If you’ve not met my husband Bryan, you may not know I married someone with a heart of gold. The way he cares for others and longs to see them live a life of freedom rooted in The Truth-it brings me to tears. At the start of the year, my husband informed me that he felt the Lord calling him to minister to and disciple men in a way that looked different than the small groups of yesteryear. He’s loved leading small groups the past several years and always enjoyed being a participant for years prior to that. But this year, the Lord placed it on my hubby’s heart to meet one-on-one with a few men, regularly. Intentionally. Not to talk about the weather or basketball, but to talk about the condition of their heart. WHAT THEY ARE BELIEVING AT A HEART LEVEL? I’ve said it a million times in my B Present Studio classes, and Bryan and I are on the same page with this: YOU CANNOT GET BEYOND YOUR OWN BS; aka your Belief System.
You can’t get beyond your own BS.
So here he is…meeting with these men…listening…asking them questions…desiring to hear what they are currently believing and challenging them, as needed. Lending a shoulder to cry on, as needed. Giving a hug, well anytime, my hubby is a hugger. His first few meetings were out in spaces in the community but this week was different. This week he and one of his friends met at our home. They were on another level of the house with the door closed. I heard not a word they said. I didn’t have to. Rounding the corner to see these shoes on the entryway rug…knowing that the wearer of these shoes was making the time to B REAL…knowing my hubby was on the receiving end…eager to listen and encourage, pray and seek to understand…cue the tears.
Life, done in community with others, is simply beautiful. It can be real, raw, and downright messy, but isn’t that what makes it beautiful? Life lived in community takes on different shapes…some connect over soccer tourneys, MOPS, barre & brunch…no matter where you share your heart, please make sure you are sharing it. You were made to be known and we all miss out when you hide parts of you. Let others know what it’s like to walk a mile in your shoes.
Birthdays. Some love them, some hate them. I like to use my birthday as an excuse to get the girls together, and that’s just what we did. Sadly though, this beautiful birthday celebration night left me filled with remorse.
Birthdays have a way of bringing things to the surface that have been detectable previous. The blunt force of a Birthday, another year gone by, causes us to focus in, open our hearts, and truly see them.
I had the joy of celebrating my 37th birthday with an evening of tasty eats, but even more importantly, with a room full of amazing women. We laughed, got to know one another (better), and told stories new and old. At the end of the evening, as the cake was being served (my first cake ever with lime green dumbbells on it 💚💪), each gal at the table took a turn sharing how we met, a favorite memory they have with me, and their hopes for me in the year ahead. This was a part of the evening I will not forget. Even if I don’t remember the exact words spoken, I will remember how full my heart felt & how much love my spirit was receiving. (My body wasn’t complaining about the cake either. 😜)
As the last friends shared and the rustling of jackets began, the paying of bills, and sweet hugs goodbye, I started to feel sad inside. Not because I wanted to keep on partying that very night (I did have to wake up early to train a client so staying up late wasn’t my goal.). But had I realized, in a few short hours, and with a little time spent planning, I was blessed, really blessed, by the time spent socializing.
Socializing had become an unwelcome thing in my book. I was on mission to do other things and relate with people in other ways, and I didn’t place a priority on socializing. It felt boring to me. Unnecessary. Sorry, don’t have time. It was on this evening I not only realized I need to get back to being more social, but I grieved time lost. My heart felt heavy, eyes weepy as I got into my car, loaded with gifts, flowers, and cake. I gave thanks my friends hadn’t given up on me.
Deciding to give your life to a cause, making yourself available to others, does look different for everyone and I think we can go through seasons. Perhaps I was meant to be less social this past year so I could pour into the mentor-type roles I had, my small group relationships, among other relationships I’ve been called to develop recently? Maybe so. Yet still, my birthday dinner night showed me it doesn’t have to be all or none. Time “just for fun” is not a waste. And I need it.
In contrast to the sad tears shed as I headed home from the festivities, full of gratitude for each and every women and their acts of kindness, the following day brought a different realization.
As I opened all of my gifts and cards the very next day, I was thankful, excited, smiling, sending thank you text messages, and hit in the head with the remembrance of this time last year. The day after my 36th bday. Opening gifts. Make that NOT opening gifts. I let a table full of beautiful gifts sit and sit and sit for almost a full week before I opened them because they overwhelmed me. I didn’t feel I deserved them. I knew once I opened them I’d have thank you’s to write. Truly, the bottom line is, I wasn’t ready to receive the love these women were showing me. I felt it. I felt guilt where they meant for me to feel joy, pain where pleasure was supposed to reside.
I ended my 35th year praying for my heart to be able to receive healthy love. I’m excited to say I have grown in that area and even started opening my gifts the moment people gave them to me, when appropriate. And now I end my 36th year praying for wisdom to know when I need to let go of the agenda, let my hair down, and for have some fun with friends! (I’d say I’m off to a good start since I spent the afternoon yesterday hiking sand dunes and walking the beach with a group of girlfriends. And was it ever glorious!
Life is a journey. Present over perfect. Learn along the way. B Present
This message has been on my heart for some time. Truthfully, I’ve been putting off typing it out because, well, this won’t be easy to write. But I know I’m supposed to share this part of my story since the nudge to do so will not go away. I’m believing there must be at least one other soul out there who will be grateful for these words. Here goes…