Bonfires and Bluejeans

Randoms from my spot next to the fire

It’s Hey Day ‘Round Here

Yesterday passed without anyone giving it much thought, I’m sure.  Maybe there were a few birthdays, or anniversaries.  Maybe yesterday was a day of somber remembrance for others.  Each day holds something significant for somebody.  Overwhelming a bit, if you think about it.  I’m going to go out on a limb here, and figure that yesterday passed without the vast majority of people realizing that it was International Hey Day.  Yup.  Big day ’round these parts.

Hey Day celebrates the spirit of stepping outside of your box, trying something new, acting like a completely awkward dork, and being rewarded for all of it the rest of your life.  Who wouldn’t want to honor and revere a day full of such meaning?  While the day probably flew by in a flurry of busy activities, work deadlines, and cramming to get to-do lists completed before hitting the proverbial bedtime wall, the day has become a wonderful point in the year for the hubs and I to stop our busy lives and just reflect.  And laugh a little bit.  Ok…a lot.  At me.

Had you told me that three years ago, on October 2nd, I was going to be meeting the person who not only is the love of my life and keeper of my heart, but best buddy through thick and thin, I would have told you to go jump in a lake.  Or something like that.  Probably would have just rolled my eyes at you. 🙂  Not really in the mood during that particular stretch of time in my life to be out and about meeting new people, I decided to jump waay out of the box and head over to a get together.  Where I seriously only knew 2 people.  Out of like 300.  Okay, maybe 50.  But it really felt more like 300.  Normally not one to worry about meeting new people or going to events, during that time I just hadn’t been in the mood.  I was going through a period of living in my shell, so to speak.  So, after a seriously busy day of pumpkin patchin’ it up with the kids, we loaded up the truck and headed over to the good ‘ol hoe down.  (Sounds better said that way, huh?)  I was wore smooth out from not feeling well, the kids were wore smooth out from playing, and we were not going to stay very long.  Uh huh.  Famous last words.

And thus…the birth of Hey Day.  There, in the midst of all of those strangers, stood the most glorious sight I had ever laid my weary eyes upon.  Ok…dramatic a tiny bit.  But still.  He was the tallest drink of water I had ever seen.  And, in my smoothest of ways, I made a huge dork of myself.  In only the way that I can.  Cause I’m good at it like that, I guess.  How?  One word.  And one word only.  Hey.  But it wasn’t so much the word that catapulted me to a level of dorkdom that I had only aspired to attain before.  It was the obnoxious way in which I managed to mutter it out.  Not so much mutter, really.  Croak.  Yeah.  C-r-o-a-k.  What I felt I was going to literally do.  Cause it wasn’t the cute, bat my eyes and flip my hair in that flirty way every girl, deep down, dreams of acting in the presence of a potential suitor.  Naw.  There’s always that one girl who manages to act a fool.  And what did he do?  Besides probably laugh and roll his eyes at this cute little dork wearing a flannel shirt and jeans.  What can I say?  I did look kinda cute. 🙂  Say hey back.  In the dreamiest of voices.  He didn’t croak…he was so smooth.  For whatever reason (probably a flying football coming at my head or something totally uncool like that) we parted ways.  Walked on.  Yeah.  That was it.  Totally thought I blew my chances.

Not one to chase, I just chalked that one up lost to my proverbial weirdness and just didn’t think he could handle it.  Boy howdy was I wrong!  Three years later…here we be.  Celebrating the most awkward of moments between two strangers.  Not romcom material, for sure, but just what the two of us needed, in God’ perfect timing of course.  Several funny stories and favorite memories later, we finally found each other.  And not a moment too soon.

I have to be honest here.  Hey Day is really a two day, two part celebration of sorts.  Why, you may ask?  Because.  I married somebody who makes a point to try and confuse me and has honed it down to a fine skill.  It’s an art, and he is so good at it.  For so long now, he has argued that it was actually October 3rd (that was a Sunday) and not the 2nd.  Each time causing me to pull up Google…cause that is the end all to all discrepancies in our conversations.  I made the executive decision to extend the celebration to cover both days.  In case he forgot again what day is actually was.  Cause I’m all kinds of awesome like that. 🙂

While Hey Day 1 and 2 has probably passed in your life with nary a peep, it made a significant enough impact on ours.  Huge impact.  Crater in the earth impact.  I appreciate the fact that he was able to look past all of my dorkyness and seriously awkward ways and see the potential in me.  So much more than I could ever see in myself.  Having him as my husband is a blessing that there just isn’t words enough to explain my gratitude for.  And the fact that he’s willing to remember Hey Day and it’s significance for us…and the impact it made on our future…and be willing to overlook my awkward introduction into his life…well that’s all just icing on the cake!

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Knee Deep In It…But Not Wanting Out

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     The last few days have been better.  So much better.  Writing has helped me wade through the overwhelming emotions that can be brought on by the simple action of living life…going back and rereading what I both posted and kept private has given me so much insight into what I have been feeling and experiencing.  I can’t be too much different than many people out there…although I could be labeled complicated, at best.  Where the difference becomes apparent is I have the love and support of the most patient, understanding and accepting husband a girl can have and he has helped me work through a variety of issues.  Not saying I’m a complete basket case or anything…but hey.  I am a girl.

Going through the last several months, I have had the notion that deep down, in the dark unseen recesses of my heart, something has been disturbed, in a knock the dust off the antiques kind of way.  Not sure what, but there was a stirring deep in that area that I had long ago shut everyone, including myself, out of.  It is so dark and dreary, and the dumping ground for every hurt, pain, and slight I have ever felt and experienced.  Even though I have told myself that I’m a big girl and I need to let those things go, they are still there.  Collecting dust.  Growing.  It’s a lot like the back corner of my closet…it’s there, we all know it, but nobody dares to venture in to explore.  And, quite frankly, I don’t blame them.

There hasn’t been any light in that area of my heart in many, many, many years.  So many of the hurts began from when I was a child…I still can see the hurtful words and actions of others lining the walls of the cornered off area.  There are tall, thick walls that would take the skill of the best mountain climber to conquer.  Walls built with the negative and defensive thoughts I dwell on mingled with the confirming words of others.  And that’s just to get inside.  Once in, the overgrown areas of doubt, hatred, and pain intermingle with condemnation and the roots of guilt and shame.  Not to be outdone are the ever growing weeds of comparison and jealousy.  Always competing for attention: the vines grown from the seeds of fear, self-loathing, and pity.  Not a pleasant place to be.  Trust me.

This dark recess of my heart is a small fraction of real estate when placed in comparison with the rest of who I am now.  I’ve slowly, with the sure and constant work and guidance of God and those who love and support me, pruned, weeded, and cleaned out so much of this trash that threatened to choke out all of the good in my heart.  And I have no doubts in my mind that it would have…it was well on its way.

Just like in a physical garden, there are seasons where there seems to be constant pruning and working.  You never get a break; it’s as if you don’t ever set foot out of the boundaries of the garden.  Other seasons, though, you see the hard work paying off.  The weeds just aren’t as bad and you get to enjoy the beauty as you work among the flowers and the weeds.  The actual work doesn’t feel as laborious…in fact, knowing that you are making room for more beauty is almost enjoyable in a sense.  Almost.   It is still work.  🙂

I can see this ebb and flow in my own life, and in the process of changing my heart.  However, it’s come time to scale the big, scary wall and tame the vines that still remain a threat to my peace.  Just like many of these vines and weeds took root many, many years ago and took a long time to grow as large as they have, I realize that it will take a period of time and work to fully rid them from my life.  And they will try to come back, season after season, just as the weeds do in a physical garden.  This past few months has really opened my eyes to my need to let go and give up this last corner of my heart that I have been so reluctant to sacrifice.  I don’t know why…with all the pain, suffering, and hurt associated with it, you’d think that would be the first to go!  But, who knows why we do what we do, with me being a prime example.

I must admit, I am becoming exhausted from trying to keep hiding this dark, off limits area of my life.  The charade of protecting this valuable piece of real estate is up…I have to take the attitude of all or nothing.  There can never be an area of a garden devoted to growing detrimental weeds; they will eventually take over the entire area.  Maybe not overnight, but eventually.  And that’s the danger of it all.  It I don’t take action, all of these issues will do just that…take root again and eventually, slowly, and unknowingly to me be the entirety of my heart.  As painful, hurtful and even shameful at times this process has been and even will be well into the future, I know the pain is so worth the reward of allowing God to be the gardener of my heart.

This verse has become my guiding point throughout this process.  It’s pretty self explanatory to see why:

1 John 3:18-21 My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love.  This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality.  It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it.  For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.  And friends, once that’s taken care of and we’re no longer accusing or condemning ourselves, we’re bold and free before God!  We’re able to stretch our hands out and receive what we asked for because we’re doing what he said, doing what pleases him.

What better to rely on than a verse that states God is greater than my jacked up heart, knows more about me than I know about myself, and loves me despite my could-be-true issues?  Pretty sure I’m going to have to reference back to this one.  A lot.  This is going to become my go-to verse throughout this process.  And being that this is going to have to be a life long ordeal, I had better get used to pickin’ and prunin’…and doing it right.

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