only way you will heal and it’s one of the most intimate ways to experience God. Don’t explain it away. Don’t look the other way. Look at it. Give God the opportunity to turn your ashes into roses. I do not mean to wallow in it. Walk through it, crawl through it if you have to.

And dear self, when you decide to ignore the pain. Pay attention to the first sign that you have something inside that hurts (pulling away from people).

If you ignore that sign, you absolutely have to pay attention to the second sign (trying to distract yourself with anything and everything, usually being Facebook and Instagram or getting your mom to go shopping and all sorts of things with you)

And if as usual you ignore the second sign, the third one will sit you on your butt really hard and make you deal with it. (panic and fear on every side) Once you get here, be kind to yourself. It’s time to get out your favorite tea pot and mug, makes some tea and take yourself outside. Now begin at the beginning. It’s time to feel, girl, and really feel.


If you need me, I’ll be sitting outside sipping my tea.

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Home Again, Home Again

Well I am back to my Colorado home. I am having a hard time getting my feet under me again. . . It was a really good trip. Crazy. But good. I was able to connect with so many people. Some friends that I haven’t talked to in about 7-8 years. It was so good.

I discovered some of the reasons I am the way I am. That’s always helpful, right? The last time I was in the south I figured out why I talk to people in grocery stores. It gets really odd looks out here sometimes. So I’ve been wondering if I’m just weird, or???  But in the south, that’s very, very normal. When you’re happy about a sale you tell someone. Often a complete stranger.  This time I discovered why I gravitate towards certain colors and decor items. . . I understand more of why my house is the way it is. Also connecting with old friends showed me how those relationships have shaped who I am today. Encouraging your children to make wholesome relationships is no joke. They really do influence who we become.

Meeting with old friends can be tricky, things change. Mostly things like children, marriage, brand new puppies (for real guys, no joke), sometimes just simply the passing of time. Sometimes things work out to meet at coffee shops other times you just meet at a house and let the kids play or nap while you catch up. I am so grateful that even though these changes occur, these people have remained my friends. I am painfully loyal (you know like some people are painfully polite), so friends I made in first grade will still be my friends today. But I know that’s not true for everyone, to see some of these people respond and still want to be my friends means so much to me. Then to connect with them and have it be like old times. Well. . . that’s just really special.  I am blessed.  To those of you who took time to meet me while I was in the south, you will never know how special and honored that made me feel. Thank you for caring. (to those of you it didn’t work out to meet. I totally understand. We’ll hang out next time. This is not supposed to be a guilt trip.)

This post doesn’t even begin to encompass my trip back east. But it’s a little snippet.

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This little girl was a trooper. She only had one very bad day while we were gone, did fabulous on our overnight flight (thank you, Jesus), and kept me smiling.

She had so much fun with Logan. He kept her entertained very well. She giggled with glee at all his antics, her favorite was of course the car ride.

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^See I told you there were puppies involved.

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