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Still Waiting

Good at waiting?

Nope. That’s not something I have mastered in my short life here on Earth. It drives me crazy, to know how incredibly calm and patient God is. Immediately, shining the light on my inability to have that kind of supernatural patience, calmness, and respect for each of our unique needs. I don’t care if I’m not ready, I just want to jump right into the middle of it all. My theory is as I run around in the circles of the chaos, I’ll eventually find where I’m supposed to be going. Sounds great eh? Not really, because I have learned through trials (ironically!) that it would overwhelm me and shut me down. It’s too easy for me to withdraw socially, and isolate myself and let myself descend into depression. I don’t want it to be an option for me anymore.  I am attempting to take the refined sugar out of my diet, which hasn’t happened yet…I am learning to fall, but to get back up and try again and again.

This story actually started in earnest probably when I was little, like so much of my story, it has a base in what I lacked. You can read about my foundational issues here.  Since my conversion in 2000, I have been waiting for 17 years to meet the man who would be my husband.

In a few months, I will be celebrating my 42nd birthday, but I never thought I would still be single in my forties. I had it all planned out in my head that I would be married long before I reached my fortieth birthday. On the brighter side, my sister arrived to surprise me for my 40th birthday. She did, and I didn’t even have any time to think because my sister knows how to keep me laughing, smiling and rolling my eyes.

Are you good at waiting?

Probably in some way you are. There’s an ebb and flow to the waiting process. Sometimes it’s hard, I mean it physically hurts and other times a peace flows because remaining in the present moment is exactly that: a present to be aware of what is going on in and around yourself. Getting orientated with your surroundings. Don’t shove me into something I’m not sure about. Just don’t do it. Waiting allows for the slow peeling of who you really are. It shows you the unpredictability of life – doesn’t it? I haven’t always made the best decisions or choices or had the best attitude about living. But I don’t want something like a lack of a husband to stop me from reaching my goal of becoming a published Christian author.

The other thing I have experienced through waiting is that I feel as if I am being punished for something I might’ve done, but it remains invisible to my knowledge. I’m not like everyone else because I am waiting for something that should’ve happened years ago. Anything can and will trigger the brokenness that I carry around in my heart with the belief that I’ve done something wrong. He won’t tell me anything except to remind me to trust and stay quiet, instead of doing what I would normally do, which is be angry and bitter. I’d rather not be constantly tossed into an unending circle of anger because that is what it ends up being.

Yes, we are all waiting for something, it might be a spouse or a healing and you don’t get the reasoning for this season of disappointment and birthdays passing by. Waiting is something that we are familiar with whether or not we believe in something greater than ourselves. But that doesn’t make it easier or does it explain the why’s. It’s this mysterious way of life that some of us have the privilege of going through. There is always the struggle between your desires and His desire in a revolving door of choices that through no fault of your own (sometimes) that can drag you down.

In the end, I am learning that not knowing the mysterious side of life isn’t a bad thing. It depends on my ability to hone the gifts He has given me and concentrate my time on who I am, in spite of what I am not in the eyes of those who put more value in appearance. It’s a token of time that I will not get back, and a place where I can decide what it will look like to me in retrospect.

 

“In repentance and rest is your salvation,

in quietness and trust is your strength,

but you would have none of it.

Isaiah~30:15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

Restless Hearts Anonymous

Like a pendulum, the heart swings from calm to joyful to doubtful.

When I started this blog, its purpose was to build a platform for myself as an author, and that hasn’t changed. But I also want to use what I have experienced to help current and future readers to find a place here at The Broken Tea Cup Blog. In the last year, I have felt the Lord wanting me to speak more about living authentically. Not following the tide of the trends, but truly searching for the uniqueness of who I am, and who you are. Stripping away all that is fake, and coming to terms with you. For all of us to dare to take this road, it is not for the weary, for it will take us down paths we never thought possible.

So each post, I have tried to show I am living authentically, though I know I am still questioning what does that really mean to me. How can I best bring you on my journey, so that you will keep coming back?

So I tried to write a post ALL this week, and nothing was working. I did word association, I journaled, and I talked it out (in my head) as I cleaned my client homes. NOT A THING came to mind that would help. Ugh.

It wasn’t until yesterday that it hit me that I am feeling restless – well my heart is feeling restless. I honestly don’t know what this means. Is my heart bored? Is it needing a holiday? I am in a spot where I don’t really know where to turn to next. Yes, this is the time for prayer, but what happens when I don’t hear Him? Do I fill in the answer in the empty spaces in front of me?

I think I am needing a bit of honesty here.

Maybe I could start Restless Hearts Anonymous….

Maybe they’ll give me my own Wikipedia page about how the Restless Hearts Anonymous started, about its steps, how successful it’s gone on to be. I will be famous. Wow. But I am simply the girl who likes to stay hidden in the background so this could be a problem.

Would you join me in this new movement? I know I am not the only one who has a restless heart.

And I promise pulling the roots of your hair out will not be part of 12 steps to a restful heart.

2

React or Respond

 

When you can’t put your prayer into words, God hears your heart.

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On Wednesday of this week, I got an email from Eddie Bauer, informing that they were giving me a gift card for $30 since it’s been a while since I’ve bought from them. They claim to miss me! I haven’t bought any clothes in over a year, I like clothes, but I always buy way more books and food than I do clothes. For Christmas, my Mom gave me a $40 gift card for a local and very popular second-hand store, St. Vincent du Paul. Most people would probably agree with me when I say their selection and prices are better than Value Village. I am at the point where I really don’t like the clothes I wear. Maybe, I should go to the trouble of printing off this coupon at the library because I don’t have a printer or a mobile phone.

I haven’t found a perfect way to express what may burst into my life, but I’m realizing this is somehow linked to who I am. I am taking off the layers that cover the core of who I am.

Learning who I am

Just when it seems that I am doing pretty good, Lent and spring allergies pop up, like I haven’t experienced in years.

I want to be who I am all the time, but by not eating refined sugar it’s brought up anger that I didn’t think were still there and a situation I tried to push away. Even though I know that life isn’t perfect, I think I expected it to be, and I feel as I am waiting for it to happen. My invisible feathers get all huffed up when someone isn’t as kind or respectful as I would like, but who I am to determine whether I get kindness or respect. Instead, I am being nudged to be the one to show kindness and smiling when I am all out of playing nice with other people.

All of my struggles all of a sudden are magnified a hundred times. This isn’t what living an authentic life is supposed to be. – right?

The Real Deal

I want the real, unrefined, not going to slip through my fingers kind of life. I don’t want a processed life, so instead of a cheap version, it will be filled with the wholeness of who I am. I have this image of me running in an open field but I don’t know my destination. Becoming who I was created to be will not happen overnight. I grew up believing that I would know everything when I was in my twenties, but I don’t know where that belief came from. Becoming an adult hasn’t given me all of the freedom I sought as a little girl. Instead, I think I am realizing that it’s possible, but it may take some time, probably my entire life! But if I can get glimpses of what it looks like, I can keep going back to the map that’s imprinted on my heart.

 

 

 

 

2

Love My Dad

Who you were, who you are and who you will be are three different people –  Author Unknown

 

Your identity is the most valuable part of you, but most of us, some of us have no idea what it is. Knowing who you are minus all the titles we play day in and day out can blur out the truth of your identity. Confusion is a big deterrent and a likely suspect in losing ourselves to the constant swirl of life.

~

As a little girl, I loved the feel of the cool green grass under my bare feet. I believe at the time that I had the biggest backyard than anyone I knew. I could hide in our tree house that existed out of weirdly shaped trees that bordered our property. In the summer, I would walk over the cracks in the cement in our backyard because I never knew for sure if stepping on them would break my Mothers back. Clothes hung on the clothesline overhead. I could go visit my (Hebrew for grandmother) Bubi anytime I wanted. I remember the sand stuck between my toes and ants crawling over the big peony buds right before they would bloom.

Fear that no one wanted me

Ever since I started this blog, I have used each post as a place for my healing. It has become a place where I have been able to share who I am without fear of rebuff of any kind. Finding my identity and claiming it has been a long process. From an early age, I have been shy, preferring to stay close to my Mom.  When I met Jesus, I became more aware of myself, and at times it was extremely painful. Slowly, I would surprise myself at how well I would speak to others. Over time, the shyness that I assumed was a part of me disappeared, as I would go to reach for it. It was my protection over what I felt I couldn’t control. From the world that I had a hard time processing through.

Shyness is a reaction to feeling rejection. This was at first confusing because as that little girl with the ash blonde hair I thought knew who I was. I believed that the shyness was a part of the package of my personality.

If we lived in a perfect world, I would be living my dream. I wanted to be loved. I didn’t know if I deserved it but it was this silent, persistent need that over time gave my credence of what I didn’t see as acceptance. You see I wanted my Dad to see me as a lovable little girl, but what I didn’t know at the time was he didn’t have the skills on how to fill my emotional needs.

It wasn’t until I was in my mid-twenties that I learned that daughters’ need their fathers love as much as we need oxygen to breathe. The extreme anxiety and depression that I struggled throughout my childhood through to my early 30’s. spoke volumes of how I tried to teach myself on how to handle my emotions.  I can’t breathe unless I know my father loves me unconditionally. It was the root. I really believed I was a terrible person.  Desperate, I was for my Dad to notice me. To take an active interest in who I was.

Before I go on, this is not a post to bash fathers because they are hurting too. Too many men are being pushed down, or believe it’s not good to be masculine and to be as they have been created.

As I have learned about all my parts, or at least the ones He has chosen to show me, I have had many aha moments. He has brought clarity into my being, and a peace that is everlasting. And get this! People really do like me.

Knowing who I am, the peace can flow into every part of my being

As a little girl, I desired for my Dad to notice me, to see me and pursue me. I wanted him to be interested in who I was, but as time went by, he did none of what of what was in my heart. So I did the only thing I knew and I began shutting down emotionally, mentally and physically. Instead, I sought out my Dad, I asked him about the rules of Canadian football, what and why he washed his car. Nothing I did got the attention I was desperate to have from him.

It took me a long time to realize I couldn’t change him, no matter how many times I initiated something with him. I had finally got it, that it had never been my job in first place. It was his job as my father to delight in me – as his daughter. To show me his love, protection, values, and everything that was important to him. I wanted to know who he was and is, but that part of his heart to me has never been opened to me.

My Dad is without the skills I need. I believe his own father didn’t give him what he needed as a boy growing up. His own feelings about his Dad (my grandfather) aren’t the memories that you hold close to your heart. Rather they are the kind that you push away, and you let everyone else teach you how to be a man. Yes, we need our parents, a mother and a father to show us how to be a man or woman –  learned from their parents. A family is about love, trust and passing it down because it is good to know that there is a place where all of us can truly belong and be accepted. There is no cost to join, we simply need to be the product of our parents love that is between them. I believe how we are brought up determines a lot of who we become. It guides our perception of the world, it certainly leads mine.

I speak with my Dad once a month, we chat for about 15 minutes on the usual things. I would love to go to visit him but that just doesn’t seem to be his thing.  Does my Dad love me? Yes. I have no doubt that he does, he kind of gives it away in the way his eyes shine and sparkle when he first sees me. This could be a whole other post because I know my heavenly father has and is filling me with what I lack.

I’m not the shy, scared, self-hating little girl with ash blond hair anymore. Nor am I am the girl who hid from her peers. I am not the awkward adult who didn’t feel that she was a full-grown adult and just a child in disguise. Don’t get me wrong there are still times, the child in me comes out and gives a sly smile at those around her, and allows some of them into her heart so that they can see for themselves that God still saves.

7

Seeking Life

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What are you seeking in this life?

Is it beauty?

Is it authenticity?

Is it a relationship?

Is it more money?

Some of us have given up, at least that’s what we tell ourselves, but do we know why? I don’t know about you but I am still trying to seek the life I imagined when I was a little girl. Nothing is turning out the way I had planned it. And somehow it doesn’t seem fair because some people appear to have it all. What do they have what you don’t?

I have this card which I bought years ago, it is a picture of a golf course with an orange-yellow sunset in the background. I had it laminated because of the statement that is below.

 

“There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart…pursue those.”

 

Still, this speaks to me because this is what it’s all about, it’s about finding out what holds your heart and drives you to a place you never thought or even hoped could be possible.

Isolation is my default. I’m happy with a few friends, and I don’t want to be the centre of attention, but ‘people’ still worry about my lack of friends. I love spending time alone in my apartment after a long day of work. I’ve done all the socializing that I can handle for the day. Yet it doesn’t seem to be enough for others. Why do others seem to think if I only have a few friends that it just isn’t enough for them? And it is about them.

Yes, isolation has been a problem and became a safe place for me when I was being bullied in school. It is was also a place where I volunteered to belittle myself because I just couldn’t seem to meet my peer’s expectations of me. Their beliefs became mine, and I struggled to conform myself to their ideals, but I convinced myself somehow that they were right to have the assumptions they had of me.

It’s Easy to Get Sidetracked

Getting back out has shown me that often the people who may be well-meaning don’t necessarily have your best interest at heart because if they did they wouldn’t question what they think you lack. It’s not a want the way they may see it.

I’ve always wanted to live a life of passion, and not in the literal sense of being the typical writer living in poverty. I want to live out my desire as in, actively seeking to follow my heart’s song. What do I most enjoy doing despite everything else that is considered necessary? What do I do when I am supposed to be doing something I don’t particularly like? I want to stay in the sunset that is part of the golf course that’s calling to me. The color of the sunset is the eye of the passion, of your desire, and if you cultivate it – it will grow.

So then, no boasting about human leaders, all things are yours, whether Paul, or Apollo or Cephas or the world or life on death or present or the future all are yours and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.

                                                                                                                                                      1Corinthians 3:21-23

This life of seeking is full of fear, excitement, doubt and hope. There doesn’t have to be a deadline of what you can accomplish, it doesn’t have to stop because you’ve turned a certain age. When it comes to what kind of potential do you have, it can be limitless because all of our desires are in Christ, who is of God. People die, flowers will wilt away, but life, a life lived in Christ never dies.

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Listen to What People Don’t Say

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That can be a hard one, to listen in the spaces that exist and to catch the words that aren’t spoken. Emotions that roll through the unsaid words and still do damage to all the persons involved.

       We are all broken, that’s how the light gets in. Ernest Hemingway

Water leaks out of the pipes and no one sees. The hard edges of rust sit until they are discovered, and with silent gasps of horror and disgust, fear spiraling out of your eyes. The smell of a campfire surrounds the air, burning wood sends out smoke signals. The heat of the fire can’t hide the dampness and the cold wind that dips down onto the ground.

Listen to what they don’t speak, or when their heart breaks

Walking through a shopping mall amidst the older people who sit on the cushions with long faces. They come here every day hoping to fill a hole in their heart. Others are just passing by on their lunch break too busy to look up as they speak with a colleague.

                                                                       Courage, dear heart. C. S. Lewis

What if I failed like I did last time? Already I can hear his voice, saying, “I told you this isn’t your thing.” But he doesn’t understand the desire that lives inside of me. It’s like if I don’t keep trying a part of me will wilt to nothing. There’s no way I can put it into words, I don’t think God has created a way that describes how free and wonderful I feel when I am able to get it right. I want to fly. I want to run away from home, but if I do, will they let me come back? But if I’m truthful, it’s not home anymore. I wish my eyes were able to take pictures of what I see now, and what I am entering into.

She understood that the hardest times in life to go through were when you were transitioning from one version of yourself to another.  Sarah Addison Allen

This transitions part really sucks because I feel like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, it’s so painful. There are people who mean the world to me, but I don’t see their purpose in my life anymore.  I am not the same person anymore, and if I am truthful about the situation, I don’t want to go back. All around me, people are hurting. Not in the same way but sins are overflowing, and there is nowhere to keep the tide from exposing more grief.

A lot of people are afraid to say what they want, that’s why they don’t get what they want.  Madonna

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Living as You Believe

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One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. But to sacrifice what you are and to live without belief, that is a fate more terrible than dying. St. Joan of Arc

As I first read this quote, it is easy to see that Joan of Arc didn’t see it as a sacrifice the way God had called her to live as she believed. Most if not everyone thought she was a little bit loopy, admitting to hearing God speak to her. She was just a poor peasant girl and nothing was expected of her.

Would you be able to recognize it in yourself if you were truly living as you believe?

The first roadblock to that is I don’t know if I even know everything I believe. We are made of up of beliefs, and a lot of those thoughts are toxic. Some have been able to capture what they believe and not let fear get in their way of living. Is that why God takes some people so early in their lives, who in our opinion have just started living. Is it a tragedy or a victory because they didn’t experience the fear to be who they are, and they just expressed themselves as they were called, and with that God was pleased.

If life were that simple, and for some it is that simple. They don’t see the barriers that the majority of us have mounted up in front us. We keep ourselves back from our potential with all our baggage. We all have a dream, and no dream is the same. It might not seem like a vision like you would expect it, but it is because it’s part of your potential. We weren’t given life to be restless, He brought us here on Earth for a purpose.

Joan of Arc

Joan was a peasant girl living in medieval France and believed God had chosen her to lead France into battle and to victory against England. Born around 1412, she was 13 years old, when she first began hearing the voice of God. She had not been taught to read or write, but her pious Mother had instilled in her a love for the Catholic Church and its teachings. Her father a tenant farmer had arranged for Joan to be married at the age of sixteen, but she had already taken a vow of chastity.  Later, she able to convince a local court she should not be forced to accept the match, and successfully won her case. Unfortunately, she was betrayed by her country that she fought to have Charles VII installed in the rightful position as the King of France. She was held in captivity for over a year before she was burned at the stake for false accusations of witchery. She was only 19.

It’s hard to know what Joan was thinking, but from the quote, living as she felt God had told her was all she was interested in doing. Dying for what she believed in was worth the betrayal, by those she had hoped would support her.  Martyrdom is a spiritual gift, but you obviously won’t know if you have it until you actually die for your faith. Joan wasn’t deterred from how Charles VII ultimately deceived her. She believed and lived in the belief God was speaking and directing her actions.

Patriotic flair for God

The majority of us will from die a natural death, and not necessarily for our faith, but it would do us well to consider and remember, what an illiterate teenager in medieval France was willing to do for God. It wasn’t the popular thing to do, no she was expected to marry. Instead of settling for what everyone expected of her, she stood up and rose to grab her potential.