Browsing Category:

Building relationships

What introverts need to know about making meaningful connections

making-meaningful-connections.jpg

 

As an introvert I am keenly aware just how difficult making meaningful connections can be.

 

And as an introvert who is also shy well, I know a whole other level of awkward. 

 

I know how it feels to have your voice disappear inside you when you try to speak. I understand that burning sensation as blood rushes to your cheeks in embarrassment. I completely get the unrivalled joy of plans being cancelled last minute. 

 

Introverts walk this fine line between participation and withdrawal. 

 

We long to be a part of the group, to have our voices heard, to be actively involved, but simultaneously, it makes us unbelievably weary. 

 

Making meaningful connections requires so much energy, a resource we only have in limited supply. 

 

Cramming too much into one day can leave us gasping for air or so completely depleted of energy it looks like we’ve contracted the flu. Self care isn’t just all bubble baths and glittery nail polish to us, it is necessary for our day to day survival. 

 

We can’t cope with all the stresses life throws at us if we don’t make ourselves, our needs, and our alone time a priority. 

 

If we don’t give ourselves that space to rest and recharge we become well, not very nice people.

 

what introverts need to know about making meaningful connections, being brave, introvert struggles, intentional relationships, building deeper connections, networking as an introvert, making friends, how to make friends as an adult

 

Sometimes, our attempts at making meaningful connections backfire terribly. 

 

Like last Sunday, I went to a dinner party with my boyfriend and his parents at their friend’s house. We had a lovely time watching the sunset on the porch, eating a meal together and playing cards afterwards. 

 

But at one point while I was enthusiastically reaching across the table to grab a card off the deck, I gave my elbow an almighty thump on the edge of the table. 

 

The sound it made was disproportionate to the pain I felt, but of course everybody was quick to dole out their sympathy for me and my stupid, noisy elbow. 

 

I could feel my cheeks burning and my eyes start watering a little as I tried to tell them it really wasn’t so bad. 

 

What WAS bad however, was having everybody’s eyes on me. What made me truly cringe was being the centre of attention. 

 

 

As an introvert it can be so tempting to curl up inside your shell.

 

To hide when we should be saying ‘hello.’ To take the easy option of swaying outside the circle of conversations. 

 

How many times have you let your phone go to voicemail so you didn’t have to talk to someone?

How often do you dash into the next aisle when you see someone you know at the supermarket?

How likely are you to avoid going to a social event if you don’t know who else will be there?

 

But it is these simple moments that provide an opportunity for making meaningful connections. 

 

It’s not enough to just see your co-workers from Monday to Friday but avoid every after work gathering. You can’t just pop in and out of your Pilates class but never stop to chat with anyone beforehand. 

 

We meet people through organised situations, work, gym classes, church, and at parties. But we make connections through the spontaneous, unplanned moments in our everyday lives. 

 

It’s when we bump into someone in town and strike up a conversation. When they pop over to our house to borrow something and we invite them in for a cup of tea. When we accept invitations to go out to lunch instead of eating alone at home. 

 

It takes a lot of courage in those moments, to choose connection over comfort. 

 

To prioritise deepening our relationships when what we really want is to run on home to our cats, fluffy blankets and favourite TV show. 

 

But if you want to make meaningful connections, you have to show up. You have to keep trying, to continually make an effort and to do the best you can to always be reachable.

 

You have to do the brave thing and participate when you’d really rather withdraw. You have to speak up, share your thoughts and allows others to see who you really are.

 

This is vulnerability at its finest. The best kind. The sort that fosters intimacy, creativity and innovation.

 

That’s what we get when we make ourselves available for connection.


 

You have to know your limits and respect them for sure

 

But you shouldn’t allow yourself to be defined by a label. It’s not enough to squeeze yourself into the ‘introvert box‘ and never take any steps to challenge yourself. 

 

I’m all for self care and being aware of your needs but sometimes we can be a little too easy on ourselves.

 

We can use that introvert label as an excuse to avoid people. We can get stuck in our familiar rhythms and routines and never venture out of them.


 

You’ve got to start noticing those precious, little chances for connection and choose to take them.

 

If you are craving community. If you want to make connections; deep, meaningful connections, then you have to be willing to foster them. To give up your homely comforts, your cozy Friday nights, your reliance on our answering machines and to start welcoming people into those spaces instead.

 

“You can choose courage or you can choose comfort. You cannot have them both.” – Brene Brown

 

The power of vulnerability: having the courage to say how we really feel

the-power-of-vulnerability

 

I never really grasped the power of vulnerability until I started dating.

 

The effort required to put yourself out there and meet someone in the first place is immense. And this only compounds once you are actually in a relationship and forced to share so much of yourself with another person.

 

I had no idea how difficult it would be to articulate my frustration or the depth of my affection. But both things are equally challenging.

 

Both require a level of vulnerability I was completely unprepared for.

 

Even for someone who loves words as much as me, finding the right ones to say can be nearly impossible. It’s like my mouth dries up and the ability to formulate a sentence disappears.

 

One of the biggest lessons I am learning is that withdrawing from vulnerability and bottling up emotions is a surefire way to cause trouble in a relationship. And when broken people try to build relationships, trouble is already present in spades.

 

When I was doing a spot of gardening this week I found a perfect metaphor for this phenomenon.

 

the power of vulnerability, vulnerability in relationships, having the courage to say how we feel, bottling up emotions, being honest with ourselves, building relationships, express your emotions,

 

I’ve recently come to learn that walnut trees are prolific and tenacious in their pursuit of complete, garden domination.

 

They grow up into these ginormous, towering trees which look absolutely magnificent but are really just huge, leafy pests. Every autumn they drop hundreds of walnuts beneath their canopy and an army of shoots sprout before your very eyes.

 

I was given the critical task of removing the excess shoots from beneath one of the trees before they got out of control and created a backyard platoon.

 

Due to my lack of gardening experience, I foolishly predicted the work would be easy.

 

At first, I found that the small, immature plants were easy to pull out. They only required a gentle tug and the entire shoot and roots would be in my hands.

 

The larger plants were a different story however. Their roots were well established, their stems were thicker and so they were tougher to remove from the ground.

 

And as I huffed and puffed under the shade of that grand old, walnut tree I thought about how similar these shoots are to our bottled up emotions.


 

We start out with a little niggling frustration, a slight undiagnosed sadness, there will be something that upsets us and we will refuse to figure out why.

 

Then little by little, the frustrations mount, the anger seethes, the sadness deepens.

What once was a small shoot becomes a fully developed plant. With roots spanning deep and wide. We find it is impossible to remove with a simple, gentle tug, instead we must cut off the stem and dig out the roots.

 

The problem with avoiding vulnerability is that our issues never get resolved.

 

That’s what we are doing every time we fear vulnerability and say “I’m fine” even though we are not.

 

This is what happens when someone upsets us but we choose to not make waves or confront the problem.

 

And this is what we allow to fester when we refrain from doing the difficult work of dealing with our emotions through self-reflection.


 

I’m guilty of this as much as anyone.

 

I have a terrible propensity for believing people can and should read my mind. That they should be aware when I am upset and they should know exactly what I need them to do to make things right.

 

This doesn’t bode well in relationships. People can hardly ever read my mind. Most of the time I just go quiet and no one will be any the wiser that what they did upset me.

 

Sometimes I get lazy and prefer to avoid dwelling on my negative emotions. Instead of asking myself why I am feeling upset and working out what I can do about it, I numb myself. I run in the other direction. I shut out those feelings.

 

But staying silent doesn’t make the problem go away. Numbing ourselves or pushing the negative emotion down deep doesn’t allow us to heal.

 

The problem just simmers away in the background, waiting dormant, ready to pop back up at any moment.

 

the-power-of-vulnerability

What we need is to understand the power of vulnerability.

 

Choosing to say how we really feel. Laying our cards on the table. Opening up and allowing ourselves to heal.

 

Daring to be vulnerable is a terrifying feeling. Like losing control of the car you are driving. Like being a bug under a microscope. Like leaning dangerously over the edge of a cliff.

 

There is no easy way to wander into vulnerability. It takes a great deal of work.

 

But the rewards of vulnerability are countless. The power of vulnerability is incredible.

 

When we find the courage to say how we really feel, we create an opportunity for real connection with others.

When we allow people to see our weaknesses, our fears and our biggest needs, we allow them to step into those places and help us mend ourselves.

 

If we learn to process our emotions, to express our feelings, to release instead of bottling them up, we can find a deeper sense of belonging.


 

We have to be braver about this.

 

We need to start tackling those shoots when they are still small. Instead of just brushing things off, we need to start dealing with our emotions.

 

We need to become more self aware so that we know our strengths and weaknesses. So we know what makes us so very frustrated or absolutely delighted. We have to take the time to get to know ourselves first.

 

And we need to ask for help when we feel sad or confused or lonely. It isn’t fair to expect people to read our minds and determine our needs.

 

I think now I realise the power of vulnerability. To be vulnerable is not to show weakness but to recognise our strength. To understand that saying how we really feel is one of the bravest and best things we can do.

When broken people try to build relationships

broken-people-relationships

 

I’ve been thinking recently about the cost of relationships.

 

Being in a relationship, be it romantic, friendly, forced by blood relation or other, is costly. People come into our lives and leave muddy footprints all over them.

Relationships require so much patience, compassion and forgiveness. Sometimes it feels too hard. Too costly. Too much to ask.


 

For example, I like to take good care of my things. I place a great deal of value in my possessions and so I tend to treat all of them with my utmost respect.

 

However, I am learning that other people do not take the same precautions with their own possessions nor those of anyone else for that matter.

 

I came to realize this the hard way in my first flatting experience.

 

Somehow I ended up flatting with three loud, rambunctious, messy boys.

I never thought I would flat with boys at all, let alone three at once, but God has such a great sense of humour that way.

 

So I would often find myself stumbling into wrestling matches on the living room floor, piggy-back rides in the kitchen and tea box tower construction in the pantry.

 

And as you can imagine, such chaos often left casualties. Fortunately, nay miraculously, none of us were ever harmed, but the same cannot be said for our flat, furniture and crockery.

 

Cups were chipped, once white tea towels became grey and splotchy, spatulas were singed on hot frying pans and beautiful china bowls were cracked irreparably.


 

There was this one bowl I was particularly fond of because it was on the clearance shelf at the kitchenware store.

 

It was white with this delicate turquoise pattern etched all around it. I fell in love the minute I laid eyes on this bowl and I knew I had to buy it.

 

If I had a china cabinet I would have kept it nicely tucked away in there because it was almost too beautiful to be used.

 

One day I came home and found my precious bowl with a big, ugly chip in its rim.

And not only that, but inching from the chip right through the middle of the bowl was a hairline crack which I knew spelled disaster.

 

It broke my heart.

 

I knew I shouldn’t have trusted those careless boys with my beautiful bowl. This is why we can’t have nice things. Because people are sloppy and careless and incredibly clumsy.

 

If we let them use our fine china it will get chipped, it’s only a matter of time.

 

I stormed around the flat for a little bit and muttered to myself about how careless boys are and how I should teach them a lesson about breaking other peoples precious belongings.

 

And I was getting all puffed up and ready to fight until I realized how melodramatic and absurd I was being.

 

It was a bowl for goodness sake. It was no antique, it wasn’t a heirloom, it wasn’t given to me by someone very special.

 

It probably cost less than 15 dollars. It had no sentimental or monetary value and yet I felt so outraged that someone had broken something that belonged to me.

 

It’s a joy to have nice things. It just makes sense that you would look after the things which you have spent your hard earned money on.

 

But it becomes a problem when we value our things more than people.

 

broken people building relationships, the cost of relationship, loving others, friendships, community, relationships, love,

 

So this brings me back to the cost of relationships. The fact that sharing my life, my home and my space with other people means that things won’t ever be the same.

 

They’ll leave their fingerprints all over my wineglasses. Their problems cluttering up my quiet Friday evening. Their brokenness chipping a hairline crack of disappointment and hurt throughout the smooth crockery of our relationship.

 

But I don’t want to be the kind of person who is so caught up in bubble-wrapping her china bowls that she misses out on communing with friends.

 

I don’t want to become obsessed with collecting things that I lose the chance to build a community that depends on sharing.

 

Too often I think we let our pride, our egos and our desire for perfection to get in the way of real connection. True intimacy. Deep relationship.

 

But I want to learn how to let people in.

 

broken-people-relationships

 

I want to love others. I want to drink from chipped cups and wear my best friends socks and lend someone my sweater when it gets cold.

 

I want to trade lemons from your tree for basil from my garden. I want to swap chocolate chip cookie recipes and your mom’s famous potato salad recipe.

 

I want to be the kind of person who values people, not things.

 

And that isn’t an easy thing for me to do. Because people with my personality type tend to want to keep things to them self. We so badly want to be different, unique and important and it can feel like allowing people to see all of us will spoil that.

I’m deeply afraid that someone will copy me and then I won’t be so special anymore.

 

But I’m learning that this is one of the costs of relationships. The fact that someone might copy us or abandon us or hurt us in ways we never saw coming.

 

It is so messy and risky and completely gut-wrenching at times, but it is what we were made for after all.

 

To love and be loved. To share and be seen. To lean on and lead on one another.

 

So come on over and use my best china because life is for living, not just for looking at.

To all the boys I’ve loved before…

love-lessons

I have spent much of my life trying to figure out what love looks like.

 

For so long I was mesmerized by the Disney princess tales of Prince Charming and knights on white horses. I lived for the glittery romance and thrilling passion of these love stories.

 

Over the years I have discovered that the real life versions of these stories come with so much more trials and heartbreak.

 

The frogs seem to outnumber the princes.

The days spent in high castles waiting to be rescued seem to be endless.

The happily ever after often requires tears and compromise and a whole lot of things which must be written in the fine print in the Disney tales.

 

But as brutal as it is, I love the tragedy of our real life love stories. I love the high stakes, the tangible expressions, the depth that cartoons cannot begin to capture.

 

I just wish I had known love wasn’t meant to be hard.

 

I think love should be soft like freshly washed sheets and warm like the morning sunshine on your back. Love should be gentle like a boat bobbing along a small stream and safe like your bedroom when a storm is battering outside on the windows.

 

You shouldn’t have to make them want to be with you. They should just want to be with you.

 

You shouldn’t have to become someone else for them. They should just love you for the wonderful person that you are.

 

You shouldn’t have to try so hard because love should be easy.

 

And so with this in mind I wanted to reminisce on my past loves…the lessons I’ve learnt from them and the poems they inspired.

love lessons, heartbreak lessons, to all the boys I've loved before, relationship advice, relationships, love, finding love, poetry, love poems,

To the ones that didn’t know I existed…

 

Oh how I obsessed over you. If you only knew all the silly nicknames I gave you. If you could only see all the journals I covered with your name.

 

You gave me a first glimpse of the intensity of love.

 

You showed me just how overwhelming, confusing and all-consuming these feelings can be. You taught me that I can bounce back rather quickly from heartbreak and that crushes aren’t really love at all. 

 

Crushes are superficial and hardly ever based on facts. Whereas, love is substantial, built on truth and knowing more about someone than their favourite ice cream flavour.

 

To the one who didn’t want me…

 

I tried to be the girl for you, oh I tried so hard.

 

I laughed at your jokes before I understood the punchline. I walked at your pace even though my legs were working twice as hard as yours. I listened intently when you talked about politics though I thought it was about as interesting as watching the washing machine swirl my clothes around.

 

I suppose it’s not your fault, I fell for you and you didn’t even know it. But that’s the way you are, stuck inside your head you leave little room for emotions. So of course you had no inkling of mine.

 

But you taught me what a gift it is to feel so strongly. What I take for granted is such a struggle for some. You reminded me how precious it is to know love and how difficult yet thrilling it is to express it.

love-lessons

 

To the one who wanted to be ‘just friends…’

 

I thought you were different. I thought this time it might stick. I thought perhaps if I wished it hard enough, you would want me enough to stay.

 

But I was wrong.

 

We should have only ever been friends. You shouldn’t have toyed with my heart the way you did. You should have been honest from the start instead of allowing me to push you into a relationship you weren’t interested in.

 

But you taught me how much it hurts to love someone that doesn’t feel the same. And you reminded me how good it feels to love so even though losing you almost tore me in two, I knew I would search forever to find someone who would let me love them like you couldn’t.

love-lessons

 

To the one who loved me back…

 

I promised myself I’d never write soppy love poems or I’d certainly never publish them but for you I will make an exception.

 

Because I cannot talk about heartbreak and hopeless love without mentioning how it feels when it goes right.

 

So here it is. You are my sunshine, my safe place and my favourite song I could keep singing all day long.

 

You taught me how to love myself again. You showed me what trust looks like. You made vulnerability seem so effortless. You took the hardest thing in the world- opening up my heart again- and made it feel like the easiest.

love-lessons


 

It has always frustrated me that we have to live life forwards. With the knowledge we gain, in hindsight we would do things so differently.

 

But that’s the way life is. We can’t dwell on the past but rather try our best to make the future better.

 

It gives me great joy to know that the experiences I’ve had and the lessons I’ve learnt because of them have shaped me into the person who I am today. And that through these experiences I can help others learn from my mistakes and hopefully do better than me.

 

And so I hope that this will be true for you.

 

That you will continue to love with your whole heart but to only share it with those truly deserving of it.

 

Remember, love is really quite simple…if they love you, they’ll make sure you know it.

Craving community and the cost of real connection

craving-connection-the-cost-of-real-community

 

When I think of community I am reminded of those big cheesy quilts that hang in libraries, town halls and council offices. With pieces of fabric cut into various shapes representing the famous landmarks of the town. Smiley faces of children waving from playgrounds. Buses winding up and down the thin strips of grey material. Cotton bud clouds, rippling streams, parks with cheery swing sets.

It’s a picture of happiness, warmth and safety.

 

A wonderful reminder of what it looks like when we do this thing right.

 

This mish-mash of colour, texture and patterns requires an experienced hand to sew it all together. Because traditionally, quilts are made in small squares, then these individual pieces are slotted together and sewn to create one masterpiece.

 

Each person works on their square, stitching themself into it.

 

Some sew tight, neat little stitches, bound up like the tension they hold in their shoulders. Some sew large, loose stitches. Looping carelessly, lighter than a feather.

And somehow these mismatching segments have to pair up at the ends and complete the square pattern.


 

Community is a funny thing. This group of imperfect people getting together and attempting to create something beautiful and worth celebrating.

 

At times it can feel like more of a shambles than a beautiful quilt.

The strain of different stories and mismatching beliefs creating gathers and tucks instead of smooth seams.

 

This world is full of messy, broken people, desperately trying to fit in. More than anything we just want to belong. We just want people to love and accept us.

 

But more often than not, I feel like I don’t fit in.

 

I often feel embarrassed that I cannot hold myself together. I frequently assume I’m the only one who is coming apart at the seams. Perhaps I am, or it may be that I’m the only one who’s being honest.

 

Is it really true that you feel fine every time someone asks you how you are doing? Do you really have nothing that you are afraid of? Nothing you are longing for? Nothing that rattles you or causes you to lose sleep at night?

 

Am I really the only one who feels like a mess?

 

Seems unlikely.

 

The truth is that we think we need to have it all together. We need to don these masks and keep our worries to ourselves so as not to burden the rest of the world with our problems.

 

We think we are the only ones who are struggling. We believe it’s our responsibility to gather up these crumbly bits of our lives and carry them all on our own. This is our cross to bear and we clutch it tightly. 

 

We’re afraid that if we let others see our broken pieces they’ll be overwhelmed or judgmental. Or that they will reject us and our cumbersome baggage. 


 

But I’m so tired of living this way.

 

I hate feeling like I’m the only one whose cheese is always falling off of their cracker.

I hate being the only one who gives their whole heart in every conversation.

 

I’m craving authenticity like oxygen. I thirst for honesty like a cool drink of water. I’m desperately hungry for a taste of realness.

Give me more of your imperfections, your mistakes and your shortcomings. I need to breathe again.  

 

Can’t you see that these are the things that make us human? Don’t you know that these are the threads that connect us to one another?

 

community, the cost of real connection, friendship, relationships, love, finding friends, vulnerability

 

This world has become far too scripted, airbrushed and filtered, it’s hard to tell what’s real anymore. We put up walls and we get defensive. We keep each other at arm’s length and avoid deeper conversations. We beat around bushes and we stick to polite small talk. 

 

This is not real love. This is not real community.

 

We need to be all in.

 

Giving everything regardless of what we get in return. We need to be there to cheer for one another in the high points. We need to be a shoulder to cry on in the low points. We need to pray for, fight for and root for one another.

 

Because what I do know is this…I can’t get enough of people who let me see them fully. I’m like a moth drawn to a flame. This kind of honesty is irresistible.


 

And what I’ve noticed is something beautiful happens as we co-exist. As we rub up alongside one another we begin to adopt pieces of everyone around us. A phrase from one person, a gesture from another.

 

Rather than those separate quilt squares stitched together, we become like this beautiful tapestry. We are interwoven. Threaded through each other. We become so much a part of one another’s stories that it’s hard to tell where one person starts and another ends.

 

That’s the vision I have for my community. Tightly bound, bright and colourful, not easily unraveled.

 

Creating community like this is all of our responsibility. And it takes hard work. Building trust doesn’t happen overnight. It takes patience and persistence. We have to start showing up with our masks off. Make-up free. Walls down.

 

We have to be willing to be seen. We have to allow ourselves to be known. It’s unnerving, uncomfortable and at times painful but a thriving community cannot be matched in its’ wonder.

 

And it starts with you.

 

Open your heart, your curtains, your door. Let the light in on those cobwebbed corners of your living room. Sit face to face with the steam rising from your cups of coffee. Link fingers, hold hands, wrap your arms around them.

 

Suddenly, we are one.

 

One body, one voice, one heart.

 

“Courage gives us a voice and compassion gives us an ear. Without both, there is no opportunity for empathy and connection.” – Brene Brown

The gift of our diversity

the-gift-of-our-diversity

I am ignorant. I am naïve. My mind is narrow and my knowledge is limited. I see the unfamiliar as threatening. The unknown as alarming. In my bubble of consistency and uniformity I am safe.

 

But I’m slowly learning what lies beyond the unfamiliar, uncertain and uncommon is extraordinary.

 

If we always colour within the lines, if we only stick with what we know, we risk missing out on the fullness of life.

 

When we step outside our comfort zone, when we sit and listen to those who look and sound nothing like us…we experience something beautiful. We realize that we really aren’t that different after all.

 


 

We’ve recently moved into a new neighbourhood and I decided that I would like to take this fresh start as an opportunity to get to know my neighbours properly. Previously, I’ve missed that acceptable window in which to become acquainted with my neighbours and so I lived beside them for years without ever knowing their names or their stories.

 

This time had to be different. So I started small. I baked a batch of apple and cinnamon muffins, nothing flashy or obnoxious and we went over to introduce ourselves.

 

We were greeted by a smiling Chinese woman and her daughter. I rambled an introduction nervously before realizing that she didn’t speak English and couldn’t understand a word I’d just said. Fortunately, her daughter translated for us and kindly ushered us in for a cup of tea.

 

We stepped into their lounge and sat gingerly on the edge of their couch while they boiled the kettle and pulled cups and teapots together. The TV was blaring in a language foreign to my ears. There were strange figures forming a shrine on the mantelpiece. The cup was tiny and made of glass which burnt my fingers as I picked it up.

 

I felt myself shuffling uncomfortably as one who has traveled infrequently and only to countries which speak English.

 

But as we sipped our tea, breathing in the sweet scent and sharing in this sacred ceremony our guards started slipping. Our differences became less noticeable. Our exquisite humanity knitted us together.

 

We began to share our stories, where we came from, what we love to do, what makes us unique and what makes us the same. We sat and chatted in broken English and messy Chinese and came away an hour later with two new friends and a dinner invitation for later that week.

 


 

And it was over dinner that I realized the significance of food and friendship in our lives. That something as simple as a batch of muffins can enable two families to build bridges and forge a relationship.

Because gathered around the table with the pink plastic cover, the mismatching chairs, the delicately painted bowls and thin wooden chopsticks, we were a picture of heaven. Regardless of our nationality, native tongue or chosen religion, we gathered here.

It is around a table that communion becomes real.

 

“Here we break bread and receive one another. We set aside our differences, our grievances and we are one.  This is love. This is Jesus. This is heaven touching earth.”

 

There’s a lot of talk these days about right and wrong. We search relentlessly for answers, for truth, for the moral high ground.

But all of this seems to just lead us further into segregation. We are divided by our opinions and our pride. We can’t see past our narrowminded views and we can’t step down from our high horses.

 

There are plenty of people who go through the motions, who obey the regulations, who colour within the lines.

But when we’re so busy polishing our church shoes and pointing fingers, we miss the big picture.

 

We are all the same and infinitely different. We carry separate dreams, fears and failings. But we are bound to one another in love. That’s the way it was always meant to be.

Beneath all of our arrogance, insecurities, doubts and fragility is a beating heart seeking connection.

 


 

Too often we let things stop us from reaching out, from crossing the street or baking a batch of muffins. But I’ve tasted and seen that God is good. I know now that this way is the best way.

 

“Welcoming strangers and making friends. Picking up the stragglers and inviting them in. Humbling ourselves and letting others go first.”

 

That’s what Jesus did and that’s what he’s asked us to do too.

 

And as much as I’d like to keep my head down and my blinds drawn… I simply cannot ignore this call. And now I’ve got a taste of it I really can’t stop.

 

I keep getting these heart nudges to be the one to say hello, to ask someone to join in, to give without getting anything in return.

 

And what I’ve found is as much as I give, it’s returned to me pressed down, shaken together, running over. That’s the way it is, we give the little we have and get immeasurably more in return.

 

So we can play it safe, we can colour within the lines and do only what is necessary or we can move beyond our bubbles of consistency and uniformity. We can move towards the unknown, uncommon and unfamiliar because it is there that we find one of those delightful thin places where heaven meets earth.

 

That’s the gift of our diversity.

the-gift-of-our-diversity

P.S. Welcome to the new blog! I hope you like what you’ve seen so far. In this space I’m going to be writing about living intentionally, building relationships and finding encouragement for your everyday life and I’d love to have you stick around for more. Feel free to Follow my blog with Bloglovin, connect on Facebook or follow along behind the scenes on Instagram.