Tag Archives: jesus

But Mostly, for Help.

brit&ausfeb1013

Tonight i journaled for the first time in what feels like months. And it was with a rawness that has been avoided for even longer. I processed a hard conversation I had tonight and got embarrassingly ugly on the pages of my new, pretty, gold and white hard-covered journal.

My immediate thought after journalling tonight was regarding my Ugly. I wish we could decide on the degree of Ugly we wrestle with. I’m not talking about the Ugly we all love to hate and occasionally brag about; the crooked smile, being a clean-freak, being too loyal of a friend, etc.

Crooked smiles and cleaning habits are pretend uglies that we use to try to disguise our deeper issues. Either that, or they’re our lame attempts at small talk. There is Ugly in us that we don’t even want to admit in our own quiet thoughts. Jealousy, anger, incredible impatience, insecurities, comparison, a lack of care for the needy, etc. These are the Uglies that keep us up at night. Maybe I’m only one of a few, so I’ll speak for myself.

Tonight I let some of my Ugly come out as I processed this hard conversation. I’ve always feared admitting such deep Ugly, even inside a private journal because somehow I felt giving it shape would also give it breath to come alive and start taking over my every thought and word and sooner or later it would be some self-fulfilling prophesy that I unleashed. So, I’ve usually only penned the essence of it, never truly letting it out of its dark cage. It’s been more like holding vomit in my mouth, just waiting for the urge to subside until I decide to swallow it again, ignoring the fact that it will burn and rage internally, causing deeper sickness and destruction, prolonging the inevitable purge that comes before peace while attempting to convince myself I never had the vomit so close to the edge of my lips in the first place.

But tonight I thought about shining light on the dark Ugly. Holding it inside has only gotten me stuck and stressed and it tastes bad, so why not try the exact opposite. Before I could change my mind, I admitted all of it. Ugly thoughts, Ugly feelings, Ugly admissions and Ugly accusations. I felt incredibly raw and frighteningly vulnerable. Like, walking-down-a-dark-alley-yelling-loudly-to-scare-away-potential-threats-and-running-faster-than-I-thought-possible vulnerable. But I made it through unscathed. And not only did the honesty NOT give breath to this Ugly, it actually seemed to suffocate it.

I prayed it all out, really. I trust the God who says to cast all my cares upon Him. So casting I did. In my written prayer I yelled, I didn’t hold back the emotional cocktail of anger and sadness, of disappointment and surrender. I wept and I left nothing unsaid. I opened the vaults and went down the list of scary things I always thought were not okay to admit. I remembered the saying,

if you can’t say it out loud, it owns you.

I will not be owned anymore. I laid every bit of it at the feet of Jesus and asked for His wisdom. I asked hard questions. I voiced disappointments and fears, and I acknowledged his goodness, more as a declaration of faith, if I’m keeping things honest.

My brother has clung to the hope: Beauty for the Ugly. And tonight I am clinging to it as well. I asked God to show me the beauty for all this ugly. Asking, in part, to fuel my faith that there actually will be beauty in exchange. I asked for redemption and restoration. I asked for peace in the midst of chaos, confusion and brokenness. I asked for humility where I’m prideful. I asked for breakthrough, for promises, for joy, for triumph and mostly, for help.

So, tonight I lay bare. Slightly embarrassed of the Ugly I unleashed. It’s not the brag-worthy kind of ugly people love to hate about themselves. It’s a train-wreck-why haven’t-you-gone-to-counseling-yet Ugly. But, I’m very ready to sift through it all for the sake of Beauty. My heart feels a mixture of relief and anticipation. Relief for the freedom this admission has granted, knowing I am in trustworthy and productive, kind hands, and anticipation for God to respond.

He can handle my Ugly. He isn’t shocked by it, He isn’t surprised by it and He isn’t shaken by it. I am so thankful that I, too, am not shaken like I thought I’d be. Turns out, this rock on which I stand is very solid.

Cheers to unleashing the Ugly and not letting it own us. To the beauty and hope that lies ahead, and to all the crooked smiles and clean freaks.

-Bee

“Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Matt. 11:28

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” 
Romans 8:26

“Cast your cares on on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” Psalm 55:22

“He will give a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair…” Isaiah 61:3

“Call to me and I will answer you, showing you great and mighty things which you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3

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1, 2, 3…

Today is November 16th, 2012.
Three years and two days ago Oz and I went to a mutual friends celebration of one year sober. A glorious and worthy celebration it was. That night Oz and I finally had the chance after a handful of years of just missing each other to actually sit down and talk.

catch up.

reminisce.

learn.

chat.

laugh.

You see, we first met when we were 17. Don’t ask us how…neither of us can actually remember our first exchange.

he liked me.

I liked a boy. A different boy.

Or so that’s what I told him.

(I know…I’m such a brat!)

Graduate.

College.

Me, New Zealand.

Me,Home.

Him, China.

Him, Home

My boyfriend.

My Break-up.

His girlfriend.

No break-up.

My boyfriend.

See what I mean? Just barely missing each other.

His break-up.

My break-up.

Finally…both single. both 22. five years of quick email chats and updates, but nothing more. Until November 14th, 2009.

We came back into the house after playing ukulele on the porch with a couple other people. He was the only person, besides the gal we were there to celebrate, that I actually knew. I made myself look busy at the food table as he effortlessly made small talk with two older British women. I thought to myself, Man, he has really grown into a great guy. I’m glad we’re friends again.

It was cold that night. Peacoat weather. But it was toasty inside. Hence his next move. He -without breaking the flow of conversation with his two new friends – takes off his Peacoat and hangs it on the chair just inches away from me.

That. Exact. Moment.

It was like a veil was lifted and 5 years of acquaintanceship suddenly was this overwhelming gush of feelings. Gushy, heart-throbbing feelings.

Holy crap! It was my mission in life the rest of the night to not make an absolute fool out of myself by accidentally flirting with him. Play. It. Cool. I seemed to hide it well though because I later found out Oz didn’t know I liked him for a while. Too well, Bee…too well.

The next morning I spilled to my mom the story of my surprise and unexpected feelings for “the guy from high school…remember? He’s the one who really likes China…”

Just as we were talking I get a text from said boy. After giddy and witty exchanges and me having paced every square foot of my living room it was set.

“So, Monday it is then. Let’s do Swami’s at 9.”

“Rad, sounds great! See you then!”

We were going to on a breakfast date. Well, wait…does he think this is a date? Does he think I don’t think it’s a date? Is he just wanting to catch up still with “his good’ol friend”? Okay, okay. calm down. It’s fine.

November 16th, 2009. Breakfast at Swami’s.

He paid. For his. I paid. For mine. 

I take the blame for that one. I didn’t want him to think I assumed this was a date if he didn’t want it to be a date – how awkward would that be?! So, I offered a ten to cover my food. Come to find out, when I offered the money, he thought that meant I wanted to make sure he knew this wasn’t a date, but he wanted it to be a date. He thought it was a date. I thought it was a date. Until I didn’t think it was a date. That’s when I paid for myself.

We then moved over to his ’89 pick-up truck to jam on the ukuleles. This moment set our dating soundtrack in stone. The sounds of Beirut, Jake Shimabukuro, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero’s and Sigur Ros will forever bring me back to our adventures in early love.

The rest is history. We could hardly stand going a day without seeing each other. And we rarely did. I’m sure our family and friends thought we were so pathetic, but we didn’t care. I had never ever felt such deep love for someone until Oz. After 8 months of togetherness, hiking adventures, banana creme pie eating, movie watching, sunrises and sunsets, beach picnics and trespassing, monthiversary breakfast dates and music playing, he asked me to join him in the craziest adventure we’ve ever embarked on : Marriage.

The next season of engagement of five and a half months was quite the roller coaster. And now, 1 year, 10 months and 15 days into our marriage, we are still adventuring and growing and learning what it truly means to commit and promise, love and cherish and enjoy and edify and honor and respect and support and relax and embrace each other in every season we enter. We are daily in need of our Father’s grace for ourselves and for each other. Who isn’t?

We have had a diverse, lively and unpredictable 3 years. This morning it really settled in that we have the rest of our lives together to figure this thing out and I found such peace in that. We’re just beginning on this journey. It’s still fresh and new and mysterious.

May we continue to surrender our will and mind and hearts to J-sus so that He can continue to shape us into the absolute best for Him, for each other, for our family and everyone else we share life with.

Today we celebrate three years together. Here’s to three more. (and then some…)

There were hardly times when we’d venture out somewhere, anywhere without at least one uke.

With all of our friends getting married, we always had fancy dates planned 🙂

Dating at weddings…

Austin spent 6 weeks in Shanghai getting TEFL certified…upon his return he asked me one mighty big question…

I said yes!!

He saw me for the first time and wept…

We were overjoyed…

Humbled and blessed.

First dance to Devendra Banhart’s “Baby”

H o n e y m o o n i n g up the Californian coast!

Our first cooked meal in our new abode.

Our real honeymoon to Spain and Portugal.

Celebrating birthdays and facial hair.

Our amazing trip to Haiti with with our church.

The Golden hour in our sweet abode.

Luke & Kate work wonders with the camera Check out He and She !

{{all wedding ceremony photography was done by our amazing friends Willy & Meghan}}

Thanks for reading and celebrating with us. We hope your adventures in love also bring you to a place of gratitude, humility, grace and joy. Cheers to Love!

XO – Bee

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