Things I'm Afraid to Tell You


  Last week I read this post by my college friend, Erin Loechner.  She was part of a blogging campaign Read more

What is joy?


I have forever struggled with feeling joy.  I can name on one hand the places where I experience joy. Read more

Forever a Dreamer.


I am still soaking in the truth that I am living in my once Ideal Imaginary Day.  It has yet Read more

Healing

Missing the Point.

Posted on by Laura Posted in Faith, Fear, Healing | 2 Comments

Have you ever heard it said that you can pass the test, but still miss the point?

Being knee deep in my own stories has been bittersweet.  Hindsight has been a double edged sword.  I see now that I lived majority of my life in survival mode.  Every decision I made was simply about passing the test and surviving.  I would often wonder what the point of all of this was, but my attention would quickly be diverted to the present need.

When you are overwhelmed by the basic need of survival you don’t often get the luxury of self examination.  Sometimes we don’t know the point of a situation, but we have hope that there is one.  I’m convinced that this hope is what energized me to keep surviving.  Otherwise, what would I be surviving for?  It’s in our DNA to long for redemption.  We want our wrongs to be made right and justice to find the unjust.  This makes our struggle worth it.

In my attempt to pass the test of survival, I spent countless hours pleading with God to show me the right and the wrong path.  Passing a test meant that there were right and wrong answers and I was convinced life worked the same way.  Page after page of my journals I spent pleading with God to show me the right path, the correct course of action.  Making the wrong decision mean that I failed and took one step closer to the valley of the shadow of death.  I was in bondage to fear; fear of the world, fear of myself, and fear of God.

To this day I often approach God from this mentality.  I treat life as if it’s some sort of game show and God is the host.  Each right answer will lead me to an open door that has a shiny gift behind it.

I have sadly missed the point.  Through approaching life this way, I have lost sight of love, peace, patience, hope, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faith, grace, mercy, and so on.  I’ve looked to God as some sort of dictator waiting to grant me a life or death sentence.

I don’t want this to be the case with my life any longer.  Sure, I passed the test by surviving, but what a waste if I missed the point of it all!  I want to understand the point, the purpose of all the things that have made up my story.  All great stories have conflict, but I want to be more than a great story.  I want to live a redeeming story.  I am tired of living out of fear and am ready to live out of faith.

 

Cleaning out My Closet

Posted on by Laura Posted in Faith, Healing | 2 Comments

As I mentioned yesterday, we recently cleaned out all of the closets in the house.  Our home is always pretty kept together.  What I consider a mess is likely no where near it in other people’s eyes.  I would always be embarrassed to open our closets when people came to the house, often throwing guests coats over the bed instead of braving the cobwebs of our coat closet.

In emptying, sifting through, throwing away, and reorganizing our closets, I began to long for the same overhaul on my spirit.  How dark and dirty the back of the closets were.  Small and big things alike were easily hidden by the darkness.  My spirit is much the same.  The deeper I allow myself to dig and the more cobwebs I push aside, I find a greater truth of my past that I have long neglected.  There are parts of my past that still haunt me, parts that are still covered in shame, and parts that are lies masked as the truth.

In the quest to remember my passions I have become overwhelmed by memories of the past.  I can’t figure out where I’m going without remembering where I’ve been.  Trying to separate the two has left me anxious and with one really organized house.

I uncovered years of journals from my closet.  My first step is to read through them all.  It’s going to take time to process them but I’m ready.

I don’t know what lies ahead, but I know that I need to take an honest look at the story of my life.  I need to wipe off the years of dust it’s collected in the back of my emotional closet, and see it with new eyes.  So I’m committed to journaling, seeking the counsel of friends, and going back to counseling if needed.

I’m ready to quit fearing my past so I can look faithfully toward the future.

I’m ready to unshackle myself from shame so I can walk toward freedom.

I’m ready. Are you?

My Healing House

Posted on by Laura Posted in Healing | 3 Comments

Last May a tree fell on our house.  Well, more like a tree fell IN our house.  There is nothing like being awoken in the middle of the night to the loudest crash you can imagine, followed by breaking glass and the sound of rain inside the house.  All of the home repairs that followed lit a fire under my hidden “HGTV Diva” tushy.  I found myself obsessed with getting our house in order! (I am thankful I did not know about Pinterest yet.  That would have been disasterous!)

When I sit in my home now, I marvel at it’s beauty.  I take great joy in having made an aesthetically beautiful home that my husband and I both love and enjoy.  I love making memories in the house and dreaming of new ones to come.

My old roommate and I used to name our home “The Healing House”  It was a sacred place, a place that we knew was safe, a place where we could be authentically ourselves and not fear judgement for it.  I think these sacred healing houses – these safe places that I’ve spoken of before, are all needed and even required.   They are not intended for hibernation or hiding out, though.

During my first five and a half years in Nashville, I lived in eight places.  I thrived off of a nomadic lifestyle, finding the thought of settling down frightening and burdensome.

I purchased my home two years ago and soon after was married.  Its in these last two years that I hear myself talking about the years we are going to live in our home and the seasons of life that we want to live through there.  All of a sudden my thoughts have shifted and I’m planning out the rest of my comfortable life.

This comfort has only breathed idleness and laziness in my life.  Where has my adventure gone?  Where has my passion for traveling and meeting new people gone?  What happened to the Laura who never felt like she had a physical home yet found deep joy in the home created by community?  Isn’t this how it’s supposed to be?

My brain is going a mile a minute these days.  I am correcting my course and resetting my vision.  Somewhere in the last couple of years I have forgotten how to dream.  I have become afraid of the world and am using all of my energy to create a safe home bubble in which to live.

Anyone else struggle with this?

How do you find balance?

3 Deadliest Words in the World: It’s a Girl.

Posted on by Laura Posted in Community, Faith, Healing | 9 Comments

I said yesterday that actions speak louder than words.

I said that we need to use our words to clean up the messes our emotions make.

I beg of you to watch this and encourage your emotions to lead you in response.

This will take days for me to gather the right words to process.

It\’s A Girl Documentary

 I am trying get a screening of this in Nashville when it comes out this year.  If you have any connections or desire to help me with this, please let me know.

Use Your Words

Posted on by Laura Posted in Healing | 2 Comments

Between my 4 god children,  my 45 friends who have 2.5 kids each, and volunteering in the preschool at my church, I continually find myself surrounded by toddlers. I tell them to “use their words” as an attempt to thwart their  over-dramatic emotional outbursts.  It never works.  Uncensored action often thinks quicker than rational thought.

I was recently in a situation where I understood the plight of the toddler.  My instinct was to burst out in tears and maybe even let out a few good grunts.  It was uncontrollable even in my best attempt.  I had no time to stop, think rationally, and then come up with the words that would best relay the way I was currently feeling.  The tears started and I excused myself as not to blanket the room in awkwardness.

Actions are great at showing our emotion of the moment, but it takes words to make sense of the messes they leave behind.  I have made it the purpose of Creative Spillage to communicate to others that it’s okay to make a mess.  If I believe this in art, and in life, then I must also believe it with our emotions.  Not everything can be explained, some things just have to be experienced.

So yell, scream, cry, and make a mess if you feel like it.  Just be prepared to use your words to clean up afterwards.

Scars of Healing

Posted on by Laura Posted in Faith, Healing | 10 Comments

I scar terribly.  You know those really ugly, red, raised, about-to-take-over-your-entire-body type scars. It’s not always been this way. It started 4 years ago, came in unannounced, and has grown progressively worse ever since.

This is why you will never see me wearing a tank top.  If you thought the sleeves on my wedding dress were an attempt to follow the Royal Wedding trend, you are mistaken.  Wearing my hair down was also a part of the I-have-to-cover-my-scars wedding maddness.

I was a cutter for seven years of my life.  It started freshman year of highschool and ended a year after moving to Nashville.  The three years preceding this were hellish, otherwise known as middle school.

There were two boys who made it their mission to make my life miserable.  I was not popular, not attractive, had zero self esteem, and they often reminded me of it.  I am rather passionate about the topic of bullying, but the details of that are for another post and another time. Lucky for me, they left my small private school before entering high school.

Life compounded and cutting quickly became my coping mechanism of choice.  What started  as a physical manifestation of an emotional pain, quickly grew into an addiction of my spirit, mind, and body. The pain slowly disappeared and left me an emotional leper.  I was unable to feel.  I did not know joy or sorrow.  I would stare at the scars on my body and let them remind me that I was alive.

I emerged on the other side of that decade with zero scars.  I often found myself grieving over this fact.  They became my closest friends, and the truth tellers of my identity.  They were my security blanket.  Life without them was something to be feared.

I stand in front of the mirror now the opposite of everything I was then.  My season of self harm has been replaced with one of continued healing.  I feel joy and sorrow, intensely and often.

I stand in front of the mirror covered in scars….Scars from my healing. 

Each one was created in my pursuit of health.  (Removing a small tumor on my ear, removing precancerous moles on my back and arms, etc.)  I can’t help but to tear up at the thought. What a gracious gift from God!  He did not allow me to brand myself in harm, but rather in health.

I am reminded daily that the pursuit of health and life is hard.  We may scar along the way, but these are badges of courage.

It takes courage to run after healing.  It takes courage to creatively live the stories of our lives.  It takes courage to let God woo us.  It takes courage to say goodbye to our old safety blankets.

I pray for this courage daily, and daily it finds home in my heart.