TRIGGERED

Have you ever stopped in a moment and prayed something like this;

‘Lord, give me patience to deal with them!’

‘Jesus, please help me get through this meeting with this group of crazies!’

‘God, I am SO ANNOYED and frustrated, help me to be at peace.’

‘God, what is wrong with people!?’

If you’re like me, you pray prayers like this all the time desperately trying to get through the madness we face on a regular basis. Sometimes these desperate prayers just come out, quick and easy, without any thought or effort but lately, it’s been different for me. When I find myself praying these prayers, asking God things like ‘What is wrong with these people?!’ I feel the Holy Spirit nudging me towards a different kind of question…  Questions like ‘Why does this trigger me?’

Since I started to get this little leading from the Lord, I’ve been asking myself over, and over (and OVER) again- this very question.  ‘Lord, why does this trigger me?’

 

Asking the right questions has helped me to get to the root of MY ISSUE and become more accountable, rather then pointing the finger at someone else and expecting God to ‘fix them’ or change my situation.

Today I had yet another ‘God, why does this trigger me?’ moment.

I was dropping my daughter off at school already feeling frustrated that the morning derailed and turned into a yelling and crying match. I walk in and Sav’s teacher begins with the small talk, ‘How are you? How are you feeling?’ and then continues to tell me all about Savannah’s progress with her letters.

Now for the sake of back story, this wasn’t the first time I heard this. The first was via progress report that was sent home. After reading the progress report and the recommendations the first time, I was upset and frustrated.  I thought of everything I would say to this teacher. Things like;

‘I would like to see the curriculum you’re teaching.’

‘What’s your plan to give Sav’s letter memory more attention during the school day?’

‘How often are you doing letters throughout the week?’

But when she began to speak, I just teared up with Savannah, standing next to me full of smiles and totally unaware of what was happening. I think all she heard was the great job she was doing with most of her letters and totally disregarded the portion about the letters she didn’t know. In an effort to keep it together, for Savvy’s sake at least, I just nodded my head in agreement, kissed Savannah good-bye and then left to my car where I cried my way to work.

‘Why did this trigger you?’ I felt the Holy Spirit ask me in my no words, tear filled moment.

Why did this trigger me? Why was I losing my mind over this moment? I reasoned with myself that my husband and I sacrifice a lot financially to put her in this school, we wanted the best for her, isn’t this their job? And that’s why I felt frustrated. Then I thought about how she would be starting Kindergarten next year and I wondered ‘will she be prepared?’ Being that kindergarten is about 7 months out, this was a premature concern so then the question remains, what is it? Why did this trigger me?

As I drove, guilt the weight of this world began to crush me.

–          I should have more time to work with her.

–          If I wasn’t working full time, I would- I could!

–          If I could just be there for her more, this wouldn’t be an issue.

There it was, the trigger; the feeling of ‘being a full- time employee makes me a part time Mom’ guilt.

I was so upset because I felt like it’s all my fault, I felt like I can’t be there for her the way I want to be because I’m working, I felt like life will always make me choose and I can never, ever have the best of both worlds, someone or something will always feel the burden of this sacrifice.

Ugh. I hate this trigger. Of all the triggers, this is the worst because it attacks one of the things I hold dearest to me, motherhood.

I wish I could say in that moment, I shook it off, moved on and forgot all about it. I wish it was that simple, but it’s not. I felt frustrated, sad, even confused. Even as I pen this note, I’m asking the Holy Spirit ‘so what’s the answer?’

And all I hear is this; GRACE.

There is grace for this place. There is grace for this life. There is grace for this, not just for me but for my children, for my husband. I believe firmly that when you are called to something, anything – whether its motherhood, marriage, ministry, a job or career, school or training- whatever it is, when you are called to that, the Lord graces you for the journey as well as those who are meant to be on the journey with you.

For example, I know that I KNOW my husband is graced for me and my life as I am for his. Going to school, the personal aspirations I have, the fact that I was a dozen babies (joking- kinda), he is graced for that because he is meant to be on this journey with me.

Today, I’m reminded that my girls are also graced for this journey. Out of all the wombs that God could have placed sweet Savannah in, He chose mine. And that sweet and sassy baby girl is graced for this journey. She is graced to have a mom in the workforce, she is graced to be raised by parents in ministry, she is graced for this life because when God chose me as her mother, He graced her to be my daughter and when He chose her as my daughter, He graced me as her mother.

God didn’t slip, fall and drop her into my lap, or womb for that matter. This was a precise decision made in Heaven and if it makes sense there, surely it’ll make sense here.

Maybe you’re not a mother or this isn’t your struggle but I would challenge you that we all have triggers. This was my trigger today, other days my triggers vary. What’s your trigger?

I just want to encourage someone today who’s been triggered by something and it’s sending you into a spiral of frustration and guilt-  you’re graced for this! And so are your children, your spouse and the people who are meant to be on this journey with you.

Be a good steward of what’s before you. All of it. Don’t resent or despise it because God, in all His wisdom chose you for this path. Is He, I mean could He, ever possibly be wrong? I think not.

WANNA RACE?

The New Year is upon us and everyone has a new resolution, goal and plan for 2017. If you scroll through your Facebook timeline or chit chat with some of your closest friends, you’ll see that most people expect to grow in some way this year whether professionally, personally or relationally.

I’ll be the first to say that I love goals, I love planning, I love challenging myself and I love to hope and dream for the future! All these things are great, but in this process there is one simple notion I am very intentional about keeping in mind; life is a collaboration, not a competition.

Challenge yourself, push yourself, create goals and prepare for growth but measure your success by who you use to be and what you aspire to be, rather then what the person to the left or the right of you is doing.

Wanna race?

Thinking about this concept of ‘compare and contrast’ and our innate instinct to compare ourselves to those around us and contrast our success to theirs, I was reminded of a funny story. A few years ago I was fortunate enough to work with 2 of the most amazing women I’ve ever met. We went from being co-workers to friends quickly and it made for some of the best days at work.

We would laugh, talk and joke around to make the days go by faster. It was great!

Well one boring afternoon, one of my friends and I decided to play a trick on the third friend. The joke would be that I would challenge her to a race (yes, like a running race) around the building. She was much more fit then I was) but the plan was, once she took off from the front door, I would go back into the building, find my way to another door, go out that exit and essentially short cut to the finish line. In hindsight, I’m not sure why we thought this was such a good idea or even so funny for that matter, but I guess it goes to show how boring our days were.

Anyways, we’re lined up at the front, ‘On your mark, get set, GO!’ and we both took off. I quickly ran back inside, did my little short cut thing and then came back to the front door where we first started. She runs up a couple minutes later gasping for air (apparently she’s very competitive and took winning very seriously). As she approached, she said something like ‘YOU beat me?!’ and I said, something like ‘that’s right I beat you!!’ She looked around, ‘No way! I didn’t even see you pass me!!’ I said something to the effect of ‘That’s because I was running SO fast, I just whizzed right past you!’

It was honestly, hysterical. I laughed so hard that I gave myself up in no time. We both walked into the office, me laughing, her still gasping for air, it was seriously great.

As entertaining as this story is, I think the underlying principle is noteworthy; the only person you’re racing is yourself.

It’s easy to get on your mark the first of the year, get ready and then set off on this race to the finish line, hoping to whiz past every other person that crosses your path but the reality is, while you’re ‘racing’, others are simply doing their thing. They aren’t thinking about you, they aren’t considering you, they are simply running their race, doing their thing, their way.

During this time of year it will be easy to look at those around you and immediately begin to measure up to them.

‘How did they lose so much weight?’

‘What made her qualified for that position?’

‘How can they afford a new car?’

‘Why did he get that job?’

‘Did they really just buy a house?’

‘Did you see how many likes that post got?!’

‘Are they really getting married before me?!’

The list can go on and on, but the point is simple, another person’s success does not equal your failure. You’re not racing against them, you’re running with them.

When you feel temped to compare and contrast, don’t. That’s it, that’s the key!! Just don’t. Nothing good comes of that. Focus on your journey and realize those around you are just running their own race with you, not against you. It’s ok if we’re all going in the same direction, it’s ok if we have some of the same goals, it’s ok if some days those around you seem up while you feel down, it’s ok! The point isn’t to be better then the next person, by that standard, you’ll always fall short! The hope is that everyday we can be a little better then our own personal best.

Do your thing and do it well.

This year can be great for ALL OF US! There is more then enough success to go around 🙂

Xo.. Lori

BECOMING

Have you ever been in a relationship that left you feeling disappointed?  Used? Unsatisfied? Hurt? Mistreated? Forgotten? Left out? Under- appreciated? Un-noticed? Judged? Or misused?

Maybe this stems from a parent who abandoned you, a sibling who rejected you, friends who disappointed you, a spouse that violated your trust or family members who felt more like strangers. Although this might look different for many of us, the reality is, we’ve all experienced relational disappointment at some time in our life. It’s that soul crushing experience that leaves our expectations unfulfilled and our hearts broken and half empty.

I’ve realized in the last several months that one of my biggest struggles has come from expecting far more from others then they were willing {or capable} of giving and because of this I’ve found myself stuck in the darkness of relational disappointment.

‘I thought they would understand.’

‘I thought they would have support me.’

‘I thought they would have been there for me.’

‘I thought they were dependable’

‘I thought they were loyal’

‘I thought they were a Christian!’

‘I thought they could be trusted’

My list could go on forever, and your list might look different but these are a few from my own personal experiences.

I love deeply, I’m loyal and I give my whole heart and mind to things and people regularly. My general expectation is that others would meet that same need for me and the standard would be reciprocated but far too often the reality has been something totally different and at times the results have been earth shattering to me.

My list of ‘I thought’ quickly turned into phrases like;

‘I should have known better’

‘They’re all the same’

‘I knew it’

‘How could I have been so stupid’

‘This is why I don’t let people in’

And so on and so on. Feelings of brokenness, regret and frustration overtake my mind and cloud my judgment. Before I know it, I’m surrounded by a sea of ‘should have, could have, would have’s [&] ‘they will never fool me twice’ thoughts.

Unfortunately relational disappointment is real and no matter how awesome a person is, they are still just human and they will disappoint you. The key is getting through this disappointment better, not bitter.

Through the brokenness, through the emptiness, through the hurt and through the pain I have realized that maybe, just maybe the ‘friend’ I was searching for, the relationship I was missing isn’t actually missing at all. Maybe what I’m looking for is just hidden within me. Maybe the longing I had was really a longing to see the woman deep within me revealed. Maybe the disappointment that I faced wasn’t because of what others couldn’t be, but rather an underlying feeling of what I should be and couldn’t seem to express.

Could it be that the friend I’ve been looking for all this time was hidden deep within me?..

Could it be that what I was looking in others was actually nestled deep within my own soul?..

The person who loves and encourages me, the one who motivates and inspires me, the one who sees the best in me and pulls it out. The person who is trust worthy, faithful and kind, fierce and strong, wise and courageous. Could it be that that person is within me, waiting to be discovered?

The world needs more love, more joy, more hope, more peace, more encouragement, more inspiration, more consistency. Could it be that you are the very expression of those things that this world is missing?

After countless disappointment and endless frustration, I realized something. If I couldn’t find her, I would be become her.

I would be the very expression of all things lovely that I desperately wanted to see within my friends, my family and my community. I would wait no longer to find it, I would simply be it.

While I am waiting, so is the world… I couldn’t find her, so I became her.