Learning to Stop, and Love

The other morning as I was driving to work, I was talking to my sweet husband. He had decided to give his day off-after a long hard week- to paint furniture for our new apartment.

I’m so incredibly blessed by him, it was supposed to hit the 90’s, and furniture painting isn’t the most fun of activities… I had helped him back on Memorial Day and 6 chairs and 3 coats later I was more than done with it!

So all of this to say, my husband is awesome, and yet I am so so far from it.

On the phone he asked me a question and I thought it was a silly one- I pointed it out and got on the weirdest little soapbox, as if I was performing for the debate team.

My case was solid from every direction, backed up with facts and snarky comments… until Tap broke in and tore my case apart with one line.

“Honey.. it was just a question, you don’t have to treat me like a moron.”

And Smack.

For a moment I was rolling around in my own glory and the feeling of being right, to find I was just rolling in the mud of pride and self-righteousness.

For a moment I was rolling around in my own glory and the feeling of being right, to find I was just rolling in the mud of pride and self-righteousness.

Such an ugly pride.

It hurt, because I had hurt him and he was right.

I need to learn how to stop.

People rarely need a reminder of their faults and shortcomings. We are all so aware already- burying ourselves in grief. We do not need to add a single thing to this pile of self-loathing in ANY way.

But rather we should lift this burden off others, especially our men. And begin to build them up.

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you.  Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.

 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:11-15

Stop rolling around in the feeling of “being right” to only come up filthy. Let us stop our silly debate teams, soap boxes, and self-righteous monologues, and start being cheerleaders, builders, teammates, and dreamers.

 

Thank you honey, for painting the rest of the furniture. For being my team mate in making a house a home. You are strong, talented, and becoming quite the handy man!

Love,

Emilie

Comfort or Impact?

Since Tap and I made the decision to move from Ohio back to Illinois, I would be lying if I didn’t say I’ve gotten cold feet a few times.

In many ways it feels like we are moving backwards instead of forwards- Moving back into my parent’s home, making less money in a less passionate field of work (for the time-being), and Tap is still seeking employment.

But my friends reminded us that we aren’t “moving backwards,” we are simply re-adjusting our path.  Making a few turns forward, rather than turning around and retreating all-together.

Courtesy of Jean-Frederic Fortier at StockSnap.io

They encouraged me, and reminded me that all of this was to straighten our path back out so that we could seek the true goal- to be in alignment with God’s will and make an impact for His Kingdom.

 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:13-14

Over the last couple of years, our goal had changed. Our goal was to obtain comfort.

We had plans to pay off our school debt- a worthy goal -but that goal was driven by a motivation to travel more, upgrade our possessions, and buy more stuff…

I wanted to see Italy, Greece, and Ireland. We talked about our priorities being a new car, then a new computer, then a new whatever. Once debt was out of the way, we would have a new flow of income that would sustain our hobbies and desires.

Again, these are ok things and things we still want, but our focus had gotten off-track.  Our goal was comfort instead of impact.

We have chosen to go back to school so that we can have a bigger impact.

In times of cold-feet, I hear whispers that say: “You can’t teach.” “You’ll get another degree that you’ll never use.” “You are being foolish, wasting so much money and time… again.”

I believe this is the fear talking…  It would be a lot more comfortable to NOT go back to school, to NOT have to pay for an education, to NOT work or study or try.  But staying comfortable usually results in less impact.

As uncomfortable as it is, I want to live a life of impact.

And for me, I think that means moving to Illinois, studying hard, and getting another degree. A degree that will help me pour into the college students (the age many lose faith), to equip them with God’s word and wisdom, and to send them forth into the world- multiplying impact through a classroom.

This has been stirring in our hearts and minds…. a seed of an idea planted in us. That we’ve decided to water with a lot of prayer and a little action. Please pray with us as we weigh our options and make these big decisions.

How do you influence the world around you? What impact are you making on the people in your life? How can you multiply and deepen that impact?

We need to get uncomfortable

When I am home alone, I do things I would never do if I knew someone was in the house.

I will sing loudly, practice animal noises, or even practice pretty and funny faces in the mirror. These are things I want to master before I ever display them publicly. This is silly, because none of these things are important or necessary skills.

I mean, how often does someone ask you to make a monkey noise? (Monkey I can do pretty well… but my cow impression, it sounds like a very confused sheep)

However, I carry this “in the closet” practice for a lot of things. My fear of embarrassment holds me back from trying anything out in the open unless I know I will succeed. Because of this I miss out on trying a lot of fun and exciting things.

The lack of failing in my life is equivalent to the lack of growing in my life.

-I’ll go to a yoga class after I’ve mastered the workout DVD I just bought at home.

-I’d love to sell things on Etsy, but I’m not going to open a store until I have a product I know will sell.

-I might take my husband up on singing on Sunday, once I’m satisfied with how I sing in the shower.

-I’ll go to that church event if I know that someone I know will be there and will sit with me.

Sometimes the fear of failing will keep you from even picking up a paint brush, or signing up for a class, or beginning the process at all.

I have to remind myself that the classroom isn’t for the perfect, it’s for the learning. The world isn’t for the successful it’s for the growing. The church isn’t for the perfect, it’s for the redeeming.

Photo Credit: Alex Wong on unsplash.com

 

All of this talk about starting embarassing beginnings and getting out of our comfort zone was spurred on in me from the Global Leadership Summit this year. This theme of uncomfortability seemed to brush over me with each speaker.  As I listened, I learned that being uncomfortable can bring about 4 great things in you.

 

  1. Growth

We learn what not to do every time we fail, and like a muscle the practice makes us stronger to succeed the next time.

Jim Collins quoted a rock climbing friend, “I’m not failing, I’m growing.”

He may not have been making it to the tip, yet, but he was getting closer each time.

  1. Freedom

The more we fail, the more we get used to it. Our courage, grit, and determination will all increase.

Ed Catmull of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios said, “If you get over embarrassment, it frees you up.”

Catmull even encourages everyone to fail. “Fail early and fail fast.”

  1. Meaningful Relationships

If we only show the twitter-perfect version of ourselves, then all of our relationships are shallow.

“We want more love, intimacy, belonging, and joy. The only path to those things is vulnerability.” – Dr. Brene Brown

  1. Integrity

Often we are uncomfortable in our own skins. If we could drop down the walls we’ve built and be completely and uncomfortably ourselves, we can begin to build character. We would have a life marked of being genuine.

 

In the end, being uncomfortable is a very powerful thing.

“It’s powerful, because we don’t like it. We work hard to get out of it.” – Liz Wiseman

 

What makes you uncomfortable? What have you done or learned in an uncomfortable situation?

What’s Round on Both Sides and Hi in the Middle?

OHIO!!

After lots of packing, dragging, driving, and unloading we are here!  Tappy and I spent a few weeks packing our house little by little, and when the big day came all those boxes were quickly swept up and carried into the Uhaul.

This was the first big move for me.  I found myself sitting on the one lonely chair left in our house exasperated by the flurry around me.  In the end the house sat empty, and all of our stuff was ready to go, while my heart desired to cling at the doorstep of 1106. As much as I miss my family, I know that following God’s vision for our life is more important than my temporary happiness and comfort.  In God’s plan there is peace in the sadness, stability in the changes, and comfort in HIS arms.  Happiness fades, but the JOY found in God is a firm resting place.

 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4ff

God has certainly been a great comfort, even in this simple move.  His people, the members of Troy Nazarene Church, have blessed us beyond our wildest dreams.  When we pulled up to our apartment Tuesday morning we had atleast six people waiting to help us unload the Uhaul – Which, with their help, was unloaded in only 30 minutes!  Then they all stayed to help unpack!  Every night until Sunday,  we were given warm meals by different church families.  My first week in Troy, I didn’t even have to cook!  God certainly knows how to use His people to spread the love and comfort we can only learn from Him.

Thank You- Family members who helped us move & who have alway been there.  Thank You- Church Family who are already welcoming us with open arms & have given with their servant hearts.