What Are You So Afraid Of? A Lesson From Public Embarrassment

If you know me outside of the internet, you know that graceful isn’t really a word I’d use to describe myself. For instance: last week, I walked into a screen door. I was leaving Bible study, and I wasn’t paying attention. I had to leave early; so, naturally the rest of the room was quiet and could hear something happened. Instead of keep walking, what did i do next? I stopped and announced to the entire room that I walked into the screen door. I walked out laughing hysterically because this is my real life, friends.  I have learned to laugh at those not so graceful moments. It seems the more frequent they are, the easier that becomes. Embarrassment is a part of life.

It’s more than just having those awkward moments. Embarrassment is awkwardness, shame, and self-consciousness all rolled into one anxious ball. In my life, I’ve found I can handle awkward. I laugh it off and move on, but it’s different for self-consciousness and shame. Those two emotions are so deeply intertwined with my journey. So, if you’d like to hear more of my awesome awkward stories, message me. I’ve got plenty. Those are also the safe and easy stories to tell. Well, real change comes from moving out of the safe and comfortable. I don’t share this story for pity or for people to trash talk the other parties involved. I’m sharing it because I know I am not alone in my experience, and I firmly believe there are people reading this who feel alone. People who have been there or are there now, and it’s time to leave that place.
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The Halfway Life & Wanting More

Guess how many partially full water bottles are in my car right now? More than I want to admit. I know I’m not alone in that. As much as a few water bottles in my car are not the end of the world, it is a sign of a habit gone rampant in my life.

I grew up dabbling in sports, music, and theater, but I wasn’t good enough to be great in any of them. In school, I’d put in just enough effort to be good enough when a little bit more would have made me excel. When I worked in real estate, both of my positions got half of my attention. This meant neither of them went as well as they could have if they had my full attention. Even right now,  my room is halfway clean, my laundry is only partly done, and I have two other posts semi-written and not ready for posting. This is just life.

However, if I order a full pizza, it would be unacceptable for them to deliver only half. If I buy a pair of shoes, I expect to take both shoes home. When I go to my incredible stylist, I would never allow her to only do part of my hair or shape one of my eyebrows(She would also never do this to me).  If a good song is playing in the car when I reach my destination, you better believe I’m waiting until it’s finished to exit my vehicle.

Why then am I okay with not holding myself to that standard ? How can I live with the hypocrisy?

Because it’s safer. It’s not better, but it’s easier. I pride myself on being long-suffering, and for most situations that’s true. I’m pretty patient with people. I can wait out long lines. It takes a lot for me to really lose my temper with someone. There’s an exception. When it comes to myself, I’m quick to give up. I don’t have a lot of faith in myself; so, I always set myself up to have a quick exit strategy.
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And that’s the mindset I’ve had with this nutrition and fitness journey so far. I started the program about three weeks ago, and I started out strong. Little by little, my effort faded. It was easier to take a few shortcuts. Even then, I was still seeing progress. This weekend, I gave up. I hit the “what’s the point?” mindset. I was about two minutes from messaging my coach that I was done, canceling my subscription for shakeology/workouts and throwing in the towel. Let’s be clear. My giving up was 100% about me and 0% about the program. Things were actually going well.  I have lost over 5 pounds and a few inches in three weeks(keep in mind that’s three weeks of half effort) and more importantly, I have felt better. I don’t struggle to get out of bed every.single.morning. I don’t have an energy crash by 2:30pm and drag myself through the rest of the work day. I can focus in conversations. I’m off one of two medicines.

Then, I decided I wasn’t good enough to do this well. I was three weeks in and hadn’t even made a single post about it. It took Holy Spirit conviction for me to even bring it up beyond a few hashtags on Instagram. You know why? Fear. I realized I had been avoiding posting because I was afraid. What happens if I post, tell everyone about this whole health and wellness thing, and then I fail miserably? People will know. When people know, it means I can’t hide. I will be constantly reminded of it. The problem is that not sharing what I’m doing  also makes it really easy to give up and avoid the encouragement and accountability I need to be successful. Tonight, this is what I decided.
I would rather be constantly reminded that I tried my best than reminded that I gave up on a great opportunity but not even really trying. 

From here on out, I promise you two things 1) honesty. I’ll be sharing more about my life, what led me to this quest of health and nutrition. I won’t sugar coat things. On days I struggle, you’ll know. If I’m not about getting to half my weight in water that day or I try some new foods that tastes disgusting, you’ll hear about it. If I hit a plateau and get frustrated, I’ll be honest. If I avoid posting for a few days, I’ll fess up to it and commit to doing better. 2) To do this for real. No more halfway life.

Because I owe it to you to be honest, and I owe it to myself to see what happens when I give myself the effort I deserve.

In the same boat? You don’t have to be alone either. Looking for honesty and accountability? Let’s talk.
Bekks (1)

Clean Slate

A few weeks ago, my laptop decided to become slower and slower until I just gave up using it. Call me old fashioned, but I just prefer my laptop to my iphone for most things. After all of the trouble shooting my novice skills could muster, I went to a professional. He said I would need to install a new hard drive. They could save my documents and photos, but all of my settings would be wiped. I’d have to start over.

I had spent so much time, literal years, establishing the shortcuts, organizing my bookmarks, cleaning out all of the default junk no one really uses.  Everything was in place, organized, and comfortable, and this guy was going to destroy that.
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You could have missed this.

Psalm 27:13 has been a verse that has stuck with me for most of 2017. ‘I would have lost hope if I did not believe that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.’

Someone referred me to it back in March, when my life  was kind of a total mess. My anxiety was out of control, I hated my job, and  I just left a group I had loved, but it started to do more to damage my soul than help it grow. Not to mention my best friends lived hundreds of miles away.  All I wanted to do was get out of this place and start over, to the point where I almost accepted a garbage job I would have hated just to escape.

Then, I took the chance and did something out of the normal. I drove, by myself, to a worship night over an hour away hosted by a group I didn’t know. I finally get to the place, and don’t see the car of the two people I would have known. My anxiety was to a point where I almost drove an hour, sat in the parking lot for another 15, and was deciding to not even go in- and to just go home. As my last resort, I said: “okay, God. If this is where you want me, someone else is going to come in the next five minutes, and I’ll go in when they do. If not,I’m going home.” Barely a minute later, a car pulls in, and a girl gets out. So, I casually walk in as she does( creeper moment. I know.) We chatted it up for a bit, and that was pretty much it.

Who knows why she was late. Maybe she worked late. Maybe she stopped for coffee or couldn’t find her phone. Neither of us knew at the time just how significant God was going to make that moment in our lives.Next month, when worship night came around, I remembered thinking, “at least that girl will be there, too.” We introduced each other to our friend groups, and the rest is history.
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[26/52] Adventure is out there, and this year, I found it!

As 2017 comes to a close, we all get a little contemplative. Every year, I make some pretty lofty New Year’s resolutions. This year was full of a lot of unexpected moments. Looking back at those resolutions, there isn’t one that I actually kept.  The difference between this year and other years is that instead of disappointment, I’ve found gratitude.  There’s not an ounce of regret for how my year turned out. I’ve loved Disney’s Up since it came out;so, I called my January 1, 2017 post “Adventure is out there.” Instead of completing a checklist and doing things that really meant nothing, I really found adventure.
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That quote was in a message a friend preached that God used to spark it all. I was in a complacent situation. I knew God was calling me to act, but I was staying put out of fear. The words she spoke were the flashing neon sign I had been insisting God had to send me. Looking back, I spent 2017 learning how to fly. I took a leap of faith in leaving an organization in which I spent years investing in its mission. I ventured away from the familiar and comfortable and found friends I couldn’t imagine this year without, people who are good stewards of my heart and commitment to following Jesus. I left a good job with no plan of what would be next out of obedience, and God blew my mind with what He had waiting for me. I get to see kids inch closer and closer to healing every single day. My new to me car is better than any of the types I was researching.

2017 was nothing like I imagined it would be, and I couldn’t be more thankful.  I look back and see God lining up of His great puzzle where I was distracted by just a few pieces. Here are a few of the big moments.Untitled design

I might not have kept any of those resolutions, but 2017 has been full of moments where God has shown Himself faithful over and over again. He doesn’t just meet our needs; He exceeds them time and time again!He’s just getting started. I know that He holds even better things in store for 2018, and I can’t wait to see what this coming year will bring.

bekks

The Greenhouse Project Part 1: Preparation not Permanent 25/52

Here’s another book that found me. It came as a free copy in a leader’s gift bag from some conference. The Greenhouse Project is about the cultural shift that needs to happen in modern day youth ministry.

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A greenhouse isn’t meant to protect a plant forever. It’s a temporary place of preparation for surviving in the elements. The church is not meant to be a building where we as believers hide and wait for Jesus’ return.  It’s meant to be a place where we gather to prepare ourselves to reach others for the sake of the Kingdom.
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Letting Go Of Plans.[24/52]

If you know me, you know I’m a planner. I may not always be organized, but I like lists, plans and goal settings. For people like me, it’s sometimes so incredibly difficult to let go of our plans. Earlier this summer, I made my list of how this was going to be the best summer I’ve had in a long time. 16 things I was going to do. This summer ended up completely different than I planned.  I was going to just ignore it. Pretend that post never even happened. Maybe even delete it and sneak a boring post in that no one would notice and that I’d hopefully forget was a replacement. However, reality is a thing, and hiding from it doesn’t change the truth.

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