Upon closer inspection

Upon closer inspection

If you look at my calendar

you would think it is a mess.

The same could be said for my car,

the basement, my desktop, and the laundry room.

My hope is that upon closer inspection,

you might be able to look past

the insanity, the yogurt splashes,

the boxes, the piles of shoes –

and see who I am.

The messes are messes, yes,

but there’s likely a reason they are there

and they don’t define who I am.

This is also true for my personality flaws –

and yours –

they are there for a reason,

but they don’t define

who we are.

I invite you to look past my flaws –

just as you would want me to

look past yours.

I also wish for you to help

me with my messes –

just because stubbornness

and a yogurt-splashed car

are a part of my life

doesn’t mean

I can’t make changes.

We are not forced to

stay in a mold

we can change,

morph,

grow

into people who pursue their best –

not just for their own sakes

but for the world around us.

Let’s give each other permission –

to be who we are,

right where we are…

but let’s also give permission

for others to speak

into the spaces where we

need to grow.

#PermissionGranted

 

 

 

The question that must be answered

Each time I stand on 

the precipice of a gap –

between what I know – 

and what I do not know –

I am surprised by

the question that 

must be answered.

I thought I already 

chose bravery?

Remember 

last 

time?

We’ve already been 

through this.

So why, then, am I standing 

here looking at this gap

and feeling queasy?

If I turn back to known

the nausea abates,

but I wither and bitter when 

I stay in known 

for too long.

And it has been too long.

Excuses disguised as 

valid reasons cement 

my feet to what I know.

The gap stares back, 

demanding an answer,

taunting my hesitancy. 

I lift my foot and 

step forward and

the heaviness crumbles.

I choose the unknown, 

again.

I choose bravery

and leave my excuses 

in crumbles

at the edge of the gap.

#PermissionGranted

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What decision are you facing today? Sit with it and realize you have a choice to make, a gap to face. Recognize the power of excuses. Name the excuses that are cementing you to the known.

You can do it. Again.

Choose bravery.

 

The Invisible Things.

The Invisible Things.

The mess on the counter.

The weeds that need pulled.

The dog that needs walked, 

The kids that need fed.

The husband that will soon come home.

The broken outlet plate. 

All things I can touch, 

clean, fix, mend, love.

I can hold these things, 

and take care of them,

Hug them, make it better.

I can clean off the counter

and walk away with things

as they should be.

It is, for the moment, 

done. 

I also deal with 

invisible things.

Motivation, 

gratefulness,

goals,

remorse,

God, 

fear,

envy, 

bravery.

I can’t cross these things

off my list. 

I can’t hold these 

in my hand;

touch them, grasp them, capture them.

We are dealing with invisible things.

I can’t fix these with an 

hour’s focused work. 

Every time I turn around

these things 

are still there.

Even though I usually

ignore them.

 My relationship with 

most invisible things is

that I trip over them. 

On my face again

and this conversation, again.

“Oh.

You’re still here.

I was hoping if I ignored you,

you would just disappear.”

Even when I give the attention

that the invisible things need, 

I usually only last for so long. 

It’s just too easy to go back to

imminent,

urgent, 

tangible,

check-it-off the list

type of things.

The temptation is real to 

only deal with visible. 

But life is made of 

invisible things, too. 

When I ignore the invisible 

I am living 

a partial life, 

with 

partial joy, 

partial growth, 

partial peace.

I have to give myself

permission to see

and deal with 

invisible things.

I’m learning that

a full, congruent life

includes integrating the invisible things

among the visible.

This way I run

instead of trip.

 

What invisible things are you tripping over? What needs your attention?

Are you living a whole life? You have permission to attend to the invisible things.

#PermissionGranted

Define the obstacle.

Define the obstacle.

I had to give myself permission this week.

I have been holding off on a next step.

It wasn’t a huge step, 

but each step matters 

and anyway, 

what really matters

is that you take them. 

But I was a bit stuck.

I wasn’t taking the step.

This next step sat in 

a bag that I walked 

around and moved 

to different locations

in the house  

for a few weeks. 

I had not put eyes on it

since I had brought it 

to its new home. 

New home?

This belongs with me?

Really?

This is for me?

I am not sure that I deserve it 

or that my work really warrants it…

and so it sat.

I just didn’t think that

what I do, 

what I create, 

was enough 

to warrant this tool –

a brand new computer.

The one sitting in the bag

in different locations

around the house.

See, this computer represents

me taking up my space –

It means I am really doing 

this work of writing –

this work of creating. 

And so it sat as I rushed

past it each day 

until I was more frustrated with 

sitting on the edge, with the full 

knowledge of what I needed to do,

than unnerved about just taking the next step.

Sometimes the obstacles,

the blocks,

that try to keep us 

from what we are made for 

don’t really make sense to 

other people.

This fact doesn’t make the 

obstacle any smaller.

It just makes it harder to 

define, describe, and to find a 

detour around it

or a way through it. 

Also, this fact should 

not deter us from sharing 

about our obstacles!

I shared about this block

I had with some trusted friends

and just saying it out loud 

made a big difference.

Be brave and attempt to 

define your obstacle 

knowing it may not make sense

to others but that

sharing about it 

will weaken the 

hold it has on you.

The encouragement 

I received

helped me take 

my next step.

This post is written

and posted from 

my new computer. 

#PermissionGranted

  1. Name your obstacle.
  2. Define it.
  3. Share it.
  4. Link arms with trusted friends.
  5. Overcome it.
Pick up purpose, possibility, and passion

Pick up purpose, possibility, and passion

Women.

We are gatherers.

It’s our default setting.

It’s been that way for a long time.

This way of being

has allowed us to provide 

for our families and our communities. 

We are beasts when it 

comes to gathering

memories, groceries, friends, fun, and knowledge.

We round up legos, hope, craft supplies,

library books, and others around a cause

because it’s a skill we’ve honed.

We keep an arsenal of encouragement,

peacemaking, and perseverance 

in storage. 

Our hands are full.

Our hearts are full.

Our lives are full.

We are gatherers.

However, 

a shift is needed.

Our world needs us in 

different ways now. 

We need to use our voices more. 

We must pursue ways for our

unique strengths to be utilized

because without them,

there’s a great lack.

We have to step into the space

that we’ve been given 

or create our own – 

and not apologize for it.

Why would we apologize 

for the talents and skills we’ve 

been given and have developed?

We must pursue our passions

so that our full potential is met.

In order to do that

we might have to 

put some things down.

We are going to have to let go

of the way things have always been.

We can’t carry the expectations

that others have of us. 

We need to lighten our load

and release the roles that we no 

longer need to own

so that we can soldier on

with what is most important.

Put it down – 

whatever is unnecessary, 

whatever encumbers, 

whatever threatens to strangle 

our hope and our passion to 

see our world thrive. 

Lighten your load

so that you can carry

the joy of purpose,

possibility, 

and passion. 

Step into what you 

were made for. 

No apologies. 

No extra baggage. 

Gather only 

what fuels you. 

Permission Granted.

Are you carrying something that is keeping you from carrying your passion to your full potential? Name it. Is it something that you must carry?

Afraid of the Quiet

Afraid of the Quiet

Check out the previous posts on this topic! Begin with the introduction to the series.

I am afraid of quiet moments.

Just being honest.

I am pretty sure I avoid them.

In the quiet moments

that are filled with actual

quiet, when my brain is not

trying to convince me that 

everything that is hard

is harder than it is for everyone else

or that everything that is good

is not as good as I believe

it to be. 

Actual quiet.

When I am not running through a to-do list

or recounting my inadequacies or wins for the day.

Actual quiet.

The place where my heart rests

and I talk with the One who 

created me and 

knows me better than I 

know myself.

The place where I listen. 

It is in these times when I am 

sitting in quiet, in prayer,

or contemplating scripture

that a gap might be pointed 

out to me.

I might see something

for the first time or perhaps

it is a kind reminder.

See, sometimes I think my struggle

is caused by someone else

and in these moments

I see the issue is with me. 

See why I avoid the quiet?

However, in order to grow…

I can’t avoid the quiet places.

How will you pursue quiet moments this week?

#PermissionGranted! It’s not selfish to take time for quiet and it’s not laziness. It just might be the beginning of growth. Go. Find some quiet.