What a year it’s been. My blog has been quiet lately. I have had a lot to say, but I haven’t had the words to say them.
I am still in amazement of all that God is doing. I don’t understand it. I don’t even want to understand it…anymore. I want to enjoy it. Every minute of it. I have spent most of my life trying to figure things out. I get paid to help others figure things out.
But, when it comes to the creative process, there are things you just can’t figure out.
“Lizzie, the harder you try to figure out the magic, it disappears. The magic is where the Spirit is at work. Don’t suck the life out of it by trying to make it black and white. Some things you don’t need to understand…just enjoy them. Live them. Pause and breathe it all in.” A wise sister friend humbly shared this with me recently. Wow…
I am a self-confessed type A control freak. It is very hard for me to sit still. It is painful. I acquired it straight from the gene pool. My mind never shuts off. It is always working on ideas, chewing on new concepts, processing data, and chasing squirrels. Unfortunately, I have also passed this onto my oldest. Lord, help us.
Along with this disposition, I am also firm in my beliefs. However, I never try to force my beliefs onto others. I am open to sharing them when I am asked, but I will not try in any way to convert anyone to my Jesus loving, gluten-free eating, home school championing, bold colorful painting, working out often ways. I am okay with me being me and with you being you.
I aim to be curious instead of critical. I hope to be encouraging and not evasive. I dare to live a life where I am fully human living on the edge of an encounter with the Divine at any minute. I don’t believe in luck. I believe in being prepared to be amazed at any given moment. Astonished by Glory. Surprised by Joy. Satiated by Love. Marveled by Wonder.
And living on the edge between the present and my very real future, always allows for some intense scrutiny. Anytime you step out and step up, you will encounter those who want to step on you and your dreams.
During three different encounters this year (that I’m aware of!), I have been the topic of discussion regarding my choices and my calling. I have been called names. I have been accused of things. I have been misunderstood.
It has been a very difficult year in some ways. However, it has also been one of the best years of my life. I have learned more by living on the edge than I ever would have learned by backing down or choosing to live small.
I was deeply encouraged yesterday by this quote from Ann Voskamp: “When you disagree with someone — don’t dismiss them. Dialogue with them.”
If I could summarize my thoughts during the past 12 months, I would hope to increase awareness of dialoguing with others instead of judging a book by its cover. Dialogue to me is real conversation with real people. Here are a few things I’ve learned and hope you will aim for in all your relationships:
1. Seek first to understand.
2. Ask open questions that leave room for real and honest answers.
3. Listen without an agenda always expecting the best.
4. Aim to discover or learn more about the differences.
5. Accept the differences and the tension they present instead of trying to change them.
6. If it’s not yours don’t share it.
7. Speak with love when you share your story and your opinions.
8. Even if you disagree, choose love instead of hate. Love wins every single time.
It’s not about political correctness, it’s about people awareness. Underneath our many varied skin colors and clothing choices, we all have a precious soul. So precious that no other person ever has or ever will be made like you.
In the playground of life, can’t we all just try to get along? There will always be differences, but they don’t have to destroy us and our relationships. Expect the best…I pray you are surprised by the possible outcomes.