Making Excuses

Do you ever say yes to plans and then immediately feel sick knowing you’re committed to going? Yes, this thing sounds so fun, just what I’ve been looking, waiting, and wishing for, but now I’m having a mild panic attack. I do this all the time. I overthink all the ways that I could be awkward, unqualified, or unpolished, and begin to form excuses for why I just shouldn’t go at all.

This past week was a week of excuses. I was invited to a blogger meet up with some incredibly beautiful and creative women from Champaign. I’ve never been to anything like this and was crazy excited to meet women just as passionate about blogging and life as me. But soon I could feel the excuses starting to build:

I have nothing to wear.

They have thousands of followers on Instagram.

I need a hair appointment.

I have homework.

Maybe I should vacuum the whole house.

And hey laundry, I see you.

All of the ridiculous excuses were flowing now and I was talking myself out of going.

But I went, and I’m so thankful I did! These women were just like me with chaotic schedules, kids at their ankles, stresses at work, and insecurities of their own. They understood. I understood. And we shared and laughed and connected.

Making excuses is really easy and it’s even easier to give into them and give up on the things that can change your heart, change your situation, or maybe even change your life. So let’s make less excuses and take more steps towards the things that move us and scare us. We should let our hearts get stirred up. Let’s let them race because we’re challenging our normal rhythm. Because it’s in those places that we find truth, we find strength, we find trust, and we find love. It’s in those places that I found a cup of tea, blog ideas, cupcakes, and a table of women that are just like me.

Starving

Sometimes I can’t sleep at midnight and I find poems and quotes that ignite writing ideas and projects to help me love people better.  This is my initial take on an excerpt from Ann Voskamp’s book, “The Broken Way.”   But then I dug in and asked some questions on Instagram, and had somewhat of a change of heart. I got answers I expected to get, and some I didn’t.  Some answers made me sad, and some filled me up.  I’m starting to put those pieces together and I still don’t have a real title for this little project, so, for now, I’m just going to call it, “Questions & Answers.”  Below are my thoughts right after reading Ann’s post, but I know now that I have so much more to consider.

How are you…for real…like really?

How’s your plate?

We are starving.

Our plates are full, yet we are starving.

We all have heaping plates. Our plates are piled high with standards, overflowing with agendas, and teeming with fear and lies. Yet here we sit at the table with our bellies already full of mistakes and messes that are eating away at us and we’re too afraid to purge them. So we starve.

The act of purging our messy lives and letting our vulnerabilities flow out is yuck, and we certainly don’t want anyone watching while we do it. It’s the bringing back up of all the junk and nastiness that’s been sitting inside us that we haven’t been able to get rid of. No one is pretty when they throw up. So we just try to hold it all in.

But when we don’t empty our bellies we can’t touch our plates. They just continue to pile while we sit hungry.

When we don’t pour out our hearts even just a little-broken piece at a time, we can’t feast at the communion table and we miss the meal of freedom. We miss the freedom that is found in being seen, heard, and understood by another brave soul because we think it’s so much easier to hold in our struggles and hurts and sins.

But is it really…like really?

No, it’s really not. 

We are actually starving ourselves of bearing with one another (Ephesians 4:2, Romans 15:7, Hebrews 10:24). We have each other for a reason.  We were given mouths to speak truth, grace, and healing on behalf of others.  We were given hands to hold up faces, place on shoulders, and to pull others out of darkness.  So we cannot be afraid to share our broken places.  We cannot be afraid to bring up the bad to make room for the good. We cannot be afraid to be vulnerable because we are all starving.  Not one of us can feed ourselves so we must lead each other to the only one who can fill us up.