Real Talk: Housewarming Party

A couple days ago, a few unexpected visitors stopped by my blog. And by a few I mean: 50,000. I can’t really explain the feeling except by comparing it to a party. You invited a few friends over to eat and watch or movie or something. You don’t clean up too much because it’s a few of your friends and they understand your mess. There is a knock at the door and you open it, to your shock those friends had brought 49,995 people from around the US and the world with them. Physics and you know spatial issues aside, everyone comes in. You don’t have time to run around and clean (and if you do, it’s little things. put a dish in the dishwasher, throw clothes in the closet) and once everyone settles, you start showing them around the house. A house can be a very personal intimate expression of oneself (that was a stretch) and likewise my blog has been a personal part of me since September. Writing is my gift and I use and it and it’s precious to me. To have 50,000 people put eyes on something I wrote, that was on a very personal topic was terrifying to say the least. (BUT ALSO AMAZING AND EXCITING AND BEYOND MY WILDEST DREAMS) But also very scary.  I had moments where I was like: Oh crap. Is what I said Biblical? I know my grammar is not right. I sound whiny and  bitter. What if they hate it? They’re going to hate it. They’re going to trash the place.

But wow, quite the opposite happened. They pointed out things I haven’t even realized, they told their stories, they encouraged me and they said they had learned something from it. I keep saying “they”, by they  I mean you guys, of course. Ya’ll are real people with stories with hurt and joy and pain and laughter. And so am I. This life is hard and it is even harder when you try to do it alone. The greatest moments in relationships with people is when one opens up about something and the other person responds: “You too? I thought I was the only one!” A sign of true flattery, I feel, is when you ride in the car with me and I don’t apologize for the mess. It means, I love you and trust you enough to look past the mess and love me anyway. It’s also a sign of my laziness. But that’s the aside the point. If I had known beforehand that 50,000 people were going to read the next blog post,I would still be working on  the first paragraph. Checking each word, each phrase. It’s like when you expect company, you bring out brooms, dusters, mops, deep cleaning hoses.  All to impress people, really. To show everyone how together and how clean we are. “Oh man, this person has no cobwebs in their house. They really have it together! I am so impressed.” Is anyone really thinking that? I get it’s also a sign of respect, cleaning up is like saying “I care about you enough to clean up.” But do you care about them or their opinion of you more? So these 50,000 people rush in my blog and they are okay with the mess and actually relate to it. “Yeah I’ve been there.” Or, “Man I am there. Thank you for sharing this. I’ve been wanting to say something like this for song long.” It was so comforting to know that I was not alone, as I’m sure it was comforting for you guys as well.

So in spirit of getting real, being authentic, I’ll be having posts titled: “Real Talk: (subject title).”
And my regular devotionals will just have a title.

So, welcome to my blog. Let me be the first to say: I’m a mess, my writing is not perfect, I don’t have all the answers. I struggle. I have doubts. I’ve been angry at God. You guys are already in here. So, grab a drink,  get comfortable, but most importantly let’s get real.

See you soon.

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The Ride of my Life

Two things:
1) I remember my dreams for days and even weeks after they happen in very good detail.

2) More than 90% of my dreams involve an amusement park of some sorts.

As great as this might sound it’s not. In real life, I love amusement parks. I love love love rollercoasters. But these dreams I have are never good dreams. Something always goes wrong. I’m stuck in line that never ends. Or once the line ends, I realize I don’t have enough tickets to ride. Sometimes I can’t even find the ride I’m looking for in my dream. And even when I do find it,  once I ride it I spend the whole time wishing I was riding something else.

These dreams started oddly enough when I started writing Facebook notes. i liked writing them because if I had a short little spiel to write about I could and I could tag the friends who I wanted to see it. As soon as I opened up that medium, God started speaking to me. Ideas of quasi-devotionals would hit me at the most random times, and I would stop everything and write. I’d be writing and my heart would pound, I’d get goosebumps or I’d be typing faster than my brain could think. God was saying “This, I want you to do this.” I’d kind of shake it off, but the amount of positive response I received over the years was beyond my imagination. My closest friends and  mentors would tell me:
“Marlie, writing is your gift. You should write a book. God has amazing things planned for you.” . Then, I remember, I had this moment and thought “Huh. Maybe, writing is my thing. Some people can sing. Some can dance. But I can write.”  And shortly after that clicked in my head, I started having amusement park dreams. Why? Well, I think I finally figured it out.  I’ll start with reality and tie it back to my dream just to keep things clear.

1) not qualified

Even with the knowledge that writing is my gift and the immense joy it has brought me to to glorify God with it, I struggle lot in the whole writing process. I’ve written a whole blog and deleted it out of fear. I have like six or seven half written blogs on my computer because I was convinced it’s dumb or no one wants to read it. Or that it is not biblically accurate. I want to write a book but I am afraid. I am afraid that I am not qualified enough. I am too young. I have too much to learn. I have to go seminary if I want to be a christian author or speaker. I am almost positive that I’ll reach this moment when I get to publish a book or go on a speaking tour and fail because I don’t know enough. It’s a silly fear right because God is providing everything I need but I am still afraid. Similar to the roller coaster dreams I have where I reach the front of the line to get on the ride but I don’t have enough tickets to ride it. I’m not qualified.

2) waiting…still waiting. 

I do not say all of this to build me up but to just state the frustration of the matter. I have had so many people from so many different walks of life say: “Marlie, God has great plans for you.” Or “Marlie, you are going to do great things. I can’t wait to see all that God have planned for you.” I can’t count how many times I have heard this. (I know they mean well because I say it to people as well. I’m genuinely excited to hear what they do with their life, too. But, that puts us young people in a perpetual state of waiting. No wonder we aren’t satisfied. We are waiting for our lives to start because in a way people are telling us that our lives have not started yet. Encourage people using the present tense. “You are doing great things.” “I can see God doing so much through you”)  So when a lot of people express how they excited are for me, I get excited too. Wondering what it is going to be like, imagining the future. I am so anxious and eager for this “great plan” to start. It is like my roller coaster dream. I wait in line for the whole dream, seeing other people ride it, hearing about the ride and how great it is, but never getting to ride it myself because I am still waiting for my turn. I am waiting…still waiting. Waiting for that dream of being a christian blogger/author/speaker to become a reality.

3) Comparison

Lately, I’ve been watching a ton of youtube. There’s a whole culture of people who post videos of themselves and their life experiences and get a huge response. As the world of Vlogs grow, I feel as though the blogging world is fading away. Sometimes I get bitter and say that  the blogging world isn’t as fun, or creative or awesome as the vlogging world. Frankly, I wish I had the ability to talk in front of camera and just word-vomit my devotions into a video. (people do that, and it works.)  I, however, was blessed to be an introvert so I do thrive in this environment of sitting and expressing myself through the written word. BUT, still I struggle with comparison. Wishing I could be a cool vlogger, a singer, a dancer, or good at any thing that people can see right a way. Being a good writer is tough because it isn’t out there for everyone to see all the time. Like with dancers, hey you dance, and then they do and they are good. I heard a quote once: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” How true is that. I am so robbed of daily joy because I am comparing myself, my talents, my life and gifts to those of another person. Last night, I had a dream that I was getting on a ride that looked really fun and I actually got on it! But instead of enjoying the ride I was on,  I was so focused on the extravagant and awesome looking ride that was in front of me,  the ride I was on ended and I realized I had missed the whole thing because I was focused on the cooler/better ride.

Let us not be a people who miss out on the joy of life because we are busy comparing our lives to someone else.

————

The ride is yours.

Enjoy it.

Awake or asleep, it is yours to live.