Wednesday, February 20, 2013

the real deal

Joel and I have been on a quest in the 12 years of friendship and (almost) 10 years of marriage for something:  A U T H E N T I C I T Y

Whether it was in each other - choosing truth over half truths

Whether it was in church - refusing the types of leadership who self-serve or perpetuate their church by looking for the wealthy patrons and giving only 'those' people their love and care.  Instead, we sought after the types who laid their own lives down for others.

Whether it was in work - giving our 100% even if, at the time, our boss never cared or noticed.

Whether it was in friends - choosing safety in friendships over quantity

Last night, I went to the gym where I've been working out since the beginning of 2013.  It was a workout I had done before and I was looking forward to doing it better than I had last time.  I had energy, felt well, and was excited to feel like I accomplished something.

There is a move we did - it is this plank move where you have your feet on these 'sliding' type pads and then you bring your legs toward your chest and then out again over and then once you're strong enough you start to move them to either side, really working all muscles in your core.

The first time I ever tried this (a few wks back) I was seriously embarrassed that I couldn't even move my legs at the same time.  My mind told my body to do it but when I tried, I would just lose my balance and go to my knees.  So, I started with a basic plank for the last 2 weeks and last night, I tried the move the way it was intended.  I was shocked that I actually did it.  I didn't think too long over it just kept doing it and doing it.  A few minutes later, the greatest trainer in the world steps over and whispers in my ear, 'You are getting so Strong....can you feel it?"

It wasn't until today that I realized something about relationships and authenticity.

We can't be authentic unless we're willing to 'notice' the good about others.  We can't be genuine in our relationships and be insecure about giving a compliment at the same time.  I know not everyone is naturally prone towards giving affirming words but I DO know the power of what they give to a person.  They provide safety and life, they speak power and fill your tank bit by bit.  I do know that we can ALL try it and be successful at it without feeling worse about fact, I believe it builds up the giver almost as much or maybe even more.

I was recently working at a small store with a very small staff.  I was accused of being fake and psycho. 2 things I really really hope I am not.  I had no idea how toxic the environment was hearing that over and over again....until I was away from it.  Sometimes God moves us from place to place simply to purify how we believe and think about ourselves.  Similarly, Jude had a friend who was being unkind with his words on the bus towards him. It made Jude feel awful and it was ME who saw those tears each day after he hopped off that bus.  So, naturally I had him moved a few rows away from this child and each and every day we've seen a happy Jude come home.  I like to think God did the same for me.  He is a Father who hates seeing us hurt.

Woke up this morning to a really lovely text from a friend - one whose been there through thick and thin and just had to write about how powerful I felt the connection was between 'being real and vulnerable' and choosing to GIVE generously with our words.

Hope it sparks something in your own relationships...and encourages you to be the one who begins/continues to affirm those in your life.

Refreshing others is refreshment to oneself...
just loved this poster found here 


Managed Chaos said...

Loved reading this. I am positive God brought you to the gym to lift me up. Your genuine, positive, authentic self is inspiring to me.

And the comment about Jen...warmed my heart. She is an amazing person and friend.

JMillerFam said...

Michelle - thank you. You have been SUCH an encouragement to ME! You don't even know!!!!!


Erika said...

Awesome! Your strength radiates!