Several little topics have been on my mind lately and I realized they are all “b” words … “Better”; “Besties”; “Books”; “Busy”; “Bayou City” … so, why not a post on the Letter B?
I don’t like comparisons. Don’t get me wrong, I like good honest competition and I think lessons of winning and losing are important in life. However, it seems we are constantly comparing ourselves to something we are not, and fail to recognize the uniqueness that we are. The media is saturated with ways to make ourselves “better”; both men and to women. This summer Beth Moore asked via Twitter “Does the word “better” have a positive or negative connotation to u?” and it really got me thinking. I responded “first thought would be negative b/c I feel like it’s always used in comparison terms.” Of course, I had to keep it to 140 characters or less on Twitter, hence an extended internal dialog for me about the word “better” for a couple of months now.
What is really “better”? Life ? Job? Financial position? Relationship with significant other/spouse/family? Home? Friendships? Health?
And, what would really change if those areas were better? Would you change? Or would your perception of your position in this world change? If we are looking for a change in position, we will never measure up, there will always be something which will lead us down a path of lies to believe we are still inferior.
For myself, I don’t want to be better, I want to be content. Sometimes, to be content there are things in life that need to change, which will ultimately make our life better. However, implementing those changes with the end goal being intent to be better than _________ versus content with self will never prove satisfactory. If there is something that needs to change in your life, do it to be a better YOU, not to be better than!
October is always a hard month for me, I’ve written about it here and this year seemed a little harder, as 5 years have gone by since the passing of my bestie Amy. The season change always makes me wish for her; a patio was our favorite place to discuss life. I was at a concert recently where Justin Moore performed, singing his song “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away”, definitely makes me wish I could go for the day and sit on a patio for one more afternoon visit.
I’ve realized more and more through the years how valuable my besties are in my life. I hope they know what they mean to me, it is important to me to know what is going on in their lives, to remember details and to follow up on events big and small in the every day. As a “single girl” my besties are extension of my family and knowing they are praying me through a hard day, a hard season and they also rejoice with me in victories is one of the greatest blessings of my life.
Speaking of Besties, I’m currently reading Mile Markers by Kristin Armstrong. One of the best books I’ve read about women, friendships of women, faith and running the race of life together both metaphorically and literally. I’ve had my hi-lighter out and marked something on about every other page at least.
I am a jogger at best, I don’t run to compete. I run for exercise, because I enjoy it (up to about 5 miles) and to reset myself. This book points out several things about running that are metaphors for life. Here’s a couple of my hi-lights …
“I want to leave behind things like any form of lingering guilt, any resentments, any relationships that weigh me down, any worries that hold me back, any old definitions of myself that I’ve outgrown, any fears that limit my view. And, I want to run ahead, into beautiful things, like freedom, friendship, contentment, joy, love and understanding”
Running … “thinking about the things that matter to me, the things I will fight for, the things I will lay it all down for. The things that rise to the top of my heart and overflow. The moments when I don’t care what anyone thinks. At. All.”
“Running restores my equilibrium, quiets the noise within, re-prioritizes my list, repairs my state of gratitude, and returns me to myself, but a better version, nice and roomy in my own skin.”
If you’re a woman (or heck, a guy could probably benefit as well) single, married, single-again, parent – I think you would find some truth in this book.
When I was growing up we never said the word “bored” because if you were bored there was always something that Mom could give you to do. The task usually was equivalent to a chore. I still don’t ever say “I’m bored”. I really never am, but if I ever feel sorry for myself that I have nothing to do, I quickly look around and realize I could dust, or vacuum or some other task that needs to be done. Amazingly I’m not bored, and the dust rag doesn’t move.
As an adult everyone has become “busy”. A few years ago I took “busy” out of my vocabulary. I am the one in charge of my schedule and the activities I participate in are mostly all voluntary. So, if I find I am overwhelmed, I have control to simplify my schedule and to free up time for something or someone who deserves my time. I learned this most with my family and thoroughly enjoy and appreciate the time I get to spend with my Littles (nephew and nieces), brother and my parents as well as my extended family when the opportunity arises.
At the end of the day we all choose how to spend our time and ultimately that is a reflection of what is important in our lives. I never want someone to think I’m “too busy” to be available in a time of need. Take “busy” out of your vocabulary and re-prioritize if necessary. This applies to families too – if there are too many activities that cover your calendar and there is never family time, the calendar might need to be adjusted. I am thankful for the activities I did participate in while growing up which were numerous, but more thankful for the consistency of eating supper together as a family. Family time was a priority in our home and I believe contributed greatly to who I am today. Learning to say “no” without guilt was one of the greatest lessons of my life and one of the most freeing.
After 11 years in the same church, which I can’t even count the ways I have loved that church as there are too many, I have been in a season of needing a difference in my church life. I crave simple and smaller as I age, a one light town continues to call my name but that is a story for another time. As I have been visiting Bayou City Fellowship, I have thoroughly enjoyed a smaller congregation, singing Hymns which remind me of the church I grew up in, worshiping with young and old and teaching that matches my learning style – ultimately challenging me deeply to be obedient to the Scriptures.
Maybe organized church isn’t your thing, or maybe you’re needing a change in church, or maybe you haven’t been in a while. More than anything church is Community. It’s where I’ve met a lot of my Besties, it keeps me in the most important Book of all, it’s kept me busy in seasons that I needed activity, and ultimately has made me a better person who is more content day by day. Everyone needs community, I would encourage you to look one up in your neighborhood and give it a try.
As I write tonight, a cold front is blowing through Texas, I welcome the change in season and hope Fall will stick around. Seasons change and life changes, it’s good to evaluate, or go for a run if that’s your thing, and work out where you are. Reset priorities if necessary, make some changes, say “no”, try something new, get out of the everyday box. I always feel refreshed with the start of a new season.