I'm just a wife and mother who earnestly desires to grow in my faith and it's demonstration. DISCLAIMER! I have absolutely no problem with women in the clergy. As a matter of fact, I have several female pastors who I consider friends. In my home, the pastor is a male so the pronouns I use to refer to a pastor tend to be male. This is not a statement of any kind. Just a reflection of my every day life!

Archive for the ‘Just For Me’ Category

My Tribe

Spent some time doing some reflecting and self-evaluating lately.  That time was focused on my “word for the year” which is the word “alignment”.  It has been my goal this year to focus in, with laser-like intensity, on what it is I am most passionate about.  Once I was clear on my focus, it became obvious where I should – and should not – be spending my time.  And it has becoming INCREASINGLY clear that some people do not get to have access to that time or that passion.  This doesn’t mean I won’t interact with them in my particular area(s) of passion.  I’m just going to keep a healthy distance between us so that my purpose stays clear and clearly mine.  Some people, sadly, cannot find it in themselves to support others or let them shine if it means that they must step to the side for a moment.  Others will scream their goodwill in your direction and do everything they can to help you achieve your dreams, even if it means they are unseen when you reach the mountaintop.

That second group?  That is your tribe.  Those people who aren’t threatened by your achievements or success because they know you will be there for them when it’s their turn.

So to those that are my tribe – I hope you know who you are!  And thank you for the support, the positive words, and the encouragement.

find your tribe

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Seemingly Random Yet Connected

What follows will seem random and disconnected but if you can hang in until the end, I believe I’ll get it all tied up.  I recently became an empty nester.  After 26 years, I no longer have events to attend simply because I have a kiddo involved.  I can choose where my leisure time is spent.  A good portion of my work life aligns with my passion and automatically includes being at certain events since it’s a party of my work!  But other events – such as concert, plays, and sporting events – are left up to choice.

I have a friend that always has a “word of the year”.  For the first time ever, I tried it out for myself this year.  My word for 2017 is “alignment”.  Strangely enough, I didn’t necessarily go looking for the word.  Near the end of 2016, that word (or the concept behind it) kept showing up in books I read, public speakers I listened to, etc.  So I decided to take the hint and make it my focus word for 2017!  As opportunities have come my way, I ask one simple question – Does this align with those things I am most passionate about?  Once I have the answer to that question, the choice between “yes” and “no” becomes much clearer.

With all the kiddos moved out and doing the “adulting” thing, I had two empty bedrooms in my house.  Hubby and I decided that I would get to take over one of the rooms and make it my office/crafting space.  The room is painted and the carpet removed.  It’s finished enough to be functional but still needs window treatments, some shelves, and some decorative items to hang on the wall.   But the room is all mine.  During the move in process, I was able to purge quite a bit of stuff and keep only what would truly be useful.  I organized my work and crafting space as I chose and stored the items in the way that made sense to me.  No one else has gotten to say word one about how the room is set up or what things I will store in this room as opposed to other rooms in the house.

So what do these three seemingly disconnected thoughts have to do with each other?  It all comes back to my word for the year – during the 26 years I had kiddos living in my home, they were my priority (second only to my husband!) and my desires regarding room layout, room usage, storage strategies, etc. were often set aside in favor of finding a solution that would work for multiple people.  When the kids were little, they needed play space.  As they got older, they needed space to hang out with their friends, access to DVD players for movie watching get-togethers, etc.  Once again, I focused on what would make them comfy and relaxed in the home we shared.

With the kids gone from the home and the space that I get to manage/create/organize, the question of alignment has come up often.  As I move things from one space in the house to my room, I often ask “Does having this thing help me to be more productive in my work life, does it bring joy as a decorative item, or is it something I will find useful before the end of the year as a creative tool?”  It’s a longer version of the alignment question, but it’s basically the same thing – Does owning this thing align with my purposes and goals?

It’s been surprisingly easy to purge my “stuff” while settling into my room thanks to the alignment question.  And doing all of this as an empty nester has allowed me to tweak exactly what my purpose is now that I am able to focus more on myself and how I spend my time.

Relationally Speaking

Had a conversation recently with someone who is more of an “introvert”.  In other words, they need time alone to recharge; without alone time, they cannot function at their best.  She and I were chatting – and I should disclose that this conversation took place via private message on Facebook – and she made a statement that I’ve heard before – “I know you find it fun to hang out with other people and that’s cool.”

Fun.

Sure.  I gain enjoyment from interacting with other people in a casual way.

But it’s SOOOOO much more than that.

The internet is full of articles explaining introverts; they feel the need to defend their need to withdraw from the “madding crowd” from time to time.  I get it.  Believe me, I get it.  I have a sister who has always been like that.  I also have a child who needs serious amounts of alone time to function at her best.

And I am completely the opposite.

I NEED meaningful interaction with other human beings to thrive.  I cannot function at my best if I have been saddled with large quantities of alone time.

I’m not talking about the shallow “Did you find everything okay?” type conversation you have with a cashier.  Or the “How are you?” to which we always answer “I’m good.”  I’m talking about meaningful, share my dreams, talk about what makes me laugh, share what inspires me, type of conversation.

Ironically, I can psych myself out of calling up friends to chat or to plan a get-together.  The need for meaningful interaction – and that can come in the form of a fabulously intense belly laugh kind of evening – is so powerful that I’m worried I’ll screw it up.  Or that those I try to plan an outing with will turn me down in favor of someone/something they like better.

And I’ve learned, from talking to others like me, that I’m not unique in that fear.

So you have a group of people that need significant interaction with others yet who are afraid to reach out to others to get that interaction.

The end result of that is pretty predictable at this point in my life – if I’ve gone without interaction for awhile, I can get SUPER chatty once an opportunity presents itself.  And I know I’m not the only extroverted person who behaves in such a way.  If we’ve gone without a chance to recharge our “emotional batteries” in awhile, we’ll take ridiculous advantage of the situations that do arise.

I guess what I’m saying is fairly simple – where an introvert needs space and time away from others on a regular basis so that he or she can function at his or her very best, I need exactly the opposite.

For the relationally motivated in your life, the easiest thing you can do to help them stay “fully functional” is to be available on a regular basis for regular interaction with you.  Trust me.  You’ll both appreciate how much more emotionally balanced they are.

Stress or Passion?

Lots on my mind lately but no way to eloquently express any of it.

Seeking a change in circumstances but not finding any answers . . .

Just going to leave this here.

stress vs passion

The Power of a Compliment

compliment-quotes-511

I love this quote.  Mostly because I’ve seen time and time again that it’s true.

I did something on a whim recently.  There are a number of people using an app that allows people to anonymously tell you what they think of you.  I haven’t been brave enough to try it myself.  In the midst of all the friends that were posting their links for this app, I saw another post that intrigued me.  It was a picture that simply said, “Comment your name & I’ll tell you one thing I like about you.”  Now, I didn’t limit it to one thing in some cases.  And I intentionally avoided things like “you’re pretty” or “you have a good fashion sense”.  I tried to focus on character qualities I admired.

I posted it and the names slowly but surely started showing up.  It was actually quite fun to respond to each person!  Some of them I’ve known for years, some were family, some were students from my Michigan years, some were current FDSH students, . . . you get the idea.

What really struck me was some of the responses I got in return.  Some told me that they needed the boost, others said they had been having a bad day and my comment made it better.

But let’s be clear – there is nothing unique about what I did.  The compliments I gave were honest assessments of the best in those who I was speaking to. If others had given them, their power would not have been diminished a bit.  Anyone can see the best in another and call it out.

I didn’t expect the impact it’s had on me.  As I said before, some of those I was complimenting, I’ve known for years.  Others?  Not long at all.  In some cases, just over a year.  For those, it took a bit more careful thinking.  All in all, I responded to 57 people.  I had to spend time looking for the best in 57 individuals.  Not a huge number, I’ll grant you, but it took time.  And during that time, it kept my mind focused on finding the best in others.

So I cannot help but wonder – what would happen if we started giving just one sincere compliment to one person every day? What would it do for those around us?  What would it do for our own attitudes and perspective?  I would certainly love to find out!

A Place of My Own

Today’s post won’t be long.  I just want to share a fun, new, “just for me” project happening in my home.  With all the kids moving on to the “adulting” phase of life, we have a couple of empty bedrooms.  In the coming days, I will begin the process of taking over one of those rooms and turning it into my own space.  My crafting supplies will move up there as will my desk and some other personal items.  There will, of course, be a “reading corner” (everyone needs a cozy chair with a table for a coffee cup sitting nearby, right?!) and we’re hoping to have some extra sleeping space (a futon, most likely) for when out-of-state family comes to visit.

In short, I get to make this space in the house completely my own and I have to share it with NO ONE.  That sounds pretty fantastic!  The first step – once our current heat advisory ends and being in the upstairs bedrooms is less stifling! – is to tape off the window and door frames, prime the walls and then paint.  Soon, I’ll post before pictures and pictures of the project in progress.  The painting shouldn’t take long.  Then the carpet comes up, furniture gets moved, items get hung on the walls . . . so much to do!

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Wordless Wednesday – 7/12/17

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