Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Best Costume Yet!!!

I'm not the biggest Halloween fan, in fact before having kids I pretty much boycotted the holiday.  Its a combination of reasons, one of which includes I don't do scary.  I can explain all that another time, because even though I'm not a Halloween fan, I am a fan of dressing up.  I can remember having a dress up trunk when I was 7 years old.

I'm also competitive, so having a chance each year to dress up my stepdaughter, Katie, for her various contests, is fun.  My kids pretty much want the "purchase and wear" costumes at this point and aren't yet ready for the "mom's getting creative" costume, so getting to do fun stuff with Katie is a hoot! I will definitely show some of my favorite costume creations below.

But all of it got me thinking, about why dressing up is so fun.  There are a lot of different reasons, one of which includes being something other than ourselves.  Yes, we are great but its not everyday you get to be a super hero or your favorite celebrity.  So why not?

In real life sometimes we need to get dressed up mentally and be what we hope to be, not what we see ourselves as IRL.  I'm not saying you shouldn't be yourself, but actually find the courage to be the real you.

I have had way too many conversations with people lately who are refusing to give it their best because all the see in the mirror is a loser.   Its not that they don't want to give it their all, its just that they see their lack and can't imagine themselves any more than that.  Its frustrating when I can see the possibilities and I am the only one in that boat.  I know its not just an issue with a few select folks, all of us have areas where we lack foresight into the possibilities of who we were made to be. We get stuck and lost in a self-doubt funk and I say its time to get out!!!

So guess what? Its time to put on the best costume yet!  Dress up like the person you can't imagine being and just pretend you are that person.  Don't let your head game get in the way.  Be that best version of you that looks like fiction and pretend you are dressing up in a costume.  Take it out into the world and see what happens.  You may find that the possibilities others see, the ones that seems fiction in your own mind, really is a reality!

Embrace the best version of you and do what it takes to be that person.  Sure, it takes work, but so does some of those fabulous costumes out there.  You get what you give.

I hope you found encouragement in this and in some of my other posts.  This is really supposed to be a place where people can come and feed their souls. Sure I push us all to grow, but why not?  I don't know who reads these things and I can't possibly personally know each and every person, but I can say I want the very best for you.  Its true.  As promised before you leave, here are some costumes I've made for my sweet Katie, that I will share with you.  There is one or two in here of me as well.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

My Biggest Regret

I can't remember where I was this past week, but something in life sparked a thought that resonated in my heart.  I immediately made a few notes in the notes app on my phone because I knew with my life going a million miles an hour, I would forget this heart moment when it was time to write about it.

Sure enough, I remembered I took notes on what I was thinking in that moment, but remember NOTHING about what inspired me.  

In my 40 years, I have done some stupid stuff.  

I have financial regrets,
moments I took my life in may hands and by the grace of God survived,
I have big regrets like the person I lost my virginity to and having an abortion.
I regret times I didn't go for my goal
and trust me this list goes on, but none of those are my biggest regret.  

My biggest regret is not being me.  Honestly, this regret affects some of the items above.  When I allowed someone else dictate who I should be, I made compromises far greater than the consequences to the poor choice.  I lost a piece of myself.  Public opinion of Carrie seemed to outweigh Carrie.  

That is my biggest regret!  

Carrie Guy might not be famous, trending or going viral, but Carrie is important.  I have value and being myself is so important because God made me like this for a reason.  God doesn't make mistakes.  

So many times I felt conviction about something and when met with criticism or resistance, I caved to public opinion.  What I wanted was to be a virgin when I got married.  After being molested a few times, I wanted a pure relationship built on friendship and trust, not sex.  Even with that, I wanted to be liked, so I gave in and then found myself pregnant.  I had nothing against my baby, but I wasn't in a place to get married and my idea was to have the baby in secret, but once again I was persuaded both by others and fear of public opinion to abort.  Doing what someone else wants leaves us with ammunition later to assault ourselves.

Truth is the only person we have to live with the rest of our lives, is ourselves! If we don't stand up for who we are and do what we know is right or listen to our inner voice we betray the only human who will be with us 365 days a year for every year until the day we die.

Being me is a gift.  Being you is a gift.  Don't forget that.  Each us were made to be different, unique. A world of lemmings and step ford wives is boring and unoriginal.  How are you being you right now in life?  Have you betrayed yourself?  Do you need to take some quiet time and make peace with yourself?  Do you need to connect with your maker and discover who you are?  What were you placed on earth to do, be and share?  Maybe you are trying too hard to be enough that you aren't cherishing just being you.

Stop.  Let's quit the regrets and be intentional to be you.  If you share this regret with me, you may need to take some time to contemplate who that is.  When we practice being what others want, we can lose sight of who we are in the first place.  Let's recalibrate and do it right!

Who's with me? Let hump day be a new day.  You have half a week to do it differently.  Happy Wednesday!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

What Do You See?

This week I got back from a week in Arizona.  My friend and I went on a road trip for our 40th! I forgot how much I loved road trips.

As a kid, I did several with my dad and stepmom.  Military life means moving and it also means being in new, unexplored areas.  Road trips are a great way to experience different cultures see the beauty around us.  Let me say, this trip let me meet people from around the world as well as see some amazing sights! I loved having planned parts of our journey and spontaneous moments that let the road take us on a beckoning adventure.

I also had a lot of time to think, particularly about seasons.  I don't mean fall, spring, winter, summer, but instead life seasons.

I commented to my friend as we started our journey that I didn't take full advantage of the freedom I had before husband and kids.  I just didn't realize how remarkable the freedom to make decisions and be spontaneous really was when I was in my early twenties. I had a lot of fun adventures, so I don't feel I wasted that time, but I just didn't appreciate it to the fullest.

Far too often we set our focus on what we don't have, not on what we have.  In those years, I was desiring a husband and family and the uncertainty of that reality felt daunting and often distracted me from the life before me.  In contrast its easy now to see what I had then as I live life with my family.  I miss my ability to think most days and have freedom to just be, but truthfully I am sure one day I would trade my quiet thoughtfulness for the noise of my children.  Again, its easy to get caught up in what's missing.

Recognizing the value of your current season allows you to be present in life.  As my grandma Pat often said, "You can do it all, just not at the same time."  Living in the now is the best way to get all of the blessing out of life.  Now, I love the connection I share with those who live in my home.  I love seeing the joy of life through the eyes of my kids in places that have become everyday for me.  I love hearing my kids giggle and seeing them just be kids.  I love being a mom! Sure I get overwhelmed or frustrated when I'm being disobeyed, and its easy to desire the freedom that was before they were.  If I focus on what I don't have now, I will miss out on my motherhood that I can never get back.  I can also miss out on the friendship with my husband and the way we co-parent our children.

Having a vacation with my friend was an amazing blessing and break from the norm and it allowed me to remember parts of myself that have been dormant.  It also helped me to feel appreciative for my current life season.  Tomorrow it will no longer be an option, so I best enjoy today to the fullest.

What is your reality?

Are you looking at what's missing or what is there?

There are obviously things we can't control.  Sure, you see your friends with jobs able to spend more on stuff for themselves, but they miss out on the classroom time you have.  Sure, single parenthood is a challenge but maybe you get more time to yourself or alone time with your kids.  I'm not saying ignore the negatives in life and just plaster a Pollyanna face on throughout the day to day, but embrace the beauty of whatever your life is TODAY.  Tomorrow will come soon enough and moving forward is the only direction we can truly go, so if we disengage from today, we will lose it forever!

Take some time to think about what you have now?  How can you appreciate it more than you currently do?  Happy contemplating!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Its Okay To Cry

The past few weeks have been an emotional roller coaster.  Tonight, I leave for a road trip with my friend as we celebrate our 40th birthday and last week I was at Disneyland.  The week before that I turned 40 and had a surprise gift in the arrival of my mom from my dad and stepmom! In that same time frame, I watched my dad preach his last sermon and then said goodbye to all three of my parents.  My mom flew back to Ohio and my dad and my step mom who have lived 2 miles or less from me the past 15 years are moving to Texas. Its been A LOT! I am an emotional girl so you bet I cried.  Its how I roll.  I feel and process emotions and that isn't changing.

The thing is I'm often embarrassed by my public displays of emotion and truthfully I don't need to be!

I was encouraged the other day in my Bible reading.  I came to John 11.  Its the story of Lazarus which I have read countless times, but in this emotional time of life, I found solace in verse 35, the shortest verse in the Bible - "Jesus wept." 

Jesus was friends with Lazarus, Jesus knew he was going to bring him back to life, but knowing he would see Lazarus in fifteen minutes didn't keep him from crying for a friend.

I hate when people tell me not to cry because at least they aren't dead or I'll see them again or whatever silver lining someone wants me to see at that moment.  I'm allowed to cry.   Guess what, so are you! Maybe you aren't a crier, but truth is you probably know one.  They will be okay.  Its okay to cry! Its more than okay, its actually good!  I've had people approach me wondering how I am and the truth is, I'm fine.   Processing emotion simply means I'm connected with my reality.  If we ignore our feelings, they don't go away, they get worse.  When we fail to process emotions they fester and come up when we least expect it emotionally and even physically.  Face reality - its a must for emotional, physical and spiritual wellness!

Thank you Jesus for the encouragement of that short verse.  Jesus loved and so he felt loss.  (Did you see the period there).  He didn't have to cry, because he was about to raise Lazarus from the dead, but he loved his friend, so he cried.  I stated that twice so you wouldn't miss it.

We can't live in emotions but we must process them.  Those are two different things.  Are you avoiding any hard emotions that you need to face?  Maybe you can find encouragement in John 11.  I'd love to hear from you!!!

Happy Wednesday!!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

4 Life Lessons from Frozen

As you read this, I am at Disneyland (well you know if you read this when I post it, otherwise who knows where I am when you read this).  For some time, I have been making note of life lessons from the Disney movie, Frozen, as it is my three-year-old's favorite and I've seen it more than I can count.

So while I wait in line for my daughter to get her picture with Anna and Elsa,  you can enjoy the deep thoughts this mom thought after her 300th time watching Frozen!

So here we go...

1. Rejection isn't always about you - 

I know you have to watch a Disney movie a lot to put yourself in the characters' shoes, but I really feel bad for Anna.  She has a best friend in her sister and then one day its gone.  Her parents die and she's alone and lonely.  She has no idea why Elsa won't engage with her and as we all do when we don't know the answers we fill in the gaps with guesses.  Obviously, Anna never guessed the truth was what it actually was, but in our own lives when we get rejected or treated badly we often ask what we have done wrong when truthfully more times that not it has NOTHING to do with us! In the case of Anna, she was asking and no one was telling her anything, but most of us never ask, we just assume.  We all know assuming makes an ass of u and me, right?!  So please get more information!!! Quality relationships that are worth it!

2. We aren't meant to do it alone - 

Even after Elsa's secret gets out and she sees what she is capable of she's still motivated by fear and hell bent on doing it alone.  So many of us are independent and that is great, but we all need others.  Some of us have more relational needs than others and I know when we are scared or ashamed of our reality our knee jerk reaction is to push everyone away, but that is NEVER the answer.  When you are in a bad place, you need to lean into trusted family and friends.  Isolation makes things worse not better.  I see it happen all the time so its not just Elsa's problem.  If you see someone in your life pulling away, reach out.  You can't make them do the right thing but you can do your part to remind them you are there.

3. Fear is never a good motivator - 

Whenever fear is motivating us to do life, we will end up in a mess - guaranteed!  Fear is a recipe for disaster.  Love is in fact the only thing that can conquer fear.  That was a fact long before Frozen came out.  In fact the Bible shares this truth over and over again!  God is love (1 John 4:8) and perfect love drives out fear (1 John 4:18).  It is important to ask yourself what is driving your life.  If you ever answer fear, its time for a pit stop to regroup and overcome that fear before moving forward.

4.  Being Yourself Isn't Enough -

When Elsa finally shares her secret she feels a sense of freedom.  She let's it all go (well thats what the song says).  She feels a freedom to finally give into her power.  The thing is, she still isn't free.  The ice making fun ends when she realizes she's left everyone in a winter world and accidentally freezes her sister's heart.  When this happened she made herself the monster instead of realizing that freedom isn't in being whatever we are, but learning balance. She was never meant to hide it or fully give into it, but to balance it.  When she learned how to control it with love, she finally found the balance.  She had freedom to be herself and the relationships and love she needs.  Instead of making herself the enemy, she needed to make the problem the problem and find a solution.

I was able to relate to this with my own anger.  I am a passionate person and its got some great benefits and liabilities.  So instead of pushing others away and trying to be something I'm not, I have to find out what works for me and keep working on it until I get it right.  What works for me may not work for someone else and visa versa which is why comparison is so often an enemy.  We need to be us, but we also need to be in community and find a way to bring us to society.  That takes love, work and discipline, but its worth it!