There Will Be Days

31 Days of Finding Self | Moving Peaces

There will be days when life seems to make sense. You feel like you know who you are, what is most important to you and what your best talents and skills are. Those days are sweet days with a certain ease to it. Your confidence is restored and you have a clarity of mind.

There will also be days when everything you thought you knew goes awry. You flounder about trying to understand why you feel the way you do and wonder what your purpose is in the world. There’s a difficulty and sometimes pain that comes with these days. It can lead to discovery or it can lead to doubt. Self-worth is questioned and positivity is often lost.

You will face both types of days. When you hit one of those days hard, it might seem unfathomable that things will swing back around in the other direction at some point. When that happens, we need to cling to the truths. We need to prepare for both days and acknowledge that they will happen as they are part of life. But then we need to keep moving forward.

 

This post is a part of the Finding Self series for the 31 Days of blogging in October.
To see the all posts in this series, check out the Finding Self page.

Challenges Defined

We all face challenges. Can I start by saying that? I don’t care what you say, the person next to you definitely faces challenges too, no matter how seamless they make life look. Okay, glad we cleared the air there.

Challenges Defined | Moving Peaces

One of my challenges has been food. Some of you know about my story of sickness our first few years of marriage. The short of it? I found myself throwing up multiple nights a week with no clear explanation why. After months of doctors and specialists and prescriptions, things hadn’t improved. I changed diets and pressed for more tests until they finally removed my gallbladder. Things didn’t end after surgery as I still found myself quite sick, but on slightly fewer occasions. When I wasn’t throwing up, I felt like I might. I was told I had food allergies but had a long way to go before I found what foods I could actually eat and how to navigate restaurants and grocery stores. I have a long list of allergies to varying degrees, but at the top of the list are garlic and onions.

So that’s the story. It’s why I can’t eat sauces or dressings. Why I have to call ahead when we go out to eat or why I have to coordinate with the caterer directly for weddings and special occasions. It’s why my food inevitably looks different than yours when we share a meal together. It’s why I stopped caring about cooking or complex meals. It’s why I sometimes feel left out in social settings.

When I was in high school I remember seeing the challenges of someone else, which were visible and noticeable to everyone and wishing my challenge was something more easily identified. Now I can’t get through a meal without at least explaining part of the story, regardless of how much I try to skirt around it. For a little while, it felt like that was my story. It was taking over my life in so many ways as I fought through the sickness for answers and relief.

But that’s not the whole story, just an element. It’s something I still have to face on a regular basis. I still get sick (although far less often), and I still have to navigate through menus and ingredient listings. As soon as I can, I try to change the subject. I’m not my sickness or allergy or challenge.

It has shaped me and changed me. It has made me so grateful for the things I can eat (like chocolate) and more aware of the difficulties that one issue can cause in many other facets of life. But it does not define me.

So whatever your challenge is, realize what it truly amounts to. It might be huge, and I am not trying to minimize it necessarily. When this sickness first hit, it seemed like I would never go a week again without feeling sick (and specialists told me as much). What I’m saying is, your challenge might be huge but it doesn’t have to overtake you. You are so much more than the challenges you are facing.

 

31 Days: Finding Self | Moving Peaces

This post is a part of the Finding Self series for the 31 Days of blogging in October.
To see the all posts in this series, check out the Finding Self page.

 

Say Sorry

Say Sorry

Sometimes, we have to say sorry.

Wave the White Flowers | Moving Peaces

An apology might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you consider the topic “Finding Self” but I still think it’s important. We live in this culture that says to be you and stand up for yourself. I don’t disagree, but I think we can take it too far.

There are times when I can get too caught up with what I’m doing or thinking. I have this plan for how life should look, not just for me but for everyone around me. I start going on these tangents on how life should go and where people haven’t quite learned what they should have by now. I plow ahead with these thoughts and opinions, at times silently thinking I’m in the clear. I expect graces from people when I’ve been busy or having a bad day but then don’t always offer them when I should for others.

Do I do things intentionally to hurt people? No. But sometimes in my fog of thoughts and feelings I don’t act or react the way I should. Finding self doesn’t mean that I’m always right or that it’s all about how great I am. Finding self means I have to recognize the areas where I’ve failed and let people down. I may be coming into my own in some ways and ready to do amazing things, but I also have things in my life that I’m not proud of and downfalls that aren’t pretty. Realizing that side of self isn’t as flattering or as fun, but it’s often just as significant and something to learn how to handle.

Instead of pressing on ahead like that thing I said or did never happened, it’s worth it to go back and find out what it takes to make it right. Saying sorry requires humility and admitting your shortcomings to someone. Being truly sorry means you are owning up to wrongful thoughts/actions that you’d rather just ignore.

 

31 Days: Finding Self | Moving Peaces

This post is a part of the Finding Self series for the 31 Days of blogging in October.
To see the all posts in this series, check out the Finding Self page.

Guest Post: Serving Others

Samantha’s Note: Recently, I realized I could not blog a whole month on my own. Especially not this month which was full of side projects, events, freelance work and job searching. Because of this, I invited a few others to join me in talking about Finding Self to hear what they had to say about it. Neive (isn’t that the coolest name ever?) is a part of a blogging group I belong to and volunteered to write all about how serving others through her faith has helped in finding self. I should also mention that she has the cutest brood of dogs at home and lives in Australia! You might notice a thing or two spelled a little differently, so just go ahead and read it in an Australian accent to get the full experience.

My name is Neive and I blog over at “The Aussie Osborns”. I am so excited to be a part of Samantha’s series “Finding Self”, what a wonderful topic! There are so many different ways that we can find ourselves, but what better way to do it then by bringing light into someone’s life at the same time! Thank you so much Samantha for allowing me to be a guest on your blog, I am honoured.

Find yourself by serving others

Some of you may know the famous quote by Gandhi “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”, which really rings true to my heart. There have been many times within my life where I have engaged in service and found myself. I’m not talking about some massive epiphany, but characteristics I maybe though I didn’t have or didn’t associate myself with.

That’s not to say that I always throw myself at these opportunities every moment of the day, life is so busy and complicated sometimes it’s hard to find the time to give service to others, but there is always a sense of satisfaction, accomplishment and emotional reward after – for everyone involved. Not to mention how the Lord knows us, he knows the true intention of our hearts and what will make us happy. I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first (Rev 2:19)

I’m not talking about full blown “make sure you go and clean the next door neighbour’s gutters” kind of service (although you are welcome to do that and I’m sure they will appreciate it). I’m talking about little simple acts things each day, some things that you probably already do. Without realising it we can help serve others in so many ways. Everybody can be great…because everybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” (Martin Luther King Jr.)

 

Read more

Deciding for You

Do you remember the first big decision you made, completely on your own? There’s something amazing that happens when you make a decision completely separate from your parents (but not in a rebellious way) or friends or other influences. A true transition happens when you say, this is important to me and no longer factor in the other opinions. This is of value to me. This decision will impact my life for years to come.

For many it might happen in college, whether it’s choosing a college, choosing a major, choosing to move, deciding to travel, accepting a job or meeting a future spouse. While college may be a typical timeframe that occurs in, college does not deserve all the credit and glory. Often, it has more to do with the time in life and the first real time of distance from parents or even from friends who otherwise heavily influence your decisions. This most certainly does not only occur within a college setting or even in your late teens and early twenties. Maybe you grew up too fast or were a late bloomer. Either way, it happens at some point or another and is a significant moment, whether you realize it at the time or not.

I believe it’s worthwhile to consider that decision. What was it? What did it say about who you were? How did it impact your life? Whatever it was, it was a coming of age. What did that say about you then and how has it shaped you now?

 

31 Days: Finding Self | Moving PeacesThis post is a part of the Finding Self series for the 31 Days of blogging in October.
To see the all posts in this series, check out the Finding Self page.

One of these things…

There are parts of my life that don’t seem to line up. Like, I’m not quite hip enough for all the shows I go to. Or don’t have kids hanging off my arms like most of the other women at church. Or I don’t look old enough to do the things I am capable of at work. Or maybe I’m not musical enough for what people expect in relation to my incredibly musically inclined husband.

It seems like I’m never quite what “they” wanted. Sometimes I want to shout in return saying, “I DON’T FIT IN HERE! I KNOW IT JUST AS MUCH AS YOU DO!” Yes, I get it, thanks. Because trust me, I feel even more awkward about it than you do. It feels as if my life is hanging in the balances, tinkering on the edge of total discord and absurdity.

So maybe we don’t have the same amount of money, number of kids, personal beliefs, musical talents, magnitude of eye makeup, years of experience or extensive vocabulary. No matter where I turn, I don’t seem to be matching everyone else there in some major life area. As uncomfortable as that can sometimes (often) be, I think there’s something incredibly valuable in it, too. Because instead of continuing on our own little paths, we get to learn from each other and grow from each other. That can’t happen if we all look, talk, act and think the same way. So maybe it will take a little more effort to bridge the gap. Maybe we’ll have to take those differences in stride and assume the best of each other. I’d much rather live amongst a crowd of differences than live a life removed from those who have different experiences and understandings than my own.

Sound familiar? Well, to be honest, this is a recycled post because I ran out of time to blog today and this seemed like it suited the topic fairly well. Being caught in the awkward stage and feeling like I don’t belong or fit in with others is not easy. But it has been in these moments that I have learned the most, both about others and about myself.

31 Days: Finding Self | Moving PeacesThis post is a part of the Finding Self series for the 31 Days of blogging in October.
To see the all posts in this series, check out the Finding Self page.

Why We Fit

Why We Fit

When the hubby and I first started dating (over seven years ago…whoa!) not everyone understood it. Our close friends thought it made perfect sense as they had watched us become friends and flirt, pursue our dreams and decide to date. They saw how we reacted to different situations, together and apart.

Why We Fit | Moving Peaces

At the time, his family and band lived a few hours away. They didn’t watch this natural progression nor did they have any idea of who I was. So when they met me, they were puzzled. Her?

I got so many questions as they tried to get to know me and understand why he wanted to date me. What instrument did I play? Did I like camping? Did I even like music? Why did I go to school so far away? What were my hobbies? What did I do in my spare time?

All fair questions to ask a person when you’re getting to know someone I suppose. But it didn’t translate. Why would my music-loving, multi-instrumentalist, boy scout, barista boyfriend want to date me? The girl who played no instruments, had never been camping and was an academic overachiever going to school in another state.

When you put it like that…hmm. Well? (Let me also mention that I was a broke college student, so he wasn’t after my money). We were both pressed by these questions of what we had in common and when put on the spot, couldn’t quite come up with an answer. We fought in circles, questioning expectations of each other and searching for answers we didn’t have. Those questions tripped us up because while they ultimately aren’t key factors in a relationship they were being treated as such. We knew we liked each other, but was that enough? Why didn’t we have all of the same hobbies and skills? Should we? Who should change?

It wasn’t until we realized we had the same values that we understood why we made total sense as a couple. Sure, we each have a hobby or two that the other has no interest in. We also both support each other and try to understand one another’s interests. All of that is fine and good, but our interests don’t truly define us.

We both see hospitality as a way of life. We believe creativity is of worth. We are deliberate in our spending habits. We care deeply for our friends. We love the same God.

These values made up who we were as a couple. Likewise, as individuals, our personal values have a greater impact on who we are than our hobbies do.

 31 Days: Finding Self | Moving PeacesThis post is a part of the Finding Self series for the 31 Days of blogging in October.
To see the all posts in this series, check out the Finding Self page.