Opening Gifts.

I read Sarah's post this morning and it really got me thinking.  I completely understood what she meant about exposing those deep places about her heart through writing and learning more about herself in Christ.  

I totally get her, I feel her, I am that person.  

If you've ever crossed this space, I hope you've never taken what I've written as pointed at someone else (well, except for the occasional Mama A blogs--which I consider life application reads that we should all pay attention to unless we want to live with huge social embarrassment).  I have always written these things as encouragement to myself first--and then placing my discoveries and the Truth here in hopes that someone else might need the encouragement as well.  

One of the things Jill and I would speak about was the need for more people to be transparent.  If you knew Jill, you knew she never wasted time in the trivial details when speaking to her friends (aka everyone).  In this world it is so easy to get the wrong idea about someone because of what we project on social media sites.  Everything's great on Facebook, we tweet our recent successes, and we Instagram our perfectly filtered photos of the wonderful and fun things we are doing and eating.  We use our blogs to share our homes and lives and children and photos and all of the good things we want to show the world.  We say we are fine, we smile when we walk in the building, and we never want people to see our underwear and the junk we are carrying in our baggage.

There are many times I write posts and I almost cringe when I hit publish because I am scared of what people will have to say about it.  I often want to hide behind my words and I want to put disclaimers on my posts to avoid hurt feelings.  But, I also stand behind what I say and I have rarely taken any posts down.  When I actually remove a post, it's because I realize that I didn't write them in a way that reflected my heart.

I don't want this space to be a place where I just quickly unload.  I truly use it to expose the deepest parts of my heart.  I learn more about myself and my faith when I put it down into words.  I always have my greatest moments of discovery as I'm in the middle of my posts.  I often forget that others read what I write, and I'm often surprised when someone tells me that they read this blog.

Sometimes it's awkward to be me--to be this emotional, deep-feeling mess of a person.  To painfully feel the fleshy and personal side of me and need to put it out on display.  I've always been communicative of my thoughts--whether it's written down or on my face.  I don't mask my feelings well, and those who know me best always know what I'm thinking because I'm going to tell them.  It can be weird to wonder what people think when I post certain things, and I know that a particular post may be their first visit to this space.  I especially get nervous when they read the darker posts--do they think I'm crazy, depressed, and/or overly-emotional?

But, I ran across this on Facebook this week--something along the lines of:

What someone else thinks about you is none of your business.  

I think it may be one of the most brilliant things I've read in a long time. 

The truth is, I write in this space for me.  I write in this space because God puts things in my heart that I must write down.  I can't explain it, I don't always understand it, and I sometimes don't even want to write it.  But, it's often the very itch that needs scratching and I know what it's like to feel at peace when I have written what must be written.  I write for my soul's healing, I write to discover more about my Lord and the grace He's given, and the peace I'm finding each day.  I write to remember these highs and lows.  I write to document where I've come from and where I'm headed.  And I write because I think it's a gift because it brings me pleasure.  

And I think when I write the Truth, it brings Him pleasure as well. 

Sometimes we are so afraid to talk about and share things we believe we're gifted at.  We don't want to come across the wrong way and we are fearful that people will disagree whether we are gifted at something.  I think there is a big gray line between being talented and enjoying the gifts we've been given.  There are many things that I enjoy that I'm not necessarily gifted at--for example, I like attending sports events, but don't ever give me the ball.  Often the fear of failure swallows my attempts at things I feel called to do.  But, I need to keep remembering that it's not about what others think--it's completely about what He's leading me to do.  

It brings me pleasure to write, it brings me pleasure to be involved in musical activities, it brings me pleasure to see trees with twinkling lights.  I am not the best writer, I am not the best musician, and I am not the best decorator on the planet--but those are gifts for my pleasure.  I find joy in those things, I find peace in those things, and I find life in those things.  

Each one gives me an opportunity to learn more about myself and the goodness of the Father.    

And that, dear friends, is a gift.         

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