Monday, June 23, 2014

Do what writers do (#riskrejection)

I met several writers and speakers this past weekend at Hungry for Hope in Nashville. There's so many things I learned and my mind is still a bit of a blur from traveling, so for now I will leave you with a couple brief #risk rejections from the week.

Number one: I went.

Yeah, it's pretty easy for me to convince myself out of going to things that are important and I am passionate about, but this time I planned and decided it was a trip and conference worth attending. Actually, I already knew this, because I've been before but rarely talk about it, which leads me to number two.

Number two: I am talking about it.

This year's conference was amazing and was full of authentic people and useful trainings talking about freedom and hope and ways to not only continue to live free but help others in this way.

One specific thing I continue learning: I cannot speak hope if I don't open my mouth. This one has been the hardest for me. Me, the one who rarely stops talking.

Number three: I had fun.

No forest fires this year! No 102 fevers. No missed flights...err, there was a delayed flight and I had to stay over another night. I cannot escape airport problems.

I met new friends. I saw a Raleigh friend who by chance was there at the same time, and my long lost friend from graduate school drove from Chattanooga so we could meet. I met two girls at the conference and we bought a t-shirt between the three of us. Looking back, I forget why we did that exactly, but we decided we could share it (we live in three different states). Think adult Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, except with a shirt.

Here's what else was fun: I cried every time I listened to Emily Weirenga or read parts of her new book. I laughed a lot when I met my pretend-twin Lee Blum. I attempted courage when I gave Jeff Goins my card, a.k.a. my information written on my place card (memorable, right?).

Here's what else I did this month that was risky: I skyped with the one and only, Amy Sullivan, who I know is really and truly my friend, especially because she let me interview her for my writing project a.k.a. book-in-progress, and she gave me tips and I never once felt silly.

I know I'm supposed to do this project but it feels unknown. I wish I had a carefully crafted plan for a book that didn't include interviewing people. I wish I hadn't designed a book around interviewing 87 people. I am still in the single digits.

Here's to risking rejection, and my goal to interview seven people this month. So far, I'm not even close.

We too often create our own rejections so as to not face them from others.

I hate admitting that. It's true for me in writing, though. Where is it true for you?

P.S. I did call myself a writer in front of Jeff Goins twice, so that has to count for something.

linking with amy for #riskrejection

Sunday, June 1, 2014

On being human (May edition)

I shouldn't have been surprised at the words that came out of her mouth not long ago when we were talking, but they caught me off the guard and really struck me.

I was talking about some challenging and confusing stuff going on and she said

"you make me feel more human when I talk to you."

My friend, she moved to Boston last May. I met her at the grocery store where she worked, of course, because that's where I meet everyone. I have no idea what it is with me and the grocery store. I've met everyone from friends to potential dates there. Nothing surprises me anymore so I roll with it.
"you make me feel more human when I talk to you."

Hmm. I guess that is a good thing?

Being human is a good thing. It's one of the most basic things, not frilly, something everyone can relate to. I like that unity. From there, we can recognize what it means to be made with a purpose, thought about ahead of time by God, with His design attached to our own individual lives.

Humanity is also messy. If I'm not mistaken, I think that's the reason she said what she did in the first place. I was talking about messy things and I wasn't afraid to do that then.
There are times I discern (or attempt to) whether I need to bare my soul with this friend or that friend, and there are reasons for that, but overall, I am a fan of honesty and of acknowledging the mess. I know I don't do this as much as I could, but it's what I seek to move toward instead of away from in life.

I think we do a disservice in the church or in our personal lives when we hide out from the places where we don't have it all together. That doesn't mean we don't ever try to do well in anything or allow people to celebrate the good times, but every single friendship that's gone into the harder and more ugly parts has created a freedom to be 'human' that's just not present in every kind of relationship.

Where we let each other be human, there is grace.

Where we let each other be human, we move toward each other instead of away from each other.

Where we let each other be human, we seek to understand instead of being understood. Oh, these are things I am constantly asking God for help.

This doesn't mean we embrace sin. But in giving myself grace, I learn to accept others' faults and flaws because I see myself more acutely. And then I go back to the truth that I am loved. And my over and over prayer is to see with gentler eyes, to look at people the way God sees them.

Have you checked out Humans of New York? I love love it and you can get more than a splash of humanity there.

linking with Emily for what we learned -- and thank you for bearing with me because once again I am more word(y) than picture(y) and I am learning you are visual people. I am sorry and I promise I will try harder next time. Thanks for the love anyway.