Short but sweet

I talk a lot about peace. Peace of mind, peace in our bodies, and peace with others. I don’t always have peace though. And that’s okay.

There are times when I feel completely covered in peace, and then there are days when I am so far from it, that I question things. I analyze things, and am concerned with how one moment I may feel satisfied and content, and the next I am let down or worried, discouraged or upset. I am rarely in that place of struggling, and frustration about feeling so incomplete and alone, yet at times I am there. We all are. We all come to a place where we may feel discontent and discouraged. We all have days that rock our world, small or large. But what I know so well, is that we will never feel complete peace. Complete peace, as in always with you, never without it kind of peace. It doesn’t exist. Yes, maybe in a moment of meditation, prayer, reuniting with a friend or family member, a test result that is good news, or a new opportunity that shows us good things are on the way. But it’s all momentary and fleeting. There will always be something that will take us from that moment of peace and joy. There will always be something, or someone that lets us down.

What helps me shift gears when things are difficult, is to realize that it is momentary, and that it will not be the same tomorrow. One, I have a choice in matter, when I wake up each day, to choose to see things differently, to embrace change and uncertainty, or to forgive what has happened and move on. I have a choice and only I am responsible for that. A friend taught me this over 25 years ago. It was life changing . I know that sounds dumb, but I had never been taught the concept, and never knew I had the power to change the trajectory of my day or even my life. He ( Tony that’s you. smile. ) told me that I had no control over anything and I wasn’t responsible for anyone else’s feelings. The only thing I have control over is my attitude. A light bulb went off. For real. It was a moment for me that shifted my way of thinking and being, and I still have to remember it to this day.

I am a people pleaser. I say yes, when I want to say no. I try to make others content and happy before my self. (news flash, I can’t “make” anyone happy.) I run toward problems thinking I can fix them, and want everyone to experience peace, and feel content and cared for. Yes, those are good things, but not when you haven’t cared for yourself. I can’t be any good to anyone for the long haul, when I am tapped out, (not realizing it at all) and not when I am lacking peace. I certainly have figured this out over the last 25 years, but it is a never-ending progression with me.

I am always about helping others, (especially my husband and children) find peace. But what I do know, is that I have to take care of myself first, and realize that the peace I have is fleeting. The peace they will have is fleeting. And that’s okay. What I need to do, by example, is choose to fix my mind on greater things, and to let go of all else. My peace comes from one source truly, and that is God. How can that be you ask, If you don’t always have peace? Well, the deposit of peace, in a second from Him, into my mind, body and spirit, remains with me more than a moment. It fills me to a point of unexplainable joy. In a moment, (just a moment) I experience peace that covers me for days and months on end, if I am lucky. In a moment, I am shown grace, love, mercy, compassion and peace on a level you wouldn’t think possible. It’s a tiny glimpse of heaven, given to me, to share with others. Why isn’t it constant? Why is it unattainable at times, most times, when I need it, and feel desperate for it? Maybe because I forget the source. Maybe because I have built up unintentional walls of business, expectations, being stretched thin, and thinking I can do all things and be all things when I can’t. You forget the source? You know the source. How do you forget? I don’t quite forget, I forget the POWER of the source and without realizing it, I become a bit empty and dry. I become like the creek in the forest that slowly dries up in need of a water. I forget that there will be a new day full of rain from above, creating a waterfall that will flow down into the slivers of cracks in the thirsty dry creek. I forget that I am like that creek. I develop cracks and crevasses that leave me empty, and lifeless at times. But when the rain comes and water flows and the life source for plants and animals and creation are again refreshed and renewed, so will I be, by the life source I wait on, in hopes of renewal and growth. I know it will come, and I know it may take time. Yet, I know that when it does, I will find newness. I will find life again. I will find the gift of peace, maybe in just a moment. Peace to share and let flow to those I know. Peace that I will recognize and choose to see, and allow to sustain me another day. Maybe another season even. If I’m lucky. But I choose.

If we are lucky, this peace will last for a long season. But it will be just that. A season like the seasons we experience in nature. It will come and go and leave us when least expected. We will be blown away when it leaves us, just as the leaves of a tree are blown away in the fall. We will feel cold and alone, bare and raw in a difficult season, just as the tree in the winter looses its flowers and leaves, to be stark and looking lifeless. We will experience growth and newness in beautiful ways, shining like a light for others to see, just as the little green leaves appear, with lovely fresh blossoms bringing beauty and color on a tree in the spring. We will find comfort and rest, rejuvenating our spirits and preparing for the next season in life, just as the tree in the summer that stands tall and strong, looking complete and full of life. We all go through seasons just as all of nature and creation. What I have learned and am learning, is to continue to sway and move, and allow change to happen naturally. I have learned that in all things, tomorrow is a new day, and I have the gift of looking at it, as that or not. I have the gift of creating what I want each day in my mind. I chose to be flexible, forgiven, better than, humble and kind. I chose to see the goodness in all things or not. I chose. Do I fail? Yes. Am I always at peace? No. Do wake up and give thanks and shift my thinking for a new day? Yes. I do. I do so, because some days, that is all I can do. Peace is fleeing here in this life. Like everything else, for now, here in this realm, it is far from permanent and far from perfect. Maybe in moment it will be perfect, and that my friend is a gift, a rare and beautiful gift from God.

I pray you find peace today. I pray you know it’s source, and I pray you know that if you don’t find it today, it will be waiting there for you tomorrow.



About 15 years ago, we were watching old family movies, when we came across one, where my older daughter was saying, “My mommy is really comfy. I love my mommy, she’s so comfy.” She was as sweet pie, as soft as butter, smiling with her golden curly hair, and big bright brown eyes, expressing her love and contentment, with the word “comfy”. Comfy can be used in many positive ways, as a slang for the word comfortable. Comfier and comfiest sound so inviting and peaceful, and may even leave you with an image of a perfectly puffed up white pillow, inviting and waiting for you to melt your body right into it. The word “comfortable”, may leave you with a different feel and idea. It does for me, and in some ways, I don’t like the idea of being comfortable. Maybe it sounds like things are the same, boring, or too easy. Maybe it’s because my life really has never been comfortable, and I just can’t relate to it. Well, in some respects it’s true. But I, like my little girl, like things to be comfy. Maybe not comfortable, but comfy for sure.

What in the world does that mean? For me, an introvert, it means a lot. I figured out, about 8 years ago after reading the book Quiet, that I am an introvert. And what a relief it was to know I wasn’t alone! I wasn’t the only person who at times, needed to be alone in order to recharge my mind and spirit, after being with people. I wasn’t the only person, that when surrounded by large groups of people, felt the very air I was breathing, suck right out of me, to the point where I would feel weak and faint. I wasn’t the only person that walked circles around a party, smiling, trying to look like I was social and having a good time, only circling, because I was either nervous, uncomfortable, or overwhelmed by the whole thing. I’d excuse myself to go to the restroom, (that I didn’t need to use)  just to hide behind a door to take a few deep breaths, so I could walk back into a busy, chatty crowd. I’m not just an introvert, but an introvert wrapped with a bow of anxiety. Not so much now, but in my 30’s,  – Yes way! Now that I know this though, it’s a bit comforting to realize it’s not just me, and that I have friends in this same camp, and they are not odd or weak, (like I thought I was), but rather just made differently, with different life experiences, and different ways of being, that either naturally or unnaturally shaped them to be just the way they are. But this, this way of being, is not “comfy”. It’s actually uncomfortable to say the least.

What is comfy then? To me, comfy is a place in my mind and spirit that comes about when my life is at ease. It may be snuggled up next to my husband on the couch, where he sweetly massages my feet without my asking. ( I’m spoiled. I know.) Comfy is when everything is going smoothly in my life. When hugs are poured out on me, and kisses are shared spontaneously. Comfy for me, when my husband and I are in that sweet spot, and on the same page about things. Comfy in my world, is when homeschooling the kids is challenging, yet not difficult, when my children are happy , the bills are paid, my family and friends are in good health. When yoga and long runs are part of my week, my relationships are healthy, and life is just cruising along to a Bob Marley beat. Yeah, that’s comfy. That’s really comfy. I love that! But that’s not real. And most times, it only lasts for a season. Maybe even, only a month or a week. Maybe a day. Or, like a hiccup, it’s there yet before you know it, it’s gone. Because somewhere down the road of reality, we are all definitely made aware of the fact that our lives are not at all comfy.

In the last few weeks, I have talked with many close friends, family, and met more people than I could have ever imagined, that are struggling with anxiety, sickness, stress or very difficult home lives. I’ve talked to more friends recently, more than any other time in my life, that are feeling isolated and alone in their minds, and day-to-day lives, because of what they are dealing with. They don’t know what to do, or how to articulate their worry and fears, in a world where we all look like we have it together. If you go by FB, Instagram, or Snapchat, or whatever other social media you dive into, you’d think we all are living in a perfect world. But life is far from perfect, and yet we somehow think that someone else is living it.  How can we possibly speak of our own worries and troubles, when no one else is speaking of theirs? We live in a time where we all appear to be content, and on top of the world, through social media. But, if someone could see things through our own lens, they would see that at times, we all feel less than, anxious or even alone. They would see our troubles and difficulties, and not feel so alone. I know you’ve heard this. We all talk about how we should spend less time on our devices. We know we should put down our phones, and look up and around. We know we need to be more present with our friends and family, truly giving them our complete attention. Psychologists, teachers and professionals are all talking about it. We even tell our friends, and families this, yet we get sucked right back into the cycle of it all. The moment we see the our feed, wall or snap we are in competition mode no matter how you cut it. And that’s a stress whether we are aware or not, in some way we are part of the cycle. It’s not all bad, I’m not saying that. I love the articles, foodie posts, exercise challenges, ideas for decorating and design and gorgeous, tempting food pics. I know, I just said that. I love food!  It’s not all negative. That’s definitely not what I’m saying. But if we compare ourselves to the perfect pictures, that were taken 10 times over, for the ultimate post, while edited, cropped and filtered, we will be a bit let down, and left with an image that is very hard to live up to, during our not so comfy days.

The super cool things is, that we were made to be wiser and smarter than all this. Computers and technology have nothing on us! Our minds and spirits are so powerful and amazing, that if we take time to back away, clear our minds, recharge, and look up and away, we will know exactly what to believe and not believe. Maybe not entirely at times, but we will have a nudge, or gentle push in our spirits, that if we listen and follow, we will find what is real and right in time. We are all starting to get, that this fake, perfectly crafted world we see before us, is just that. Fake. Not fake, as in not happening, because what you see is happening, it’s just not the whole picture.  Years ago, I posted a picture of my husband and I on a date, looking happy, and giggling, while having a drink outdoors on a perfectly sunny, beautiful day. It was beautiful indeed. We were having fun, for sure! He looked so handsome, and I was in a sexy dress, (he thought so), and the night was amazing. That’s what people saw. But what they didn’t see was what happened after a phone call, right before getting home, (about to be the best part of our date – insert smile) that quickly spiraled our evening, because of a difficult family incident.  So to some, that quick picture, taken in a flash of moment, on our “perfect” looking date night, was perceived  as the reality of our every day life. It was a glimpse into our life, for sure. But that only told one fraction of it. You get me. We all have this in common, because our lives are not a snap shot. Our lives are anything but that. Anything but comfy. Of course, we wouldn’t share our worst days for the world to see, but I do hope we share. I do hope we talk, and communicate in some way, of the troubles, and difficulties we face. I do hope we get together with our friends, (even at a party, wall to wall with people where you want to hide in the bathroom for a moment just to breathe haha, just me) or just one on one, over coffee or whatever, to just get vulnerable, and real enough to let others know that they are not alone. And not just in the typical way of sharing, where you still need to keep it all appearing as if you have it together, but in a way of being totally real and authentic about your life. Your amazing, sweet moments matter. Your high points need to be shared. We need to see the good in all things. BUT, we all need a reality check in person, face to face, to share the difficult, sometimes awful, stressful, messy moments of our lives.

We all have friends with addictions, depression, sickness, anxiety, eating disorders, financial troubles, struggling marriages, fears of failure, insecurities, hopelessness and loneliness, Don’t you?  If you don’t think you know these people personally, I ask you to ask a friend. If you think that this is a downer, too negative, or that this couldn’t involve anyone you know, trust me, you aren’t living in the real world. This messy way of describing people, is the messy truth. Try sharing your feelings or thoughts with someone on a deeper level than you have. You may be surprised to hear what they have to say to you. You’ll allow them to share themselves with you, just by being real and vulnerable with them.  The only way I know this, is because I share my thoughts and feelings with people about certain struggles I have, and the more I do, the more I see tears flowing down faces, hands reaching out for hugs, people sharing their thoughts and fears, that they had never before felt safe to express. Walls have come down, and light has brought hope to a hopeless situation. Friends that have felt trapped or isolated for years, now express gratitude for a listening ear.  In these moments of realness, that I am so grateful for, I see God’s hand in healing and restoration. I see hope and truth and friendship on levels I never thought possible. I see the beauty of humanity in this broken world. I see connections spiritually and emotionally that point me to God. There is no greater gift than to connect with someone on this level. There is no place I’d rather be, than in an uncomfortable, messy conversation with someone being real. (well there is, like the beach….) But, truly, it is a liberating, refreshing, life-giving place to be. Now, I am becoming quite comfy, being uncomfortable.

I know now, that it takes being uncomfortable, (not Comfy) vulnerable, and risky to find that place of comfort with a friend. Everything in my life that has been difficult, has been extremely uncomfortable. I used to tuck my troubles away in my mind, stuffing them deep down into my spirit, hiding the mess, so that no one would see the real me. I did everything I could to avoid being uncomfortable. Which meant having a false reality most times. But now, I’ve grown to know better – to just be real. (too bad it took til I was in my 40’s to figure it out!) It’s a process for sure. I have realized no matter how difficult and uncomfortable those moments and experiences were, they made me stronger and wiser. Being uncomfortable stretched me, shaped me, and empowered me to be who I am today. Being uncomfortable has made me more compassionate and empathetic for others than I ever would be, had my life always been stress free, comfortable, cozy, and comfy.

I think it’s fair to say we all would like our lives to be comfy. My little girl wanted to remain in my comfy arms, snug as a bug in a rug. But, she had to leave my side, into the oh so uncomfortable world.  Yet, this world that hurt her, disappointed her, troubled her and discouraged her, (like all of us have experienced) also shaped her into most beautiful, confident, brave, kind young woman I know. Had we not talked about my struggles, been vulnerable with each other, and had I not been real with her, she may have turned out quite differently. We can do this for each other in so many ways. It’s really crucial we do. Not so much so we feel comfortable, but rather comfy. Comfy to me, is cared for, loved, understood, protected, heard, and at ease. You won’t be in that sweet spot always, but you sure can create a place for someone else to feel that way. And that, that is pretty comfy.