Friday, February 28, 2014

What I Learned in February

Tomorrow is the first day of March! Spring is so near. The birds have returned to serenade the dawn and last week we had our first tease of 50 degree weather. But before I embrace March like a long lost friend, I am linking up with Emily Freeman at Chatting at the Sky to celebrate what I learned in February.

1) Even one who loves snow as much as me (imagine Lorelai Gilmore celebrating the first snow fall- that's me) can tire of its prolonged stay. After several "snow days" and continually shoveling out my car, I am ready for daffodils and crisp, watery mornings. I think Winter may give us one more dramatic show before she exits the stage; Sunday and Monday is calling for 8 inches. Just keep dreaming of spring, y'all.

2) My husband and I will brave a winter storm to celebrate Valentine's Day at the Cheesecake Factory. For two weeks, I had been planning a special night. Got a new dress, a new hairstyle and planned to have dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. Snow showed up that evening, but it didn't dampen our plans. Yay for perseverance!

3) I can make pie dough from scratch! Take that Betty Crocker!
 4) Transparency and courage are needed to pour out words onto a page without knowing who will hear them. After months of silence, I have found my way back to this blog and taken the courage to step out and write. I'm still shaky on my feet, but I am finding so much support for chasing after my dreams.

5) My favorite part about bedtime are the fun questions my husband and I ask each other before we go to sleep. Example: "What would you put on your celery? Peanut butter,  Ketchup or Mayonaise." I chose ketchup because I could pretend they were french fries... chewy, stringy french fries. Nacho cheese with meat was suggested, but I thought that was a little too extreme.

6) The extended winter hiatus of Once Upon a Time is driving me crazy! Who else is ready to figure out the role the Wicked Witch will play this season?

7) If I check a book out multiple times without reading, it will eventually get read. After checking out Night Circus three times, I've finally found my stride and am already 2/5 of the way through it. This gives me hope that eventually I will make my way through my "to read" list, it just may not be in the order I originally intended it.

 8) Pharrel Williams has a 24 hour music video of his song "Happy."This will genuinely make you happy. Also, check out Sara Bareilles' video "Brave", it will also make you smile and inspire you to bust out some moves.
What were two things you discovered this month? Comment below.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Letting Go

The pages of this blog have gone dark for the past few months. Some might call it a natural season of hibernation; others a season of silence and contemplation. For me, these past few months have been one of heart reflection and deep questions. Point blank: I didn't know if I could do THIS. Words are so intimate and such sacrifice of the heart. Black and white they stain the page just as if your life's blood were pouring out to give a transfusion for someone else to live. Just as blood can heal or kill, so can my words. I have struggled with what to share here, in my own intimate corner of the web. What is appropriate? How will people receive my words? Can I be honest and open about the struggles I face, or is that too deep, too messy, too much?

A few days ago, I came across a blog post by Kailey Rogers at Living in the Rain which described the meaning behind her blog's title. I was struck by her honesty about how the sugary sweetness of always appearing happy on her previous blog exhausted her and how her current blog was really used to embrace the rainy moments that come. Life may not always be great or even okay, but she is still realistic and searches for the good in the rainy moments.

That made me think about what I had been trying to accomplish with my previous posts here at Grace Oasis. This blog was inspired out of a desert of graceless living brought on by my own drive for perfection. I craved a refuge of hope and peace, and thus, Grace Oasis was born. My hope has been that this will be a place to learn the meaning of grace during the moments when the sun shines bright on a balmy spring day or when the snowstorms of life that leave you stranded. This is a place where I want to pull up a chair with either an ice cold tea or a hot steamy cuppa, and talk honestly. Talk about what inspires, what terrifies, what frustrates. This is a place for confessions, the daring and humble. Grace Oasis exists to refresh and revive myself and others.

Ultimately, I just wanted a place to come and just be me, but the me I was experiencing five to six months ago was going through an identity crisis and a struggle with her faith (still am in some respects). Writing posts here felt... well, not completely honest. I believed I needed to show I was learning something out of my difficult season, that I hadn't lost the ability to lead others in their faith. There were times when the words felt forced and I was writing behind a too-familiar mask of perfection.When keeping up the appearance became too hard I retreated to the background and kept my words from forming, whether they were real or fake, perfect or messy, they remained unspoken.

I had retreated. Given in; given up.

Past tense: HAD given up, until Kailey's words broke through:

"One of the biggest lessons I've learned through this blog is that even if I'm standing in the middle of the rain, I am not alone. I've learned the value of community and the impact of words. Not just my words, but your words, too... Are you trying to make everything look hunky dory when you're falling apart or are you willing to rest in the chaos?"

Sharing my story, no matter what the circumstance, is what allows for life to flow in and out of me, of us. She made me realize that I had been severing ties to community and silencing my voice even as God was urging me to speak, share, write! So I'm coming out of hibernation and cracking open the door to opportunity. So although I cannot yet grasp the fullness of this blog's potential, I am letting go of fear and seeing where the words will take me.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...