Browsing Category

Truthfully & Thoughtfully

Personal, Truthfully & Thoughtfully

My Final Post

December 3, 2016
suzanne-hillegas-final-post

Spoiler Alert: This is my final post.

What a journey we have been on for the last two and a half years. I never saw myself as a blogger but it has been a wonderful journey. Several things have led to my decision to end my blogging career . . . hobby . . . or whatever this is.

In January of this year I read the book Essentialism by Greg Mckeown. The basic question is what is absolutely essential in this phase of life and what isn’t? I have a two almost three year old son. He will never be this age again. And I want to enjoy this season as much as possible.

Later in the year I was at a Writer’s Conference. I remember talking with other people who write on the side and they had such a passion for it. They couldn’t wait to get home from their 9-5 job and continue writing their novel or blog or whatever. At this conference I was again exposed to the importance of social media and being present on line. I am really terrible at having an on-line presence. It is not essential to me, thus the struggle began to write consistently.

In the summer I was talking with a friend and she was telling me the steps she was taking to becoming a serious writer. She said, “I want to become the best writer that I can. I want to be known as a writer.” As we were sitting there at lunch I remember so clearly thinking, “I don’t. I don’t want to be known as a writer, I want to be known as a truly good friend.” I sat on this thought for quite some time.

Also during the summer my husband and I began marriage mentoring. We took a 250 question assessment about ourselves and our marriage. Some very interesting things came up from this. The main one being I had a ridiculously high stress level. This surprised both of us. As we were trying to decipher which things in my life were causing the most stress, I was challenged to draw an energy circle.

An energy circle is where you draw a circle. Then you divide the circle into pie shapes. A pie shape represents how much energy you are putting into that particular activity. My husband suggested adding a second layer and coloring in the amount of stress that each activity caused or inflicted.

I did this. It was enlightening and life changing. One of the categories was blogging. And the stress was fairly high because it is just me. I don’t have a collaborator. I don’t have anyone to help me with the online presence stuff. I began to really evaluate why I started the blog and if those same reasons were motivating me.

Then two more books came along, the first book was Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist. This book has forever changed how I see my life and myself in my life. I have lived much of my life trying to prove that I am worthy or capable. The blog was a place that I was sorting this out. But I have sorted many things and have managed by God’s grace to not constantly live in a place of proving my worthiness. Or proving that I am capable. As I have strived to be an excellent friend I have found that I haven’t made time to write notes or emails to friends because all of my writing energy was going into the blog. As you may have noticed I have hardly posted in the last few months, and it is because I have been putting my writing energy other places.

The second book that came along was the Listening Life by Adam McHugh. As I finished this book I was so challenged by how a listening life is so much different than a telling life. By engaging the blog two times a week, I was spending much of my energy telling all of you about what I was learning or what was happening, but then not having the bandwidth and energy to truly listen to my people. Listening to my husband, listening to my son, listening to my extended family, listening to my friends. This is where I want to put my time and energy and where I have been putting my time and energy and thus the writing has been pushed to the side.

I started blogging because I had written a book. The book was amazing and fun to write. But then everyone told me I needed an on-line presence and I listened to them. I enjoyed the blogging experience and learned much about web design and widgets. But I don’t want to keep learning more and in an industry where the technology is changing ever so rapidly and what once was manageable and good has become cumbersome and stifling.

Also by blogging for two years I have finally accepted the fact that I am a writer. Apparently publishing a book was not enough to convince me, it took over a 100 posts to help me realize I am an author because I use words to communicate.

Thank you. Thank you for checking in every week to read about my small simple life. Thank you for leaving comments and being encouraging. Thank you for traveling on this journey with me. I found a website called Blog2Print and I am going to be working on getting all of my blogs printed into a book, not to publish but just for me to have. And who knows maybe another book will slip out of me again if I am not pushing myself to write twice a week here in this space.

I would love to hear from you. If you want to email me at SuzyHillegas@gmail.com I would love to spend some time writing a lengthy personal email back to you.

Be blessed and purpose to encourage the everyday woman in her everyday life.

Truthfully & Thoughtfully

Normal or Chaotic – the Tension between the Two

October 3, 2016
suzanne-hillegas-chaos-and-normal-tension

The last few weeks have been hit or miss for me when it comes to writing on this site. I was struggling between two tensions and hadn’t even realized it, until last night.

Nine months ago my family and I decided to switch churches. It was so hard. Because for us, church is community. Some people go to the gym for their community. But we go to church. But suddenly our community was missing. The people were still accessible to us, sort of. I didn’t realize how much thirty three minute conversations add up to friendship and knowing people. But it does. If I wanted to have a proper conversation with someone it had to be planned and organized and not bumped off the calendar. I couldn’t hope to bump into them at church.

Then on Sundays our family would enter into this new place and wait for the slow process of making friends. We started sitting in the same section of church, which has helped. We continued to look for ways to volunteer and get involved. But life takes time. That is one tension. We want things, but it just takes time. Slow simple three-minute-conversation-at-a-time time.

One of the groups I joined at church is called Artist and Design Group. We meet once a month and discuss the importance of art, and how to help with church design and such. These people have become a new type of community for me. I have never been a part of a group like this. I have made sure to be at every single meeting. This group is what has connected me in on the weeks, months that I have felt like a kite out in the wind.

Last night our church hosted it’s first Saturday night service. I was so excited for this. I signed up Tim and I to host the Information table, because I wanted to support Saturday night service. We met as a group in the lobby and prayed. As the circle was breaking up and people were heading off to their different assignments I saw one of my friends from the artist group. His wife was with him and so I headed over and we began chatting.

I explained to them about my clogged up writing recently. I explained how intense the last few months have been and how I just haven’t known how to talk about them, because I was purposing to live them as best I could. Steve, my friend, reminded me but that is where the tension is. Tension is what creates great art. Tension is what creates new words. Tension is what moves us forward. Sometimes the tension can be the wanting of life to be normal and the chaos it actually is.

Let’s hear that again.

Sometimes the tension can be the wanting of life to be normal and the chaos it actually it.

And there it was, right there. There was my tension and the need to keep writing. You all have similar tensions. And that is why we sit together and read. The tensions change but mostly the tension is we want our lives to be “normal” but they feel like chaos.

I sat in church scribbling in my journal. I could write about this, I could write about that. The clog had been unclogged. I knew that making time to type out words is helpful. It’s helpful to me, it’s helpful to you, and it’s helpful to my community.

So as you look at your life. What is the tension for you? What are you always peering into that seems “normal”? What in your life feels chaotic? What is the tension between the two? This is where life is. This is where friends are. Live in the tension.

2016 Essentialism, Truthfully & Thoughtfully

Trimming Tomatoes

August 29, 2016
suzanne-hillegas-tomatoes

Early in June, at a garage sale, I bought two tomato plants for $1. One produces large tomatoes and the other produces small tomatoes. I planted them with my strawberries and then went on with life.

They grew like gang busters. Leaves and stalks everywhere. My husband had to help put in stakes and tie them to help hold them up. But there had yet to be a tomato from either one of them.

The other night, my husband was working late, and the son unit had been put to bed and I decided it was time to tackle the hugely overgrown tomato plants.

The thing was I didn’t know where to start. So I went to Youtube. I typed in: how to trim a tomato plant. This great gardener excellently explained and demonstrated how to do it.

The basic principle was if a branch has all leaves and no tomatoes it needs to be clipped. It’s taking energy from the tomatoes that are growing. Also the extra leaves are taking the sun and blocking the tomatoes from getting the sun which is keeping them from ripening and thriving.

So I began. I found a pair of scissors and I began digging through my hugely overgrown plants. On the first plant only one branch out of ten had tomatoes. And just like the video said they were being overshadowed by other leafy branches, and not growing. Clip. Clip. Snip. Step back, snip some more.

I stepped back to admire my work and was shocked at the difference. It was so clear. The plant looked happier. The green tomatoes were reflecting the light of the evening sun. I turned my attention to the second plant. As I began working on the second one I had a realization.

Tomato plants are like responsibilities in my life. If I have too many responsibilities or obligations my energy/time/attention is going in too many directions and nothing is growing or thriving.

Hmmm.

One of the tasks I had for myself was to draw a circle. Then I was to divide the circle into pieces (like a pie) to represent how much energy I was giving each thing. Some of my categories were my son, my husband, finances, household tasks, bible study, this blog, etc.

My husband had the idea of then adding in how much stress each thing takes or has. I have a ridiculous amount of internal stress and we have been on a journey of trying to understand it and lessen it.

In trying to sort through the stress I have realized I feel things very deeply. I always saw this as a flaw, as something I needed to curb. But I can’t. It’s who I am and I am trying to learn how to love this trait about myself instead of being overwhelmed by it or stressed out about it.

As I continue to read Present over Perfect I have been faced with so many things about myself that are true and twisted. I am so thankful for this book, because it is helping me to deeply feel and not be ashamed of it, not be embarrassed about it. Also it is gently offering me truth in the midst of the raw and real.

As I thought about the tomato plants and viewed my circle of energy and stress I began to have some clarity. I am very hard on myself. I get stuck in my head. If I have to step back from something or not get something done, I feel like I have failed. As I thought about the tomatoes I considered how they had not failed. They weren’t growing because the plant had to much going on. The tomato didn’t say to itself, “why can’t I do more? I’m frustrated I have physical limitations.” No it was doing it’s best to thrive and grow in the situation it was in.

A quote from Present over Perfect has helped me so much. “The darkness is the lie, not the light. The light is the truth.” This quote has become my mantra for the last week. Whenever I get overly stuck in my head or feel my overly judgmental self come into the conversation I quote these words. The darkness is the lie. I don’t want to believe a lie. I want to believe the truth. What is the truth in this situation?

If you ever think, “What is she talking about, I never think that or feel that way.” I would encourage you to look around you, because I guarantee there is a friend, co-worker, sister-in-law, or a woman in your world, who does feel this way and she needs your friendship. She needs your simple words and different perspective to help with hers. Maybe read Present over Perfect with her and talk about it together.

So what about you? How is your tomato plant/energy circle? Do you have too many things spinning around you? Is there something you can let go of or say no to or just stop doing? If you get stuck in your head like I do, find a friend. She doesn’t have to understand it, she just needs to be your friend. Listen to her words, listen to her suggestions, pour some extra water into your soul and see if you can help it to grow and thrive.

Truth Share, Truthfully & Thoughtfully

Encouraged by Mended

August 15, 2016
suzanne-hillegas-birth-mended

Mended by Matthew West (Click the title to hear the song)

When you see broken beyond compare, I see healing beyond belief.

When you see too far gone, I see one step away from home. . .

I’m not finished yet, When you see wounded I see mended.

These words. Driving in my car, going from here to there, doing this and that and then these words captured my soul.

Right now in my life I am having moments of feeling broken beyond compare. Not constantly but moments, many of them a day. But there is such promise in the very next words of “healing beyond belief.” That is so what I want for myself. Healing beyond belief.

When you see too far gone. I am so short sighted about myself. Today at lunch my husband and I were talking and he asked, “Are you a friend to yourself?” I knew the answer immediately. No, I am not a friend to myself. Everyone else gets the grace and the encouragement and the hope, but for me I need to work harder, do more, be more.

Why is this? I don’t know. I am taking time every day to look for the answer. It is a deep question with what I anticipate is a deep answer. Are they old wounds? Is it recent, no it has been here a really really long time. But then there are more words to the song . . .

When you see wounded I see mended. This is my hope. This is my prayer. I want to be mended. I want my heart mended, my thinking mended, my hope mended.

I grew up in faith and what I am finding is that many of the things I learned at 13 tend to still have the rationale of a 13 year old. My limited knowledge of the world limited my knowledge of God. This is where some of the answers are stuck. But God is good and big and wants to be in the now and the present and in the future. I cannot change the past, but I can change how I think today. I can change how I think tomorrow.

Step by step, thought by thought I am finding my way out of brokenness into mindedness. I feel exposed. I feel vulnerable. But so much good is already coming from it. So much life is already appearing. What does Matthew West say, “I see one step away from home.”

That is the truth. God is with me. He is every present. He only asks that I call to Him and he will answer me. In my brokenness, I kept track of the how many times I called. But in my mindedness it doesn’t matter.

“You see your worst mistake, but I see the price I paid.” The beautifulness of this song is that it is written from God to me and to you. Once on the cross Jesus paid it all. He is enough.

“So hold on this is not the end, this is where true love’s work begins.” Yes Lord, may that be true for me. and may that be true for my marriage, my friendships, my brokenness.

Because I hold onto the promise of these words, “I’m not finished yet, When you see wounded I see mended.”

About the Featured picture: This was the first moment I met my son, Ben. This little boy has opened my eyes and heart to the love of God for me. I see the beautifulness of him everyday. This reminds me that God sees the same for me. I am beautiful to Him, just as my messy squalling baby was beautiful to me.

Truth Share, Truthfully & Thoughtfully

Truth Share: God-Conscience

July 11, 2016
suzanne-hillegas-ben-and-bullseye

“The point isn’t to quit thinking about sin. It’s to quit thinking about self and to think about Jesus. It’s to become God-conscious.’ Pg 95 Jesus Is: Find a New Way to Be Human by Judah Smith

Truth Share with Lydia Engram at A Good Crisis. She wrote about this last week here.

This quote is intriguing to me. He says so concisely what has taken me years to learn. For many years I spent time doing sin management. I kept trying to manage my sin. I thought it was up to me to keep track of it, confess it, and find how I was being tempted by it. But I was focusing on the wrong thing. I wasn’t focusing on God or on what Jesus had done for me to cover that sin.

I struggle with fear. Fear of hurting a friend, fear of upsetting my husband, fear of being less than what I should be. For years I tried to battle against the fear. I tried to examine why I was fearful. I tried to rationalize why I didn’t need to fear. But the fear would always grow and become worse and enter into areas it had never been before. It was like a cancer.

Then real cancer came. Cancer took my mom and then eleven weeks later it took my dad. This fear had never even occurred to me. That whole situation was so overwhelming I had no idea how to handle it except to focus on God. Each day I began saying, “Lord I have no idea why all of this is happening, but I do know that you have me. So help me to rest in that and serve my family well.”

The needs of others was so great around me I didn’t have time, strength or energy to nurse my fears along. But in the midst of this tragedy I learned a really valuable lesson. Jesus needs to be my focus, not my fear. Jesus is my hope, not concurring my fear.

I want to become God-conscious not fear conscious or sin conscious. As I live a life before God, in relationship with him, he will show me when I need to confess. He will put me in situations that will dwindle my fear, but only if my focus is on him.

You go where you focus. I want to go into a grace and fellowship with Christ, not sin and fear.

Take a minute and read Lydia’s insights into this quote.

 

Listening, Topical, Truthfully & Thoughtfully

Listening and Talking: James 3

June 23, 2016
suzanne-hillegas-listening-and-talking

Talking and listening are tandem activities. Most of us do them interchangeably. One of the benefits to purposing to listen more is closing my mouth. As I close my mouth, fewer words come out. As fewer words come out, I become more contemplative. As I was contemplating listening and talking James 3 came to mind. This passage is mainly about talking but again I believe when discussing talking you are also discussing listening.

Let’s take a look at this passage: James 3:2-10
2 For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. 3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Jas 3:1–12). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

 

Let’s talk through the different aspects of the tongue and what it can and can’t do in a friendship based on what James has said.

We all stumble in what we say. Amen to that. Sometimes the stumble is simple and silly. Like trying to greet the checker at the grocery store. But other times the stumble can be hurtful and mean. I am a very clumsy person. I have learned to slow down, take in my surrounding, and be a bit more cautious as I step. The same can be true with words. If the tension is high pay closer attention to the stumbling of the words. It could save you an apology later.

James wants to illustrate the power of our words so he uses the example of horses. Horses are big and to me a bit scary. But I have ridden a horse and it is true, they are guided by a very small piece in their mouth called a bit. My tongue can guide a conversation into blessing or into despair. If I am purposing to listen first then speak, the thundering herd of hurtful words will not come as quickly.

The next example is ships. Did you know it takes 14 miles to turn a cruise ship around. But in the very first few seconds of that first mile the ships rudder is being turned. The whole ship begins to slowly move in a different direction. Have you ever been in a conversation and it is sliding down the hill quickly?

Maybe the person you are talking with suddenly starts complaining about a family member or every scenario that is mentioned, the person takes it to a negative place. I like to think of these verses in those types of situations. A well placed word can slowly begin to turn the complaining cruise ship towards a better dock of hope and healing instead of destruction and hurt. But again only a well placed word can shift that conversation.

James’ final example is a fire! Have you ever seen a forest ravaged by fire? It is black, scorched and depressing. If I talk to quickly and to harshly I can burn the conversation, which in turn can burn the other person. I don’t want to do that. Purposing to listen more and talk less allows me to do what James says is close to impossible. It allows me to tame my tongue. If I am listening then I am not talking. If no words are coming out of my mouth, then neither are fire breathing words.

I find hope in the last few verses. Verse 9 says that we can bless our Lord and Father. There is a choice here. The choice is am I going to bless others with my words or curse them? There isn’t any middle ground. With all of James’ extreme examples I think that is the main point. There is no middle ground.

By me actively listening to others it slows down my words. It slows down my tongue. It slows down my thoughts. If I am listening, really truly listening, my mouth is closed, and my mind is focused on the person and not on how I can respond, or what I am going to say next.

I want to be fresh water to my friends and family. I want them to walk away from our conversation with them feeling like they have drank fresh water and not salt water. Salt water causes you to make a face and spit a bit. But fresh water quenches. Fresh water refreshes.

Listening and talking, talking and listening. What are you going to choose today? Are you going to take James’ advice and bridle your tongue, or are you going to not really listen when others are talking and use words that will set a forest fire to the conversation? The choice is yours. The choice is mine. Each time I enter into a conversation. Is listening going to be my primary function or is it going to be talking?

Listening, Truthfully & Thoughtfully

Truth Share – Listening

June 6, 2016
suzanne-hillegas-listening

My friend Lydia @AGoodCrisis and I are partnering up again for a monthly project. We both love to read, and we both love quotes. We are going to share a quote that has some truth to it, and then discuss said quote here (www.suzannehillegas.com) and there (AGoodCrisis).

I had the privilege of picking the quote this month.

It has to do with listening as that is what we are talking about this month.

“His (God) voice has an authority that creates realities in the present who listens and belief in what is said.” p. 74 The Listening Life by Adam S. McHugh

The subtitle to this book is “embracing attentiveness in a world of distraction”. I highly recommend this book. I have been reading it slowly because I wanted to ingest it. Years ago a friend teased me that I swallow books. There is a bit of truth to that tease.

Let’s break down this quote: “His voice” – God’s.

Have you ever heard God’s voice? Does it seem crazy to even think you can hear God’s voice? (There is a whole chapter in this Listening book about this very question.) Yet some of us claim to have heard from God. (Raising my hand in the air.)

For me personally it is not an audible voice. It is a shift in my soul. Sometimes it is subtle, other times it is not. The un-subtle times ring true with the rest of this quote “has an authority that creates realities in the present.”

When your soul shifts it is life altering but only for the person “who listens.” How do you listen? Do you pause, do you stop and think, wait what was that? Or do you just keep plowing through your day, plowing through your thoughts. Plowing seems easier. Plowing seems safer. Usually the soul does not yell to get your attention. Usually the soul whispers and then waits.

What is the soul waiting for? “Belief in what is said.” I can honestly tell you, this is the hardest part at least for me. Believing what my soul just heard, because usually whatever my soul just heard is just a few words without super clear meaning. But isn’t that the essence of belief – trusting in what you cannot see?

Stop. Pause. Think.

Reflect back over the last week of your life. Was there a moment or thought that kind of caught you off guard? Something that maybe even was followed by “That was crazy, I can’t believe I just thought that!” Go back, re-examine that. What were you doing when it happened? What were you thinking about? Who were you with? Carefully walk back through it asking yourself “Did I listen or did I plow right through it?”

Because God wants to “create realities in your present.” He only wants your good. Your. Good.

Spend some time. Stop. Pause. And Listen.

 

Lydia’s post will be up Thursday. I will have a link here, if you need it.

Also if you are interested in reading about how Lydia and I met click here.

Truthfully & Thoughtfully

A Colorful New Prayer

March 14, 2016
suzanne-hillegas-coloring-in-panera

Prayer is such an interesting thing. How does it work? Why does it work? If God is in control of everything why does he ask us to pray?

Many years ago my Pastor Mincy would say, “Prayer changes things. I don’t know why. I don’t know how but it does. So let’s pray.”

I think of this statement often. There are two pendulums that I swing between. One end is convincing myself that I matter to prayer. Said situation would not have changed if I had not of prayed for it. The other side is God is sovereign, why pray. God is going to do what God is going to do. Then I remember what Pastor Mincy said. Prayer changes things.

The things can be me or circumstances or relationships. Would they have changed without me or someone else praying? Only God knows.

A few weeks ago I read a comment on the First5 App about coloring through prayer. I wrote down the name of the book. A few days later at the grocery store, I discovered an adult coloring book that had beautifully scripted out Bible verses. I was so excited! I love coloring and it had never occurred to me to combine prayer with coloring.

I have 18 specific people that purpose to pray for everyday. I wish I could tell you I successfully pray for each one by name and specific issue everyday, but often I fall short. But that has changed as I have begun praying while I color!

suzanne-hillegas-coloring-books

Using my new coloring book I chose a verse for each person. Hymns without words are set on the musical apparatus of choice. At the kitchen table in the center of everything household I am now able to truly step into sacred ground with the help of coloring. I set my timer for five minutes. Choosing a designated page in my coloring book I begin coloring. While I listen to the hymns, I think about the person I am coloring this picture for. I contemplate on their needs, their life situations, and what God is hoping to do in their lives. When the timer dings I flip the page over, write the date, and a brief line of the main thing that kept circling through my head. I choose five people a day to do this for. Five people times five minutes is less than 30 minutes a day.

This new practice is changing me. I just finished praying for all of my peeps in the middle of Panera Bread. I never would have been able to do that before.

Try it. Start simple. Choose one or two people. Draw your own picture or find something like I am using and then COLOR and see how prayer changes you.

Truthfully & Thoughtfully

My Song

February 22, 2016
suzanne-hillegas-my-song

Have you ever written a song? A song of praise? Last year in Bible Study Fellowship we studied Exodus. Moses wrote a song as the Israelite’s exited Egypt.  Last year I was asked to write my own song, slightly patterned after Moses’s song.

My song is below, but I want to challenge you to write one of your own.

Here it is:

My Song

Lord you are the Alpha and the Omega.

Beginning to end, from sunrise to sunset.

Your mercies are new every morning,

Great is your faithfulness.

Your kindness is what leads to repentance.

 

I forget who you are, I forget what you have done.

I go my own way and then cry out for your help when I am lost and confused.

My thoughts are always about me, and rarely about others, let alone about you.

When it is just me, I am decrepit, lost, and alone until . . .

 

You draw me back with your consistency.

Goodness is ever abounding from you.

Your strength cannot be measured, and any challenger of it would be thwarted.

You hear the cry of the lost and lonely, you hear the cry of the masses.

You wait patiently for me to return to you,

Your arms are always outstretched, waiting to welcome me back.

 

May I always run into your arms.

As the dawn breaks may my first thought be of you and your greatness.

Lead me in the path you have for me,

Lead me to the doors that are open and that allow Your gifts to flow through me.

 

 

 

Simply Tuesday, Truthfully & Thoughtfully

Honesty and Maturity

October 29, 2015
suzanne-hillegas-honesty

I recently read For the Love by Jen Hatmaker. If you want to laugh, you need to read this book. But she has two sections that are back to back. One is called “I’m all for honesty, but pretending has its place.” The other is called “I’m all for pretending, but honesty has its place.” (p. 79)

It is mainly about marriage and about how there are times you smile and act as though you love sci-fi movies, but in actuality you would rather be organizing your sock drawer. Then there are other times that you need to speak up and say how you really feel about where the money should be spent and why.

Emily uses this chapter of Simply Tuesday to talk about the same idea in friendship. There are times to be honest and bare your hurts and your soul. There are other times you choose maturity and to keep your thoughts to yourself.

But in either choice the goal is moving towards others. Read this excerpt from chapter 9:

“Following this corporate confession, we sit for a time of silence to embrace the forgiveness that is already ours in Christ. I look forward to these few moment every week, moment of personal reflection in the midst of a room filled with people. And after the silence, we stand to move toward others for a few moments, a passing of the peace.

Every week without fail, I have to gather myself before meeting those around me. To turn from facing my sin to facing my neighbor is a difficult transition, and I always wish they would give us more time between silent confession and communing with others.

But that is the point, isn’t it? Move toward others even as Christ moves within you. I am asked, invited really to move toward others in my weakness. Though I’ve always believed this to be true, it is not easy or comfortable to practice. These few moments in church are a whisper compared to living it out in my life. But it’s a rhythm I am beginning to embrace more now than ever before.” p. 144 Simply Tuesday

I love how she says, “Though I’ve always believed this to be true, it is not easy or comfortable to practice.” Isn’t that true with so much of life. The path of self-discipline and growth is not easy or comfortable. But isn’t it great to have friendships and people that you can be honest and mature with?

I want to encourage you today, to move towards that friend that you are unsure of. Invite them into your world. Show them love, care, but more than anything show them Christ.

Each week we are reading a chapter from Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman. Come join us, it isn’t too late. Buy your book here. Watch an encouraging video here. And read some other fabulous bloggers at A Good Crisis and In Glorious Wakes.

We read one chapter on Tuesday and chat about it on Thursday. Next week Chapter 10.

Until next time #itsimplytuesday on instagram.