6 ways to be kind to yourself.

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I made a commitment to myself when I became a mom that I would not pass on my insecurities to my children. That all the struggles and self-esteem issues I faced most of my life would be kept to myself. I always heard that kids would become what they saw in their parents, and I wanted to present a positive outlook in how I regarded myself, so that they would do the same.

I’d only pass on the good things.

I’d hide the rest. 

But, guess what? It’s way easier to keep your feelings from a toddler who thinks you are the queen of the world than a 16-year-old girl who you spend most of your time with, who knows you well enough to see when you are struggling. Who is perceptive and walks beside you, instead of running behind. Soon to merge ahead, coming into her own.

These are the years when it gets real. You can’t hide behind a sippy cup and snack distribution. You’re looking eye to eye. Living heart to heart.

Mom exposed. 

Transparent parenthood. 

I recently went through one of my not-so-hidden moments of doubt and angst, expressing and showing my deep down feelings of failure and insecurity. Not really proud about the words I said out loud, being the example that I didn’t want to be. A big mom fail. Then, some incredible words came out of my sweet girl. Words that were so simple, yet full of wisdom. Said with ease and confidence, showing that I’m not always the teacher – I’m also a student.

Four words, uttered in a soft spoken voice.  

Be kind to yourself.

She said.

Little girl grown up and all smart. 

And I thought, when did you get so wise, saying things that stop me in my tracks? Words that I always wanted you to have the confidence to say, saying them to me in my weak moments. Words that I should be expressing, but coming out of you with so much truth. We all could use a little kindness directed to ourselves. She was so right. Perhaps it’s time  to care about the state of our own hearts, and recognize that self-worth grows with self-care. 

Maybe being kind to ourselves means –

Not obsessing with perfection. The dishes can wait for the night, the house will always need cleaning and we’ll never be the perfect size. Shake life up with a little imperfection. 

Forgiving ourselves when we do something wrong. Throwing and receiving all the punches is wearisome. Let’s give ourselves a break, and stop the punishing. Let it go.

Taking time to do something we love without guilt. Have a night out. Do something you love. Take time to laugh and find the things that bring you joy. 

Letting go of pain. People are going to hurt us, and things are not always going to be the way we thought they would be. Release it from your hands, and walk to what is ahead. 

Loving who we are been created to be. Live in the confidence and trust of our Creator. Stop zooming in on what’s not right, and deleting all the things that don’t measure up. Zoom out and capture what surrounds your life, take off the filters. 

Stopping the comparison. There will always be something that looks better than what we have. Live with gratefulness and don’t wish away what’s been placed in your hands.  

We’re taught at a young age to be kind to others.

Kindness matters.

Always be kind.

All those things are all true.

But as you spread kindness wherever you go,

Let some of it trickle back.

In the words of a wise (sometimes a little sassy) 16-year-old,

Be kind to yourself.

 

 

Bento Box Living

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There are these super adorable little lunch revolution products called Bento Boxes. They keep your food in perfectly neat compartments, like a dream. Your own healthy stainless steel lunchable that can be reused over and over again, and filled with creative and culinary delights. (For unattainable ideas, visit Pinterest) I personally don’t have a Bento Box. They are rather expensive for a person who misplaces things, and to be honest I could never dream of having that organized of a lunch. I’m more of a “mis-matched plastic container that gets left-in -the-car for a month” type of girl. I wouldn’t know how to treat a Bento Box with the respect it deserves.   

But the compartments. 

I’m a little obsessed with the compartments.

They are perfect.

Nothing touches anything else.

The division is impeccable.

Every time I see a picture of one, I have this deep philosophical thought. 

My life is a Bento Box.

Everything in it’s place. 

Steel walls of separation.

I’ve actually become a master of this. 

Work life. Home life. Caring for my parents life. Friend life. Sibling life. Pastor life. Holiday and special events life. Things I worry about Life. Pursuing dreams life. Trying to be a good wife life. Mom life. Writer life. Going outside life. Daydreamer life. Leader life. 

So many types of life. 

Each happening in their own little compartment. 

Created with steel walls of separation.

Don’t make them touch. 

Bento boxes work because they don’t let things come into contact with one another. That’s a great strategy for food prep and picky kids who don’t want their cheese to touch their apple slices. But it’s not the best strategy for abundant life living. Honestly though, sometimes it’s just easier to live in the compartments. The walls become protective. Nothing gets let in because who know what would happen if the barriers came down. But what if they did? What if we let all parts of our life mix together in real authentic living with no walls between everything?

Would it be messy?

Surely. 

But, somedays I long for the mess. These walls, they are hard to keep up. 

Messy isn’t always bad. Messy means contact. Messy means connection. Imagine all the walls in your life coming down, and everything inside given a good shake. What would happen?

Maybe – 

The places where you are weak become stronger through your vulnerability.

The places where you walk alone are now filled with support.

The places where you struggle are now surrounded with hope.

There is room for difficult conversations, open conversations, honest conversations, forgiving conversations and healing conversations.

What if messy life IS abundant life? 

The worst part about living a compartmentalized life is the walls that surround.  If all our walls came down, it might be messy but at least it would be real.

The time that you start to identify with a steel box of compartments, is likely the time when you need to evaluate your walls. To start taking them down. To let things touch. To live in the whole, not as tiny divided parts.

Full life living, takes down walls. 

Full life living, mixes our self-preservation with vulnerability. 

Just one big old plastic container with a worn lid, everything shaken up inside.

It will never look as good as a Pinterest Bento Box.

But it will feel like messy and full abundant life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An open letter to my son. I know how to boil water.

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Dear Son,

I’m so proud of you this week as you’ve started your 2nd year of school, living in your own place with friends. I know it’s going to be an amazing experience for you.

I was quite worried when we left you in your new house, because I wasn’t sure if I had fully prepared you, particularly in the area of cooking and kitchen prep. I’m not sure why, perhaps I was more focussed on getting you to clean your room all these years. (which I’m not sure I was successful at either…) So, I took you shopping on moving day and gave you ideas for easy meals while trying to hold back my tears. I filled your fridge with easy prep food that I hoped you’d learn to make. Then, I stocked your freezer with the baked goods I’d prepared for you with a mother’s love earlier that week.

I hugged you good-bye through my tears and told you to call me if you needed any help in the kitchen and I would be there for you. I had a restless sleep that night, tossing and turning. Legitimately concerned for you, because you like food. And I wondered if you’d be able to turn any of those items into an edible meal.

Maybe you’d just eat chips for the whole year. 

Or learn 48 ways to make KD. 

My dreams were full of angst and worry. 

But I had to have faith in you.

I believed in you. 

If what everyone told me was right, you’d be fine. 

The next day, I saw a post on instagram that made my heart leap. There you were, making pasta for the first time. I almost called you to see if I could help, but I thought that I needed to let you soar on your own. Soon, a lovely picture followed of a beautifully set table, with napkins and plates and an impressive dish of pasta. 

You did it. 

You were going to be ok.

I was basking in pride at your accomplishment. 

Then, your father sauntered upstairs.

He said a phrase that pierced straight through my heart. I don’t want to assume he was being smug (but let’s assume he was.)

“Noah called me for some help to make dinner.”

Now maybe I was already emotional from leaving you at school, and a crazy long day of moving and driving, and the other general stresses of life. But those words, sent me crying into my pillow for 30 minutes.

Deep sobs, repeating the phrase, “No one needs me for anything. I’m useless.”

(In hindsight, perhaps a little over-dramatic.)

Listen, I’m aware of the fact that I’m not known for my culinary skills. I’ll never make it onto MasterChef Canada or win a pie contest. Heck, most of the time I stare into the fridge and wonder what magic I’m going to use to make dinner. I’ve noticed that no one asks me for a favourite meal, and your sister has said I’m better at liquids.

But guess what?

I KNOW HOW TO BOIL WATER.

WATER IS A LIQUID.

“Dad’s Italian” is what you said, when I tearfully texted my feelings of betrayal. Yah. He’s Italian. I taught HIM how to boil water. I’m pretty sure he never saw the inside of the kitchen until we got married. 

I don’t want to get into a big gender war or anything. I know men can cook, I’m glad you feel like you can call your Dad for anything. I’ll forgive him for being the favourite eventually. 

But I carried you in my womb for 9 months. I gave birth to you, and you were a big baby. I’ve devoted my life to being the best mom that I could be. Just last week, you spilled an entire large-sized Tim Horton’s coffee behind the couch at the cottage and I kept my yelling at a reasonable decibel. 

I’VE BEEN HERE FOR YOU.

So the next time you’re preparing a rather basic meal, feel free to give me a call. Dad’s going to live off the energy of this victory for a long time. Only contact him if your wi-fi goes down, you have to start a lawnmower, you require a money transfer or have no interest in receiving any Christmas gifts from me. 

I can help you with sliceable cookies, salad in a bag, and I’m super good at coffee and peanut butter toast. 

I’ve got your back. 

I know how to boil water.

I’M GOOD AT LIQUIDS.

Love,

Mom

xo 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All these roads.

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We were out of town today, and made a visit to our “old” little town that we used to live in (Little towns are our fav). We took the long route because my daughter wanted to look at our old house. As we drove, I realized that all past memories, decisions and moments are connected by roads.

Roads.

Ordinary Roads.

In this little town, I could see the road where I used to run (when I decided I wanted to be a sporty girl), the street where I first let my kids walk to school alone together, the path to the park where we would fly kites and the little side avenue where our favourite cupcake store used to be. As we drove around I was holding back some tears. All those roads, all meaning different things. Things that could be remembered so clearly. With the good memories, there are always the hard ones too, and I remembered those painful roads as well. Losing someone we loved dearly, struggles financially, heart hurting job decisions, and ultimately a move that was hard for our family.

The road wasn’t always smooth.

But it was always joined.

There’s always been a road. 

We never drove off a cliff. 

Then I got to thinking.

I could get in a car and basically drive through all the seasons of my life. 

If I were to leave my house right now, I could do a roundtrip that would take about 2 hours and encompass all the moments and decisions of my life in the last 30 years.

All those roads.

I’ll be honest, I don’t know that I’ve always chosen the right road. The best way. The correct direction. But you have to take a road. Always. Even when you can’t see the final destination. And when I think of those roads, and curves and turns and roundabouts that sometimes didn’t go as planned – I realize that not once did I ever come across a dead end. Not once did I hit a wall. Never so lost or directionally challenged that there wasn’t a way back, or a solution or answer.

The road hasn’t always been easy, but it’s led me where I needed to go. 

In fact, every road that seemed uncertain and unclear, led to a destination. Every road has been part of the journey. Even the ones that have been confusing and unclear. Even the ones that needed me to make an adjustment and turn myself around, while yelling at a GPS that didn’t seem to know what it was doing.

But it did.

All roads lead somewhere.

So I close my eyes and think of where I began, and where each part of the journey has taken. I realize I could drive it all and smile, and cry, and laugh and be filled with sorrow and with joy.

My road is made up of so many things. 

All these roads, they are my life.

All this pavement tells a story.

As we travel, we live.

As we journey, we grow.

Asphalt, stuck to the ground winding and turning through cities, towns, and countrysides are stories woven and moments lived and destination and arrivals reached and everything we take leads somewhere and somewhere is where we always are going. 

So take your road.

Drive in peace.

Get through the rocky places.

Potholes and bumps along the way.

Know that you’re led.

There is a purpose to your path.

Take a drive through your moments and remember your roads.

All roads lead somewhere.

 

The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth.

 

Legacy and the day my shoes didn’t match

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I was having a pretty good morning. You know, I liked my outfit. I felt pretty pulled together. I even pre-planned my day and remembered to bring a lunch to work.

I was ready. 

LET’S DO THIS.

I led my first meeting for a summer program, it went well and the team seemed excited. Then, I had a meeting with another staff member as we planned some future events.

All was well in my world. 

“You’ve got this. You are rocking today.” I said to myself with confidence.

Then, I went to the office kitchen to make a coffee. As I was chatting with a work friend, she looked down at my feet.

Then this,

This happened. 

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Yup.

All of a sudden I was actually the least pulled together person on the planet. Slightly consoled by the fact that none of the 10 people I had seen in my meetings had noticed. But still, completely mortified. 

WHO DOES THIS?

WHO WEARS TWO DIFFERENT COLOURED SHOES TO WORK AND DOESN’T NOTICE UNTIL 11AM?

Me. 

I do this.

I wish I could say this was the first time anything like this has happened to me, but honestly this is actually part of who I am. I’ve left town with all the keys (husbands love that), I’ve chased rolling cans of peanuts under cars in parking lots, I’ve tried to start cars that weren’t mine, I’ve lost bank cards into the dash of my car, put groceries in a stranger’s cart, walked into vaguely branded men’s bathrooms and in my most horrifying moment I almost went live on national television with the full leg size sticker running down the front of my new pixie pants.

I do this.

THIS IS WHO I AM.

But it’s not all I am. 

I know I’ll be remembered for some of my Shelly-isms but I’m determined to make my legacy about more than mismatched shoes, inside out shirts and unfortunately placed leg stickers.

We can’t control everything that happens to us, but we can control who we are in all our situations. Every reaction, every response, every word is all part of our legacy.

We are creating legacy each and every day. 

I used to think that legacy was something we just left behind, but more and more I think legacy is about the present. How we live our lives each day. One day we will all be remembered by those who loved us, and we can help shape that by intentionally living a legacy-filled life now. We can purposefully participate in what we want our legacy to look like. 

We have a choice in – 

How we love

How we serve

What we say

The way we respond 

What we value 

Where we spend our time

Everything we do, is our legacy. 

And while I want to leave a good one behind when I go, I want to intentionally live legacy life each day now. 

Legacy living is a choice.

Let’s chose to let our life speak loud for who we are.

Maybe you’ll have some mismatched shoes along the way.

Or people staring at you running through a restaurant.

That’s ok.

We will always leave something behind, but we can choose who we want to be now. 

#chooselegacynow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 ways to show love, in a world filled with hate.

 

IMG_6133I’ve sat and wondered often over the last few days, if ordinary love-filled people can do extraordinary things in a world filled with hate. Hate that takes my breath away in a suffocating manner. Hate that makes my heart hurt and fear for the future.

I wonder if a small voice of hope can be heard in a loud, messy world.

I wonder if we can move past our judgements and prejudice.

Accept, love and reconcile. 

I struggle as I sit in my comfortable home, knowing that I can never fully understand all the issues or have all the answers.

But what I do know is love.

A perfect love that casts out fear.

Because what else can you do but think of ways to love, when you feel the heaviness of darkness? What else can bring hope to a messed up world?  

The greatest is love.

Simple. True. 

There’s will never be perfection, because we don’t live in a perfect world. But that doesn’t mean that we give up. It doesn’t mean that we settle. We can raise the bar. We can be brave and stand up for what is right. We can strive for better. 

We must be better. 

Let’s start by looking outside our own comforts, experiences and assumptions. Let’s purposefully love. Our neighbours, colleagues, friends, leaders, strangers, family.  

Those we cross paths with on the street.

Those we might not understand.

Those who might not understand us. 

The world will continue to be fuelled by hate, unless we pursue love.

So let’s try this, let’s love abundantly in the weeks ahead. Let’s fill the corners where we live with hope, changing the climate through the way we live.

Lets…

  • Look for ways to give without expecting anything in return
  • Slow down and be generous with our time 
  • Connect with someone who needs encouragement 
  • Put our phones away and be present
  • Do something for someone that is out of our comfort zone
  • Listen and learn, instead of the argue and debate
  • Show forgiveness, even if we’ve been wronged
  • Accept those who are different than us
  • Pursue reconciliation in strained relationships
  • Serve without restraint in both the big and the small

Be love. Live love. Speak love.

Be a channel, a conductor, a link, a voice.

The world is messy.

It’s big.

But love combined is no small thing. 

If we want the world to be a better place, let’s all be better people. 

Because there is nothing better to do than love.

The

Greatest

IS

Love. 

Making “the way we love each other” great again. 

 

 

 

 

 

Half Life Living

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Cake and candles.

Wishes. 

Flames extinguished. 

At the end of the day, with a heart full of loved poured in, I lie in the dark and stare at the ceiling and ask the question that I ask every year in my deep places.

“I wonder where things will be at this time next year. I need to remember to remember that I need to ask myself that.”

And I do.

Every single year. 

It’s important to remember a year. 

To take inventory of the days. 

I think of all the things that have changed. All the things that have remained the same. And everything that comes in the middle of that is a glorious mess like the surprise inside my colourful kaleidoscope cake. A mess that can’t be separated, because its so intertwined that nothing could ever pull it apart.

Glorious mess.  

Then, I think if I look at my number today, this number of years that my Maker has given me breath to live, that I’m about halfway.

As far as years and lives go. And if lives go as planned. 

If I doubled today, it would be a pretty good life.

So, I decide I’m halfway in this Glorious Mess. Halfway is where it seems a lot of living happens. It’s where my life living in happening. 

Then I think more about half, and that a lot of half living is hard. I want to live full.

But if I’m honest and dig deep, and sit down and really think, halfway is a good way to describe this place in so many ways. This place of years and seasons and change. 

Living in the vs.

Halfway between immense overflowing joy vs. deep pain that threatens to render numbness. 

Halfway between living out days in complete isolation vs. longing for bellyache laughing loves who care and listen and abide beside on this journey.

Halfway between pursuing deep down wild and crazy dream vs. throwing it all in and declaring all such dreams ridiculous and unattainable.

Halfway between letting go freely vs. holding and clutching so tight that fingernails leave imprints in palms.

Halfway between wanting to fight and not fail like a quitter who can’t commit vs. finding peace and living potential and purpose and passion.

Halfway between caring and striving and trying and being a pursuer of peace vs. shielding and protecting and retreating so that it doesn’t hurt.

Why is it easy to live halfway life living?

In the middle of purpose. When you don’t choose a side but let yourself hover over the middle spaces. The middle places. 

Deciding to decide when you feel like deciding.  

Then I think. Of this question that I commit to ask next year. On the day of the flaming cake candles.

And I wonder?

What does all out full living look like? What does it mean to go beyond the halfway?

To not live within the tension of the vs.

To stop hovering and hiding.  

Can I do it? Can I tip the scales?

Can the next half be lived whole?

I want whole. I long for whole.  

I think of abundant-life living. I think of grace-filled living. I think of living with no fear of the future. Laughing at the days to come. 

I think of stepping out of the half and going for the full.

In every way. 

Because I know I’ll ask my question again, next year. With the sweet memories of cake and love on my heart. 

“I wonder where things will be at this time next year. I need to remember to remember that I need to ask myself that.”

I’ll think about my year. Year after year. Time after time.

Until I get close to whole.

In every way. 

It will be a mess.

I wonder what that looks like?

A whole glorious mess.

 I want it to look like me.

 

 

 

 

My Anti-Summer Bucket List

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A couple years ago we started a “summer bucket list” with our kids. It was pretty fun, a way to get some ideas going for the summer, letting the kids pick a slip of paper out of the bucket when we needed something to do. Of course there were always a few that I would have to throw back (I mean, you can’t go to Canada’s Wonderland every day). Others I would take out of the bucket when the kids went to bed, and hide away for a few days (Running around outside having a watergun fight every night gets old fast). All in all it’s been a fun little tradition for our family. I realized today that this year I didn’t even pull out the bucket because the adult child now thinks it’s lame, and the 16-year old made her own personal list.

But I miss that old bucket, full of it’s ideas scratched out on ragged-ripped pieces of construction paper. Written in coloured markers by sticky little hands.

So, I came up with a different idea.

The anti-bucket summer list of 2017. 

Just for me.

All the things I DON’T want to do this summer.

How’s that for goal setting?

Here it is, in all it’s cheerful glory:

  • I don’t want to wait until the last week of summer to have fun. There’s only so many beaches, patios and ice cream stores you can visit on August 31st. Stop procrastinating and live summer life.
  • I actually don’t want to go to Canada’s Wonderland. Every ride there makes my head hurt. It’s like paying for a migraine.
  • I’m not going put off spending time with people. Usually, “We have to get together sometime” means “See you in ten years.” I don’t want to have any regrets with the people I love.
  • I’m not obsessing about a clean house. I have all frozen winter to worry about that. For now, grass is welcome on the floors.
  • I don’t want my flowers to die. I won’t be a lazy gardener.
  • I won’t be so hard on myself. I can wear a tank top. I can wear shorts. The earth will still rotate, my camera will not shatter.
  • I’m not going to listen to the people who don’t want to eat dinner outside every night. Outside is our new kitchen.
  • I don’t want to be so testy about all the chip crumbs on the kitchen floor. (That will take some work but it’s doable, the culprit is only home for 4 months.)
  • I won’t be jealous of other people’s summer fun, great vacations, pools, yummy summer food truck treats and life overall. I’m not living a summer of “I wish I had…”
  • I’m not going to rush so much. Seriously. There’s more to be accomplished in thought out intentionality than frantic hysteria. I don’t want to miss life because I’m running through it like a madwoman.
  • I’m not going to feel bad for feeding my creative soul. If I need to pull over and take a picture of a sunset, or pick wildflowers from the ditch, or talk daily about all the fruit stands on the side of the road, and the pick-your-own-fruit farms and lush green vineyards – then I will. No more stifling things that make my heart stir. No more feeling bad for finding inspiration in old barns and strawberry fields.

It’s actually pretty exciting.

All the things that I’m not going to do this summer.

Maybe knowing what you don’t want, helps you accomplish what you do.

Or maybe you’re just sad because your kids don’t want a fun bucket anymore.

Either way, the pressure is off.

I’m ready to live the rest of this summer in all it’s anti-bucket list glory.

Anything you don’t want to do this summer?

 

 

 

 

These are the best days…

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The boy who didn’t give a care in the world for trucks when he was little came home from his really grown-up job this week and told me that he was driving a cement truck that day on the highway. My heart skipped a little beat because when was a little boy allowed to go and do such big things? Who decides that a man-child who still can’t remember to bring up his dishes from the basement, can drive a scary truck full of liquid rock?

This mama just can’t wrap her brain around it all.

The little shy girl gets ready and goes to her new job, outside of the safety of our cozy walls. Learning how to interact with people and to use her shaky, quiet voice in a strange new world where you have to have courage when everything inside you wants to run away and stay in familiar places. But off she goes, with much cheering and pushing and she gets through. She comes home with smiles, and wants to go shop for make-up and get rides to see her friends as she slowly emerges from her cocoon and spreads her wings.

This mama’s heart just wants to hold on.

This mama’s heart has to work hard to let go. 

They have something the world needs from them.

I know this.

I have to share.

I can’t hold them back.

Lately though, all I can think of are popsicle drips and long summer days that I thought might never end, where I likely raised my voice too much and complained loudly about the mud and the mess and didn’t want to go to the pool because I didn’t like how I looked. I know I muttered under my breath and wished for time by myself with no cares in the world.

But now?

I long for those days.

I’d smile at the popsicle stains on the white shirts.

I’d cuddle into the sweaty little heads.

I’d jump in that pool.

I wouldn’t rush them into bed.

I’d read one more story.

I’d hold on as long as I could.

Those were the days of heart growing. Those were the days when little lives looked up with wide-eyes, waiting for voices to speak into their soul and tell them who they could be, and that they were so loved, and that there was nothing they couldn’t do.

Those were the days. 

Now, we have these days.

These days are the sum total of all the days past. Instead of growing, the days feel like they are getting shorter and I never liked subtraction. 

These are the days of releasing. The pride of seeing who they are, alongside the small ache deep down in the heart knowing that they won’t always just be yours.

Understanding that the best thing for them, is not always to belong only to you. And my mama heart is a little lost as I try to figure where I belong in life now, since I’m not a main character on their centre stage anymore. I see if I can make friends, and I think I can maybe date my husband more and it’s like this whole new world that’s a little nice and a little sad all at once.  I don’t leap into it, I just take it slowly so I can still hold on.

I know that what will always keep us together is this love that we’ve grown with.

I know we will always hold on, even as we let go. 

Then I saw a picture my friend posted of a little kiddie pool, with everyone crammed in, freezies dripping and water splashing.

My heart jumped.

THESE ARE YOUR BEST DAYS!

And they are.

And the days will keep getting better as you watch little boys grow up and drive trucks, and little girls play in their band and laugh with friends.

All the days are the best days.

All the days are the hard days.

All the days are about letting go.

The days with popsicles dripping down little chins.

The days with a quick good-bye where you’re left behind.

These are the best days.

 

Slapping Rejection

Slapping

It feels like the little sting you get pulling a big prickly weed out of the garden with dollar store gloves.

Other times it comes as a deep down pang. Your heart dropping 3 stories in a free fall that lands somewhere in your gut.

It’s buried deep.

It rises fast.

Trying to take you down.

Sorry, your project isn’t what we are looking for.

We’ve decided you’re not qualified.

I don’t care about you any more.

There’s no place for you here.

I guess you didn’t get invited.

Rejection.

Smack-dap slapping us in the face, with all our insecurities and self-doubt.

Rejection has been following me around all my life. Waiting and watching for that chance to take me out. It knows my weak places, it knows where I am insecure and what makes my heart hurt. I’m conscious of its attempts on my life and if I’m not careful, it goes after who I am.

Stealth Attacker.

Trying to paralyze me with lies.

You’re not good enough.

Your dreams are ridiculous.

You are unlovable.

You have no value.

Rejection can become the seed in your heart that starts small but soon has you so tangled in a mess of prickly weeds that you can’t move forward. Those weeds trying to take root? You gotta yank those babies out. Weeds cut out the good things that try to grow, strangling the beauty until you can’t see it anymore.

Almost every week, I come face to face with some type of rejection. Don’t we all? It comes in varying sizes and shapes, different circumstances and situations.

But, I am done with it. I’ve come to the conclusion, I’ve made a decision. I’m being proactive.

When rejection slaps me in the face, I’m going to slap it back. 

When the seeds try to grow, I won’t let them take root. 

When I’m told that my writing isn’t good enough, I’m going to submit even more.

When I feel on the outside looking in, I’m going to love instead of resent.

When I feel uninvited, I’m going to reach out.

I won’t let my heart get tangled in the weeds.

A tangled heart can’t beat.

It gets suffocated with self-doubt that tries to take out all it’s light.

No more.

I’m over it.

I belong to my Beloved.

He is mine.

He has a banner over me that is love.

Not a little flag, or a small sign that whispers quietly.

A BANNER.

Of LOVE. 

It shouts and sways and declares over my life.

Greater than any seed of rejection trying to take root. 

When you feel rejected, look to the places where you are most accepted. Those are your havens. When you doubt who you have been created to be, know there is a plan and purpose for your life that is greater than any hurt down deep. When you heart is broken and crushed into a million little pieces, have hope. Don’t let any weed seeds grow, no matter how hard as they try to take root.

Make a choice

Yank them out.

You’ll get through the prickles.

Work through the pangs.

Look up to your banner.

Waving over you.

Shouting.

It’s love.