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Showing posts from February, 2015

safe people

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After taking some time to process unsafe people in this post:  http://neverbeenherebefore.blogspot.com/2015/02/unsafe-people.html
...I’ve had to time to read more in the Cloud and Townsend book about what safe people look like, and more importantly, how to become a safe person.
A safe relationship is one that draws us closer to God, draws us closer to others, and helps us become the real person God created us to be. This is a mere echo of discipleship, Cloud and Townsend say, knowing that our greatest call in life is to love God, love others, and grow into the person God created us to be.      From pages 144-146 of “Safe People” by Henry Cloud and John Townsend: A safe person is: Someone who gives me the opportunity to growSomeone who increases love within meSomeone who allows me to become the me that God intendedSomeone whose life touches mine and leaves me better for itSomeone who offers us grace and is honest with us As I finish up this book, I'm also reading Scary Close by Donald Mi…

blogging thru Scary Close - chapters 1 and 2

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“I’d have to know myself and be known.” – Donald Miller, Chapter 1, Scary Close.
Sound familiar?
I’m, of course, not accusing Don of plagiarizing me. That’s ridiculous. But when I read this, my heart stopped. Because it’s what in learned in 2013 after a very long and intense bible study. (Click HERE to read that story) and then became the subject of the workshop I did at the 2014 Women2Women conference.
And, subsequently, became the reason 2014 was one of the worst years of my life.
Not because I let myself be known, exactly. But because those people, to which I loved the most and I let myself be known, left. There were only a couple of people that it really mattered to for me, which is why I chose them.
And then it got too hard. I screwed it up. They screwed it up. We tried to move on, but it hasn’t really worked. Because when someone knows who you really are and they decide you aren’t worth it, that open heart you laid at their feet is no longer protected. And that’s why it hasn’t work…

blogging thru Scary Close - introduction

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I’ve read most of Donald Miller’s books – they are quick and easy reads (I highly recommend them when you are on vacation and your mind is relaxed.) I’ve found with his books that, like with any memoir, it’s best not to go with an expectation of solid conclusions and deep theological truths. That’s not the purpose of a memoir nor is it the purpose of Don’s work. He writes in the abstract; though you wouldn’t necessary get that from a first read – because he tells stories. And he’s really good at it. But he rarely “lands the plane” and tells you what truth to extrapolate from his work. I’m ok with that.
When I heard his new book was about intimacy and the relationships with those around you, I wondered how this might be a departure from the memoir genre. Don is great at asking questions… at wondering… at leaving things open-ended. I love this kind of reading, though it’s certainly isn’t for everyone. But books on intimacy and relationships (Safe People comes to mind, as I’ve just finis…

of fragility and the way i think God works

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Sometimes I think this is how God works on a feeler.
I was out on my back patio last night with a bottle of Nebraska wine and a friend and she said, “You’re being too sensitive.”
She’s not an unsafe person, although I would guess this is an unsafe thing to say. I am sensitive. And I’m okay with that. I’m also okay with owning my feelings and trying to wade my way through them until I figure out what’s on the other side. I’m not planning on becoming hard again, like I used to be, just because it seems like it’s easier. So I’ll take being "too sensitive." And being too sensitive is not the worst thing in the world, as long as I don’t stay down in the mud pit and wallow there. But I do need to stay here long enough to understand what my sadness is teaching me.
This year is a year I’m taking something on for Lent instead of giving something up. Aside from a couple of community service things I’m taking on, I had decided to take on one of the fruits of the spirit: joy
And wouldn…

new blog series

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I'm about halfway through a game-changing book. It's a quick and amazing read, and I'll probably read it more than once. But just so that I can truly process it all, I've decided to blog through it chapter by chapter.
What is this book to deserve such a high (*snicker*) honor?
Scary Close by Donald Miller.
I was 13 pages in and I'd already cried three times. Not that it takes much to make me cry anymore, but still. 13 pages? Dang. That's gotta be a new record.
So I hope you enjoy it... I can't wait to start.

in which risk is the biggest thing

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People are more than the sum total of their unsafe traits…. Don’t confuse people with unsafe traits. Learn to identify what traits hurt you. *

There is such a glorious raw and open wound that happens when you own your story.
Glorious in its freedom and liberty.
Raw and open in its vulnerability.
What we’ve been through is part of who we are. These are the tiny little pieces we put together to help us try to make sense of why. Why we feel the way we do, why we do what we do, why we are drawn to who we are drawn to, why we hurt the way we hurt.

When I feel like I can’t work and hustle anymore and I wait for something… anything… and nothing comes.
The white buffalo evades. He’s really good at that.
When someone fails to do what they told me they would do, it hurts.  If I’m honest with myself, this is just another form of rejection for me.
When someone leaves even though they know they are needed by you, it hurts. The friendship manual we all have says, “Stay put, you idiot. Be present. …

when

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I live in a world of “when.”
When this happens, I will… I remember when…
When is always looking forward and always looking back.
I’m not sure how happy I am with either at this point in my life.
It’s not like I’m one of those people who doesn’t want to look back with regret. Because I believe regret teaches us a great deal. And it’s not like I’m scared of the future (ok. I probably am.)
But I’m just so weary of when.
Thinking about “what if” or “what could been” is exhausting. I’m struggling, at this point in my life, to glean what is helpful and what isn’t from when. I guess because it keeps me from being present. It keeps me from being happy right now. It keeps me from seeing all the blessings and the gifts that are right in front and me because “when” simply makes me go “WAAAAAH. I want it that way instead.”
When I get my act together, surely I will be happy. When I was younger, things seemed so much easier. When I just… It was so much better when…
Waaaaaah indeed.
“Patience is a hard …

unsafe people

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I’ve been thinking a lot about safe people in the last several months, mainly because I’m in a situation where being able to have safe people is 100% needed for what I’m going through, and I need to able to identify those who are safe(who may already be in my life.)
There always seem to be people in our lives who are afraid to have the more intimate and hard conversations with you, even when it doesn't involve your own 
friendship/relationships, but maybe a difficult situation you are going through on your own.

There is the friend who avoids and says things, “Well, let’s try not to think about that.” Or the silent friend, who just doesn’t text back and after a few days of silence you’ve forgotten you’ve even asked them or told them what you were going through. (But you really didn’t, because you wouldn’t have asked them if you didn’t really want their thoughts.)There is the friend who gives you terrible advice, the friend that “can’t believe this is happening.” And the “get over it”…

keep

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I’ve kept you long past our expiration date.
You see, INFJs tend to do that. Because connection with others is like the white buffalo for us, we will often fight tooth and nail to keep that someone we connect with in our lives. Even when it’s unhealthy… Or one-sided...Or all about them.
But I want to keep them.
Says my inner self, who has never been known for her good decisions.
[She’s never been good at letting go, either]
Did you know that a keep is a tower built within the walls of castles during the Middle Ages? They were used as a refuge of last resort should the rest of the castle fall to an enemy.
“Last resort.” Yeah. Ok. I get it.
I guess I could keep them as a last resort, if nothing else works. But sheesh. Do you have to be so obvious, heart head?
Have you ever heard that phrase, “I just can’t quit you”?
That’s how I feel every day.
I’ve kept you long past our expiration date. I don’t care how sour the milk tastes. I love having you around.
But I love all kinds of things that aren’t …

boundaries

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I confess – I’m probably the only Christian in the world who hasn’t read the Boundaries book by Cloud and Townsend. I own a copy but I just haven’t gotten around to reading it. Last year my best friend tried to convince me of its hallowed greatness, demanding I read it, or at least part of it, while I was out in Colorado visiting him. And I did read a bit, but apparently it wasn’t enough to peak my interest at that time, because my copy still remains untouched.
He explained some of his interpretation of it to me. So that’s the idea I have in my head as I consider what it looks like to redraw boundaries with people already in my life. He explained that when someone has a disproportionate reaction to something you say or do, that’s how you figure out what their boundary is – in a nutshell, leave that subject alone and don’t bring it up with them again. That's a boundary with them.

I don’t know that I have a person in my life with which I don’t have a boundary. Maybe that’s good, maybe…

yes

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I've been remiss on my Five Minute Friday posts for so very long. At some point, when my life is no longer in shambles and I've over this transition period, I hope to be more consistent. But for the time being, I sit at a makeshift desk in a place that is not mine, and open my heart and my words to you, dear reader.
This week's word: yes


I said yes to someone who said no to me. This is not particularly easy, obviously. It's a reality of life. A confusing one, and hard one. But it's there. 
It reminded me of this chart I discovered in the book Cry of the Soul by Dan Allender and Tremper Longman III, which I read early this year for a conference workshop I was preparing. You can read more about it here.


This no was about their hurt. Which grieves me. Hurting someone is just something I never want to do. It happens, though. Inadvertently, I hope, but hurt is inevitable because I am human and flawed. In the midst of this I find myself with a desire for clarification. To li…