Thursday Three

Look at me…two weeks in a row of a Thursday Three. It’s almost like a trend or something.

1. Balance is key. We’ve practically been living in a season of survival the past few months. Only in the past week or two have we started to reintroduce exercising, playing music, and making space for individual creativity. So here I am, sitting in a coffee shop while writing my thoughts–totally baby-free. As a couple and as a family, we’re asking the question of how to find balance in our lives and somehow make it work for everybody. It requires some planning and some sacrifice, but it seems to be worth it in the end. If you have tips and systems that have worked well for you, I’d definitely be interested in hearing them.

2. My phone is overloaded with pictures of my kid. (So much for balance, eh?) I know I’m biased, but I think he’s pretty stinking cute. To be honest, I haven’t figured out what I think about sharing countless photos on the internet (of him or me, really). Maybe one here or there. Occasionally, I send some photos of him in a text to people I think might want to see the latest facial expression or outfit he’s rocking. Like everything, I’m overthinking it and questioning how much I want him to be all over the internet. I don’t know that there’s a right or wrong answer, but I do think it’s worth considering what we are putting online and what the long-term impact might be. Ugh. The world is crazy and the future of the internet is a mystery to me. I know I can’t protect him from everything, but I do have some responsibility as a parent to look out for him and his well-being. So, please humor me while I think it over and know that the photos might be sparse in the meantime. (But what the heck? I can’t add a photo from my week without including him because he’s in ALL the photos…so here you go, a week’s worth all at once).

baby pics

3. We need each other. I’ve heard and read so many thoughts and feelings this past week regarding the election and the actions that have followed. Frankly, it’s hard to sort through it all. Last week, all I could say was that kindness was the first place I planned to start. I think the thing I’ve found to be true in it all is how much we need to support and love one another as a community, a city, a state, and a country. There’s so much that has already been said on the internet, and I don’t want to pretend I have something big or profound to add. I just think that at the bottom of it all, we each want love and support. We want someone to say, “I’m for you and I’m with you.” I think that means seeing a need amongst the people around you and filling it. It can mean showing up, even without being asked. It means prayer, money, food, time, and energy given to someone else or for someone else. As much as living in isolation or only surrounded by those who think and feel the exact same as we do sounds nice (and can have its place from time to time), the strength and mutual respect/understanding that can be gained by recognizing that we need each other is invaluable.

Give Me the Truth

Give Me the Truth

Sun and Rain through the Clouds | Moving Peaces

I think we’re all grasping for truths in this world. We want to find the things that seem right, and we chase after those truths whether we realize it or not.

Anything from watching your favorite tv show or sports team to reading all the adventures and life lessons discovered in a memoir or novel has an element of seeking truth. Music speaks volumes and art speaks to the heart. Travel opens our minds to new experiences. Quotes and scriptures give us hope. We want to know there is meaning and worth out there, that there is truth. We want to know that the good guy always wins–maybe not the short game, but definitely the long game.

So, we ask the questions, have the long talks and grapple at what that truth is.

The hard part is knowing the truth from the narrative. 

Perhaps the stories we’ve been told say disappointment will result in one thing and success looks like so. A mold of what something should look like takes over as we strive for the best and pursue truths we’ve been seeking. Outside influences bring ideas and opinions to the table, presenting their stories as truth. We sometimes re-shape and twist the narrative in our own attempt to create what is true, often distorting reality.

Not everything you hear, read, see or think is true. 

It’s a struggle to keep truth at the forefront, but worthwhile. So choose wisely what you decide to believe and what you form your life around. Know who or what is speaking into your life and if it really is true. Where is your source of truth coming from? What lies are you believing as truths, and what truths are you ignoring?

 

Know Me, Not That

Know Me, Not That

Me | Moving Peaces

We all want to know and be known on some level. Whether it’s fame or friendship, we want someone else to know who we are, what we stand for and what we are like.

But what happens when we let someone know the less pretty side?

I’m not talking about the, “I’m a mess because my socks don’t match and we’re out of coffee” kind. I’m not even talking about the “My life is not going the way I planned” kind of mess. No, I’m talking about the downright ugly internal struggles, like jealousy, discontentment or negativity.

I want to be known, but I do not want those things to be known whatsoever. The reason I don’t want you to know about them is because frankly, I don’t want them to be real. I don’t want that to be “me” in any way. Sometimes in my longing to build relationships, I let those out. The thing is, that’s not what I want to be known for.

So the question becomes, how do we walk the line of transparency, revealing our struggles and the really “real”, without seeming just plain ugly? I want any bitterness, jealousy and hurt to be completely removed from my life. But if I’m being honest, it’s in there sometimes. I hate it, and of course I don’t want anyone to see it. At the same time, I don’t want to slap on a facade and pretend it’s not there either.

I would rather you know the loving, thoughtful and creative sides, but truthfully, I have all sorts of flaws, too. This isn’t something I’d like to dwell on, but I think it’s worth talking about. I think we all have sides that we don’t want anyone to see. In hopes of hiding it away, we avoid and ignore issues that need to be addressed. Maybe instead it’s time to have some honest conversations. Find a trusted friend or maybe even confront yourself.

There’s more here to say: More to talk about when it comes to struggles and failures. Finding trustworthy friends and learning when it isn’t time to share. Coping with ugly truths and battling it out in hopes of personal refinement. Realizing beautiful truths and learning to embrace them. More to question and wrestle with as we discover who we really are. But for now, I leave you with merely the start…how are you known?

Being Enough

Being Enough

Being Enough | Moving Peaces

Not enough.

How often do we hear that phrase and don’t even realize it? Or worse, how often do we say that to someone else?

Not enough experience or not enough enthusiasm. Not enough knowledge or not enough confidence. Not enough wisdom or not enough motivation. Not enough practice or not enough raw talent. Not enough.

All day long we hear that in some form or another from society–from our job applications, from our teachers, from our bosses, from our family and even from our friends. You’re not enough…this.

When we feel like we are not enough we seek more. We try to do, be and possess MORE. A never ending chase results in us grasping for more so we can finally feel enough. Over time it leaves us feeling worn down and exhausted. We can’t keep up with the rate that more requires, which in turn leads us to feeling once again, not enough. Not enough time, not enough strength, not enough stamina.

But wait a minute. Listen.

How often are we actually told we are not enough compared to how often we reinforce it and decide to believe it? Is it truth? Further, is it even what is being said? Or do we assign ourselves this label of not enough before we hear what we’re being told? When we allow this battle of not being enough to win, we always lose. If you want to play that game, there will always be something in our lives that feels like not enough.

So stop allowing not enough to dictate who you are.

You are enough. Right now. In this very moment. You are complete. Rest in that.

__________________________________________________________

If you need to hear more truth, this is where to find it:

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.” -Psalm 139:14

And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” – Ecclesiastes 4:4

 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28

 

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.

Verses on My Mind

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

Philippians 2:3-4

Stained Glass Windows

I have been reading these verses over and over the past few days/weeks. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in things–tasks to complete, to-do lists to accomplish, career ladders to climb, people to see. While I don’t feel we are called to be total people-pleasers, I fear sometimes we can sway too far the other way. If people-pleasing is a natural tendency, sometimes we overcompensate by trying to fight off that urge to people-please but forget to continue to truly value others. I think it’s healthy to have boundaries and to take care of ourselves. Sometimes it means saying “no” to a good thing. If we were always running on empty, it’d be pretty hard to be effective at serving others.

Yet it still says here quite plainly to “value others above yourselves” in humility. Whew. That’s a tall order. So how do I find the balance? What does that mean for today and tomorrow and the next day? How can I better put someone’s interests before mine? How does that impact my decisions and my speech?

The first verse is also incredibly striking– “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.” I think the adjective attached to the word ambition matters. Having goals and ambitions can be good as it motivates and inspires us, but selfish ambition is what we are told to avoid. Finding that line between ambition and selfish ambition isn’t easy. I think our society often praises selfish ambition, but that doesn’t make it right. I have to remember to ask, where does this ambition come from? Who does it serve? What does this ambition lead to?

I don’t know the answers. The best I can do is to continue to read and pray. I know I fall short here. All the time. But I want to continue to think through what it truly means. I want to live in humility, I want to toss away selfish ambition, I want to look to the interests of others.