Being you is…

Whenever I’m getting to know someone new, I feel a need to kind of rattle off some of my weirdness so they can grasp how weird I am. Like, I feel like I need to provide that person with the information necessary to bolt if they aren’t ready to deal with all the things Stephanie.

I definitely have some quirks, some insecurities, some brassiness, some weirdness, some difficultiec6f020115f7bd055ce7d293734083accs, etc… we all do. So I have to sometimes ask myself why I think all of those things that make me, me are so much worse or different than the things that make you, you or her, her or him, him. We all have our quirks, insecurities, etc…

One thing I’m learning as I’m growing (b)older is that I’m not nearly as much of a mess as I think I am, that I am worth knowing and loving despite my messy bits, and that God has given me a set of circumstances and gifts that are unique to me in order to fulfill His purpose through me.

The things that make me who I am, as weird as they might be, enable me to reach a group of people who need the specific things I bring to the relationship. And the very same thing is true for each of us. I don’t doubt the bigness of a mighty God to draw certain people into doing life with one another based solely on the things one of those people may deem as insignificant, useless, weird, or messy. We are in this together and we have the most perfect God putting us in each other’s path.

So how do we own our super power and walk in it daily? I’m still learning.

Surrounding ourselves with people who encourage our true selves and desire to know the real us, that’s important and I would put it second behind our own desire to know and love ourselves and being our true selves with our self.

Also, being confident that God is a Master Creator.. leaning into Him to recognize, restore, and repair places that need to be tended while welcoming the bits that aren’t nearly as messy as we think they are. Which leads to embracing our faults… they are probably more endearing, and way less “faulty” than we think.

Finally, in most cases, what people think about us is none of our business. So what if people think we’re weird, or messy, or loud, or “too much” – like, really.. why do we care what THAT person thinks?? Now, I’m going to counter this one some with the willingness to be teachable where necessary. What Joe Schmo thinks about me isn’t necessarily important. However, if my husband (whenever I get one!), best friends, boss point out something to me that might need some work, I want to have a willing heart to accept their words and the desire to work on changes, if needed.

In all my unprofessional, but life lived experience, there is my wisdom about how to embrace the super power that is YOU! Mine is mostly embraced, but I am still working on the full embrace in certain situations, with certain people… I’m giving myself some grace there and I hope you give yourself some grace too. As long as we continue to do the work, we’ll eventually find our way to the embrace.

Now go on and be all weird and lovely and beautiful and messy in this world, you super hero!


Removing Fences

As I was driving home from the grocery store today, I passed through one of the more affluent areas on the way to my apartment – far on the other side of the tracks. =]

I do appreciate beautiful homes with landscaping perfected for magazine covers. Some of these communities had brilliant water features with small ponds and lakes. When I was younger, my mom and I would wander through model homes just to marvel at how lovely they were; the floor plans, the kitchens, the bathrooms, etc…

But today, I saw something a little different. I saw barriers and fences. I saw restrictions and cages. I saw separation and exclusiveness.

The communities I drove by today were all gated. Access code needed. In other words, I wasn’t welcome there. Of course, I didn’t try, but even if I wanted to, I wouldn’t be able to – unless, of course, I was given an invite from a specific person inside the community.

There was suddenly a separation. A me and them. A low people and a high people. A division in classes. It’s always been there, I know… but today I just saw it differently. It was eye-opening. Heart-opening.

I was suddenly aware about how we do this. How Christians do this. How we create a me and a them. A low people and a high people. The houses and the people who live in them didn’t make me sad, I was sad about us as people. As Christ lovers and followers. How many fences and barriers have we put up to keep out the riff raff? How many people feel like they can only approach us with a personal invite? How many people feel incapable to come to us because they fear judgement, harshness, and condemnation?

We are called to foster love, peace, kindness, forgiveness, on and on. And on and on. I wanna be a woman who envelopes the lost, who helps others find freedom, and who is always inclusive. I wanna be a woman who is approachable, unrestricted, and without fences of separation.

That’s what we’re called to do and be. It isn’t always easy. We find comfort in our safe places and in our comfort zones. Gosh, I feel like I know this so much more now after being recently uprooted from my own safe, comfort zone. It’s important to be and stay in community with one another. Yes! We are critical to each other’s growth and we nurture one another. But it can’t stop there.

Can we examine our fences? Can we double check our invites and make sure they aren’t exclusive, but rather inclusive. Let’s gather with people on both sides of the fences. The mes and the thems. Let’s have communities with less separation and more invitation.