Tuesday, April 28, 2015

We Only Matter If...

There are many times when I don't feel like what I do is enough.  I feel as if I have to validate my actions every day.  I don't have to.  God knows that what I do is all I can do.  He also knows when to tell me I should do something.  This article speaks to my insecurities.  

We only matter if...

We Only Matter IfSomewhere along the line I think many of us buy into a lie that we only matter if … We only matter if we are strong or smart or attractive or whatever.

Wise words from Donald Miller in his new book Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy.
I knew I had to read the book when I read the entire title. 
I also knew I had to read it when one of my clients mentioned it to me. 
She said, “[Don] talks about all the ways we try and hide our shame. I really want to go where [God] is calling and know how He wants to use all the pain of my past for His glory in my current set of circumstances. Hopefully I’ll be brave enough…”
More wise words.
That we only matter if we are braver, smarter, or … skinner?

Don writes, “Applause is a quick fix. And love is an acquired taste.”

What if whom or what we’re searching for requires work? Real work?
I don’t know about you but when I feel threatened or exhausted or confused, I almost always retreat. I sometimes view relationships as disposable or as a means to an end when things go south. In my fear or shame or selfishness I hide.
Don writes, “It was the idea I could see a person as disposable. I knew I’d have to know myself and be known. These weren’t only terrifying prospects, they were foreign. I didn’t know how to do either. And the stakes were high. I was going to have to either learn to be healthy or I’d spend the rest of my life pretending. It was either intimacy or public isolation.”
I remember making a very public transition from full time work to full time writing. It was exhausting. And lonely. I didn’t realize how un-healthy I was until Marc came into my life. I realized the applause I was seeking wasn’t what my heart longed for. It was never enough. I craved intimacy. I wanted to be loved and to love in return.
Don writes, “The downside of being a writer is you get plenty of time to overthink your life … I’d have to trust that my flaws were the ways through which I would receive grace. Grace only sticks to our imperfections. Those who can’t accept their imperfections can’t accept grace either.”
I love that. 
Grace only sticks to our imperfections. 
Don continues,

Am I willing to be hurt occasionally and turn the other cheek in order to have a long-term, healthy relationship?

If I’m honest, the answer isn’t always yes. Sometimes I need a cooling off period. Other times, I need to really look at my own face in the mirror, fix myself, and then go and sin no more (James 1:21-25).
Don had to come to the realization that his fiancé—now wife—wasn’t out to get him. I’ve also had to come to that own realization that trust is worth risking in relationships—even if that means getting hurt.

Question: What is holding you back from believing that you matter? Did it come from within or something someone said to you? Why?

I hope this helps someone.  We all matter.  God doesn't make mistakes.


Renée M.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Spring Tea Party

I have to admit for the last 5 years I have watched Downton Abbey.  Through love and loves lost.  From Carson ringing the dong.  The death of Isis, the families beloved dog.  The possibility of rekindled love and the marriages of young lovers.  The quips between the Dowager Countess and her friend Isobel Crawley are a hoot.  I love the elegance of the upstairs dinners, parties, and the high and low teas.  How they had a servant below for pretty much everything-like cleaning up the shoes!  Can I get someone in my house to clean up the shoes?  (Oh right, that’s me with a washrag.)  I just love the idea of a period gone by where men were gentleman and women were ladies-no matter what your level in society was.  Perhaps someday our society can go back to that.  

So, much like the Crawley’s, this year, I decided to have a Spring Tea Party.  A time where we could get dressed up, wear pearls, and hats, drink tea like ladies and gobble down savory and yummy treats.
I invited family, friends and neighbors.  Even though some couldn't make it, the event couldn't have gone any better than if we were being served by Carson himself.  I did follow the old tradition of serving the tea to the guests.  I was nervously happy about that. 

We had so much fun.  We had scones, but I’m sure nothing like Ms. Patmore would have made, cucumber and cream chive finger sandwiches, chicken salad on croissants.  Yes I cheated.  Honestly, the correct dense bread was hidden from me.  Our desserts were yummy too:  Strawberries, lemon pound cake, strawberry shortcake cookies, almond cookies and carrot cake as the star of the desserts.  The teas ranged from English Earl Tea to fruit and peppermint teas.  It was so fun to try and smell all the different teas.  What a delight!  

I had the best couple of hours I have had in a while.  I even forgot about CRPS and Fibromyalgia for a bit.  The best part is EVERYONE DECIDED TO HAVE IT AGAIN NEXT YEAR!!!!  I was giddy. I have a full year to make it bigger and better!  Here are some pictures of the party.  

Decorating for me was just as much fun as having it, itself.  

Our very own chandelier ;-)
Spring Tulips and Bunnies
Rose Tealights
How I made it through decorating!

I wish for all of us to have a jolly time!


Renée M.