10,000 Reasons.

sticks and stones

I promised myself I would live “palms up”.
I promised my heart I would keep it open.
I promised my soul I would continue to let it grow and be nurtured.

Sitting here, I can tell you , that I have failed.

It wasn’t all at once, nor did I wake up one day and exclaim to the world that I was going to become just a little more bitter starting right then. It wasn’t because of one big event, nor from one person.
Rather, it was life. It was the slow evolution from my once optimistic and joyful point of view into one that simply began to feel that a little more heavy. Needless to say, I’m pretty sure I set my rose colored glasses down on a table, and completely walked away from them without skipping a beat.

I miss who I was. I miss seeing everything with a little more sunshine. I miss waking up every day feeling that the day before be could only be better than the last. More than anything, I miss feeling hope.

It has in a way, become this pretty cruel and slightly rude cycle. One that begins with me feeling a little down. Then I begin kicking myself for feeling down because I know there are way more reasons than the ones I am currently holding onto to be down. Then, it gets real bad because then I begin to feel even worse about feeling down because I’m down. I’m not saying it makes sense, but I am saying it’s there.

I went through this season of life in which my sole purpose was to see the good in things. For a year, I found one thing a day that made me happy, joyful, grateful to be alive. I stopped, and just as you probably guessed, so did the optimism. Somewhere between then and now, life’s little pebbles and stones continued to be thrown my way, but rather than seeing them as opportunities to learn and grow, I slowly curled into a ball and now that I think of it, am laying still letting them hit me.

I’m ready to stand up. I’m ready to stop analyzing the stones, staring at the stones, and feeling sorry for my body that is feeling the pain when I could wholeheartedly take the same amount of energy and get up.

I’m ready to unclench my fists, and begin living in the open, vulnerable, raw kind of way I had once promised myself I would. Sure, there are things occurring in my life that are far from peachy and cause more tears than I’ll share now, but how I am looking at it isn’t justifiable. It’s not okay. And at the end of the day, isn’t the kind of life I want to lead.

I want someone to be able to look at a week of my life and feel encouraged by it. I want to have one conversation with a stranger and have them feel worthy. I want to smile and laugh and let go of all I have been clinging on to.

I want to be free of the emotional restraints I have magically bound myself to.

Because when that happens, I feel everything else will slowly begin to fall into place. My crappy idea of self-worth, my bone chilling fear of being alone, my anger and sorrow for everything that is out of my control, my uncertainty of where exactly ‘home’ is, my insurmountable self-doubt, all of it.

I’m ready for things to change. I’m ready for me to change. I’m ready to find another pair of rose colored glasses.

I’m ready to begin down the road that is all about authenticity and honesty to my own heart. And I know it’s going to be okay.

xo.

There’s this song by Matt Redman that I love. It’s called 10,000 Reasons and honest to goodness brings tears to my eyes, every time those words hit my ears. I like that it is about being loved all of the time. Good days or bad, we have this Creator who is going to love us unconditionally. And I like how it is about glorying Him throughout it all, thick or thin. My good days have the ability to be these really good twenty four hours, yes, with the occasional rainbow and butterfly. And when you see that beautiful rainbow and fluttering butterfly before you it’s pretty easy to praise the One who made it because it is in fact gorgeous. And then there’s the bad days. The ones where your world is crumbling and the ground that was before you just left for its lunch break. The ones where you begin to question your self worth and what you have to bring to the table that, well, was right before you but now is probably enjoying a great cobb salad with the floor you just lost. It’s easy to find God in those moments because frankly, He is all you have left. I’ve felt that. I’ve felt Him. And I’ve been saved from those days because of this little glowing light He placed deep in my soul that I will always believe is hope.

I believe in my heart that there is a difference between being ‘happy’ and being ‘joyful’. The first I can feel after eating a really cake or not getting kicked in the chest while changing a diaper or only hitting one red light. But the other, it’s more than that. I feel it when I feel God’s love. It’s when I walk by the cliffs and hear the crashing waves and smell the salty air and know I am not alone. It’s when the sun is shining especially bright or over a glass of wine with people I love fully immersed in community. It’s when I see someone hold the door open for a stranger or when a door opens in my own life that I know was solely Him. 

I believe that I am at a place in my life that it’s time that I begin living like that song. I want to stop solely glorying the One who loves me, forgives me, and listens to me process to no end, in just the really good moments and just the really bad ones. I want to praise Him in all of the in-between. I want to be a different kind of happy. And I want to find 10,000 reasons for my heart to praise. 

So here’s to reasons and joy and the every days and finding, a different kind of happy.

xo!