Tag Archive | guarding hearts

When Grace Sneaks In With A Face

I hadn’t given it much thought until I got asked about it last night.  How had I previously written it off and not considered it?  Could I get beyond it if it turned out to be true?  And why on Earth was I dignifying any of it with this kind of physical response?  It doesn’t even matter, right?  Right?!?  I kept waking up all night feeling literally sick to my stomach as confusion and disappointment from the Enemy continued to close in on me.
Even as I sat at my desk today, my mind kept wandering as I thought about how much consideration this whole ordeal should even get from me.  Is that something you can just come right out and ask?  Does it matter?  Would it change things?  It’s not something you’d just bring up in casual conversation, right?  Right?!?  Or can you?!?
And then she snuck into my office, all smiles and glowing.  She who travels in humility and patience and joy.  We shared in celebration that, not only was it Friday, but it was a three day weekend too!  As crazy as this week had been, we weren’t sure it would get here.  And then she did it.  She spoke Truth with a ton of Grace and reminded me that when God said He could make all things new, He meant ALL things.  She was able to remind me that He is not the Author of confusion and fear.  And she encouraged me to take heart because it’s coming.  It won’t be my definition of “soon”; that’s been obvious in how slow it’s all been moving up until now.
So while my Newsfeed is blowing up with what people are thankful for on this ninth day of November, I am so thankful that sometimes Grace sneaks in with a face…

Crunchy Leaves and Hard Tears

Like a kid in a candy store I was when I walked down that old, familiar driveway and saw all the crisp looking leaves resting beneath a tree that looked like the Lord had splatter painted it with orange, red, and yellow.  They will surely think I’m crazy when they come home and find me in their yard, but this tree was like a gift from the Lord and I was determined to sit beneath it and just get still.
The air was about as crisp as each leaf I stepped on to get to that well-aged trunk with the perfect place to lean in close and just be.  Decked out in denim capri pants, flip flops, and an Atlantic Beach hoodie (I was an Eastern NC girl in a Western NC world) I was ready to nestle myself in a pile God’s confetti and hang out there with my Bible and journal until all seemed right in the world again.  Because on that day, nothing seemed right.
I got comfortable and just sat there, feeling almost numb to the world. I should have been cold, but I couldn’t feel a thing.  Until the tears started to roll.  It felt like my world had come to an end.  In a small town, on a small campus, where most everyone was famous for something, I felt very small.  Very unknown.  I began to cry harder and could taste the bitterness of make-up hit the corners of my mouth.  My heart, what was left of it, literally ached.  In fact, my entire body was feeling it.  I was feeling pretty stupid for falling so hard that fast.  Then I was mad at myself for letting myself feel stupid.  Then mad at myself for being mad at myself.  
Out of the corner of smudged glasses, I saw their light blue Buick pull down the hill of their driveway.  She walked up to me slowly, seeing that I was clearly a wreck.  She convinced me to move inside for hot chocolate and a fleece blanket, my toes were blue!  I told her the whole story, getting worked up all over again.  Eventually I found my way back out the door, incredibly thankful that neither one of them thought I was crazy.
All on top of having a pretty broken heart.  I made a promise to myself that afternoon that I would never find myself in a position where there was potential to feel like this again.  I would guard it and guard it well.  And I have.  Almost too well, sometimes.
Until now…

Fragile: Handle With Care

I watched a member of a moving crew throw boxes from his truck to the ground today, like he knew what was in them wouldn’t break.  I was impressed with how quickly he was getting it all unloaded and didn’t think much of it until I got closer and saw that each of those boxes all read Fragile: Handle With Care.  My perception of him changed as soon as I saw them.  What was he doing?!?  Handle with care, man.  HANDLE WITH CARE!!!  For all you know, that’s somebody’s wedding china!  Just because it doesn’t affect you doesn’t mean it’s not a big deal to them.  What if you’re shattering their family heirlooms right now. 

Aren’t we just like that with each other?  We throw our words around like the things that we say can’t shatter the other person’s world.  How are we not more affirming to those in our lives?  If we aren’t their biggest cheerleaders, who else is going to do it?

It works the other way too.  We spend a great deal of time acting like our flirty actions won’t lead the other person on if we aren’t interested.  Yet, for all we know, they are falling fast.  If we’re honest, we don’t do such a good job of guarding each other’s hearts.  Just because it doesn’t affect us doesn’t mean it’s not a big deal to them.

Hearts are a fragile thing.  We could stand to stop and remember that when it comes to each other, we need to be sure to handle with care.

When It’s Harder Than It Looked

Recently, my older sister moved out of the house and to another town because she had taken a new job.  Obviously, this means that the entire house needed to be rearranged or redecorated, right?  Tonight, I broke out the measuring tape and wondered if the original plan for setting up my “new” room (which ironically used to be my old room) was actually going to work.  I kept rearranging furniture and looking up dimensions.  It shouldn’t be this complicated.  I climbed the stepstool to tie bows in my curtains and either couldn’t reach as far as I’d hoped or they wouldn’t tie off as pretty this time around.  This is harder than it looked.

I climbed down the stool and got to thinking, as I folded clothes and turned down the covers on my bed to crawl under them—so is walking through this door that’s right in front of me.

I’m not nervous, that’s not it.  I’m not even scared, which is a little unusual for me.  Remember?  I don’t usually like things that I don’t already know I’m good at.  It’s just that, right now, it’s harder than it looked.  I didn’t think it was supposed to be this complicated. 

I took a deep breath and I could feel the tears begin to fill my eyes.  Crying isn’t usually what I do either.  I tend to mask my insecurities and hurt feelings with jokes and sly remarks.  I’m the one at the funeral home who has everyone else feeling bad for laughing.  This time though—is different.  This time—as much as I preach “guard your heart”—it feels like that’s what this whole thing is costing me.  This time—I’m losing sleep.  This time– I’m confident that this is the door; I’m not even questioning it.  (Also a big deal for me!)  I’m actually really excited about it all!  I even got excited about sharing it all with key team players, some of which haven’t even shown up yet.  The problem is: it’s not time to open that door just yet and waiting for it is harder than it looked.   

My-Size Fairy Tale

Call me crazy, but I really enjoy shopping!  Now I know that some of you have a mental picture of a car loaded down with bags and a wallet with nothing left but maxed out credit cards.  Nah, that’s not my style.  I much more prefer the one skirt that I can dress up or down, or mix and match it with what I already own to create several new looks.  I find great pleasure in walking around a department store just to discover the latest trends, then figuring out a way to re-create something similar but more modest.  It’s more than just clothes and fashion that I do this with too.  I like picking up an aqua picture frame and knowing that it could have been so much more, then figuring out how to add a little pizzazz to it.

I also find great delight in shopping for someone else.  I like knowing that I have picked something that they’ll enjoy, because I got to know them.  Right on down to the gift bag or wrapping paper.  I recently learned that my efforts aren’t in vain with that either, when I put Dove’s Dark Chocolate in a pink and orange gift bag and my friend replied “you know me so well”.

As much as I typically enjoy the entire shopping experience, you let me find something that claims “one size fits all” and you might as well had popped my birthday balloons, because that’s a sad moment.  One size does not fit all!  I mean, that claim is just outrageous.  It’s more than just clothes that don’t fit “all”.  I could have wrapped that same gift in a black and red bag, and I can promise you that my friend would not have been smiling and saying “You know me so well!”  Look around—we aren’t all the same; it won’t fit “all”.  So, what is it that makes us think relationships are all going to look the same?

Recently, I found myself beginning to struggle in ways that I never have before.  I was beginning to experience emotions that I still can’t even explain.  God was beginning to reveal things to me that have me excited and honored, but honestly a little freaked out all at once.  I wasn’t sure what to do with all of that and was honestly feeling rather emotionally sucker punched.  Many people tried to tell me what to do with all of that and were quick to share their own stories.  (Don’t get me wrong—that played a big role in my ability to figure it all out.)  It was what one friend texted me a couple hours after she heard me out that did the trick though:

Your talk about your fairy tale just made me think how they are all so different but with equally happy endings….Cinderella had wicked step sisters, Belle had to kiss a beast, Rapunzal was kidnapped.  You get the picture.

I read that and thought, You’re right.  One size does not fit all!  I cannot expect it to look a certain way.  God has already lovingly authored the story.  My job is to just remember to go patiently in the direction that the path leads and enjoy the ride along the way.  While there may be villains or scoundrels that I didn’t expect or pasts that I didn’t see coming or roadblocks to overcome along the way—happily ever after does await and it will come when it’s time for that part of the story.  It will not be one-size fits all, but it will absolutely be a my-size fairy tale.