Happy Anniversary

Posted in Uncategorized on April 25, 2015 by Shara

Happy Anniversary.

Be Brave.

Posted in Uncategorized on January 17, 2015 by Shara

Leonardo da Vinci

It the midst of winter, when the days drag on, and the clouds seem just a little too close for comfort, it is hard not to wallow.  The sun rarely shines.  Sicknesses drag on and on.  Friends seem a little far and few between, because who wants to venture out in this?  And who has the time between being sick or taking care of others that are sick?  Depression sets in, and it’s hard to even smile.

So, we gather and hide behind social media.  We laugh at something silly someone posts and write a witty comment about it.  We chat online, chumming with our friends.  We play games with our friends!  We joke and then show pictures of our cute kids/pets/spouses/lives.  We share touching stories or blogs we find.  But we don’t see what’s behind the façade.  People see us as happy-go-lucky, without a care in the world!  We desperately say, “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!”  “Look at how beautiful the curtain is!”  And most people…  most people are distracted enough about the glitz and glamour of what is going on in front of the curtain, that they don’t bother to pull back the curtain and see what’s really going on.  They don’t see the desperation on the other side.  The desperation of a soul that is tragically withdrawn.  The desperation of a soul that is struggling to make it day by day.

I’ve recently had a friend just stop trying to be friends with me anymore.  It was a pretty harsh slap in the face.  We had disagreed about something on a social media post, and I had written her an apology a few days later, stating my point of view but letting her know I still loved her, and cherished our friendship, and that I had hoped that a deeper conversation about the subject would follow.

She never wrote back or acknowledged I had even written to her.

That was almost two months ago.

I was heartbroken when I realized she wasn’t going to pursue this friendship.  I went through the stages of grief.  I denied the fact that I was in any way at fault.  I denied that anything was wrong.  Then I was angry.  I was so angry that she had the audacity to completely ignore me.  Anger for me, lingers much longer than it should.  I stayed angry.  Afterwards?  I bargained with myself, “Isn’t this friendship important?  Why don’t YOU pursue it?” only to turn around and be depressed by the fact that I did write an apology, and in turn, the friendship just must not have meant that much if she so willingly dropped me like a bad habit.  What was wrong with ME then?  What was wrong with me?  Then acceptance.  I did what I could do.  I could do nothing more than accept that this person no longer wanted a deeper friendship.  And once I accepted it?  I could breath again.

This is just a tiny portion of what I’ve been through the last few years.  Just a tiny glimpse into my life.

My Facebook posts during the last few months?  They never alluded to my struggling friendship.  To my struggling life.  Never once said, “I HATE MYSELF.  I HATE MY LIFE!   YOU SHOULD ALL HATE ME TOO.”  because some days, that is what I wanted to scream.  I would just post another cute photograph of our new puppy on my status and say something witty that happened with my kids that day.

I hide a lot behind social media.  I hide a lot behind my smile.  I hide a lot behind my extroverted husband.  I hide a lot from myself, because I’m afraid of what I will see.  I’m so afraid of what others will see and say.

I’ve asked God why I go through these seemingly small struggles.  Why I let them weigh on my chest and drag me down.  I wonder what lessons God is trying to teach me.

And then I sit back and think.  I sit back and let God speak.  Quietly.  Gently.

I’ve been through a lifetime of heartache and struggles.  Some of my own making, and some through the hands of others.  But I rarely open my mouth to tell anyone about them.  I rarely let anyone see what it is like to be a mother that struggles with deep depression, and still gets up day after day.  I never let on what living with anxiety is like.  What it’s like living when you don’t want to.  I rarely let anyone glimpse behind the curtain by making the outside so beautiful to look at.  I never let anyone know that God helps those who are low.  That He lifts up those that struggle, the ones crying out from the deep dark places of their souls.  That He covers us all in love and compassion.

So, today I choose to stand up.  Today I choose to be brave.  Today I choose to say that my life is not as perfect as you may think.  I struggle.  I feel lost.  I hide.  I also choose to write out loud that I struggle with life.  You might too.  Let’s stand together.  Let’s lift one another up.  Let’s look past the surface, and see what God is doing on the inside.  Maybe we can help someone else see God, when they otherwise can not.

Instead of hiding behind our curtains, can we be brave and reach out to one another?  Can we be intentional with our conversations?  Our words?  You can be intentional through social media by reaching out and private messaging someone, commenting on a post, being a friend.  You can be intentional by making a phone call, even if it’s hard to fit into your day.  You can be intentional by making time for friends despite a disagreement you might have, or a passing view that this person’s comments on social media might be annoying.  Instead think that maybe, just maybe, you need to be reaching out to that person in love, because they might be going through something that you can help with.  Maybe God is telling you, through your own frustration with them, that they need you now, more than ever.  And perhaps, you need to talk to them.  Or instead of hiding behind a status, we can say, “Things are tough today…  Let me tell you why.”  Start real conversations and real relationships by being real and by being brave.

Open up your doors during this long winter’s night.  Make an effort to say hello.

Be a shining light in the darkness, because the days are short and the nighttime comes all to soon.  The beacon that shines in the distance can be a beacon of hope during the long winters, when the sun barely shines, and the clouds close in so tight.

Stand tall against the winter’s storm that rages from within.

Be BRAVE.

 

 

Missing out on life…

Posted in Uncategorized on November 3, 2014 by Shara

john812

As I pondered Jesus’ words today, it made me sad to think that I am missing out on God’s glory because I am preoccupied with “life”, of picking up my past messes.  To me, what is life without God?  Truthfully, it is an empty and lonely place.  All too often I am sucked back into that place of darkness.

I’m 34 years old.  After 34 years of feeling around in the dark places of my soul, and feeling nothing but emptiness and broken glass, you tend to lose hope.  You sink into despair.  You lose hope in yourself that you can do it on your own.  Truth is, I can’t do it alone.  I can’t do it without Him.

Jesus.  Jesus, is beautiful and filled with LIGHT.  It hurts to look directly at Him as He enters in, after being sheathed in darkness for so long.  Sometimes I look away from the light, and retreat back into my dark places.  Because not only does the light allow me to see, but it allows me to see all that is broken within me.  The light allows others to see my broken pieces too.  Just the vast amount of broken pieces that seem overwhelming.  But The Light keeps coming back into view.  He sits down next to me, as I try to pick up those broken pieces, and all I can say is “I’m sorry.  I’m sorry…”  I dropped my wholeness, and it broke into a million shards of glass that I can not fix.  We each try to hold onto our wholeness.  But, as life goes on in the darkness, it is too hard to carry.  It is too hard to see, and when you stumble in those dark recesses of your mind, it is inevitable that you will drop your wholeness.  Perhaps you’ve given your “wholeness” to someone else that you’ve found in the darkness to carry, but their lives are dark too, and they can’t keep it safe.

Jesus comes to me, he’s got His wholeness to give in my stead, and He stands next to me and holds it.  He will never let it go.

He will never let me go.

So, what am I missing now that He stands by my side?  Why am I still trying to retreat into the darkness?  Why am I still trying to pick up my broken pieces, cutting myself in the process?

Jesus has enough light  so that I don’t stumble and fall.

I am missing LIFE when I don’t focus my eyes on the light.

Because of Him, I can finally see.  And be seen.

My case against ‘BFF’s’ and why I don’t have one.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on September 18, 2014 by Shara

“Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”  Groucho Marx

 

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently about the term ‘best friends’ and what it entails.   When I googled ‘Best Friend + definition’ the first thing that came up was a definition that said, “The one friend who is closest to you.”  Urban dictionary said, “Best Friends are very special people in your life. They are the first people you think about when you make plans. They are the first people you go to when you need someone to talk to.”  And even still, one more definition came up with the meaning, “The definition of a best friend is a person who you value above other friends in your life, someone you have fun with, someone you trust and someone in whom you confide.”

And I’ve sat back… thought long and hard about it, and decided; I don’t have a best friend.  I don’t have anyone that considers me their best friend, either, if we want to be perfectly honest.  For a very long time, I was upset and angry about it.  I pleaded with God to bring me a best friend to call my very own!  I would wonder why people weren’t best friend material!  Was it something about them?  No, not them…  Then I would ask God what was wrong with me that made people not want to be my best friend.  Perhaps there is still something to go on there, and I’m sure we could analyze that one for hours (and I think that is a post for another time).  But, what I’ve come to realize, is that I’m a damn good friend, and I don’t have to be someone’s bestie to still be an awesome friend, or to have them be a meaningful part of my life.  BFF’s are cool, but I’m no less of a person if I don’t have one.  At least, I think so.

Back in 1980-something, I remember going to some quirky little jewelry store and picking a “Best Friends” necklace to wear with the person I was best friends with at the time. What’s most interesting to me is I don’t think I ever gave the other half of the necklace away.  It stayed in my twirling ballerina jewelry box, collecting dust, eventually being thrown out, or perhaps getting lost.  I can’t really remember.  Plus, I moved a lot as a child.  Before we moved to Illinois the year I was turning 11, we moved almost every year.  I don’t regret the decisions of my parents to move that often.  I don’t blame them.  It was hard for my Mom to be a single mother, raising a baby, and then when she was re-married to my step-Dad, figuring out their life together.  That life didn’t always mean that I went to the same school one, two or three years in a row, and that was okay.  I made friends.  I usually attached myself to one person, but by the time we moved to Illinois, I realized it was too hard to keep a best friend, and into adulthood, some of the friends I thought were my besties, ended up just being friends in the end.  It never meant that they were any less of a good friend.  It just means, we went down different paths.

I know a lot of people who have BFF’s. They’ve known these people for years, sometimes their whole lives.  And I sometimes I feel like it would be nice to have ONE person that you ALWAYS turn to when you are going through something tough.  Many times, that’s when I stuff (it isn’t always the right thing to do, but it’s what I do).  When I know I need to reach out to someone or get something off my chest, I might talk to a few people.  But none of them I’d consider my BFF.  I never call one particular person in the middle of the night.  Whenever I’ve been at my lowest, I’ve tried reaching out to people, and usually, I get the voicemail, and honestly that’s probably for the best.  If I can’t talk myself down from the ledge, would someone else be able to?  I’m not about to drag someone else down into my spiral of self-loathing.  So, I sleep it off, and 9 times out of 10, I feel 100% better in the morning, and I have a clearer conscience, and I regret that I even tried to reach out to anyone at all.  So, I’ve learned that if something is really laying heavy on my heart and I’ve been dealing with it for a few days, I reach out to the key people who I know have good advice, but otherwise, I need to take a breath and step back, sleep it off, and know that God brings new mercies every morning.

I have always been a little envious of the people who considered their Mom a best friend. I was angry for a very long time about it, too.  I was angry that my Mom had a best friend, and I didn’t.  I was angry because I thought she didn’t care enough about me to consider me one of her best friends.  I wanted desperately to have her be my confidant.  I wanted her to be close enough to me to WANT to be my friend.  But, over the years, I have realized something.  No matter how hard you want something, it doesn’t mean that it is going to happen.  No matter how hard I wanted my Mom to be the first person I called, the first person I thought of, the first person I ran to when times were tough, that wasn’t the truth.  I did go to my parents when I was in over my head, most of the time.  But, mostly, I just figured it out myself.  I am okay with that now.  In essence, I’ve grown up.  I’ve learned to rely on myself better.  I’ve learned that I am capable of so much more than I ever imagined.  If my Mom was my friend and helped me with everything, then I would use that as a crutch in my life, instead of learning how to stand and survive on my own two feet.

My heart breaks a little every time someone who’s married says, “My husband/wife is my best friend! I can’t imagine life without them!”  Someone even once said that they hoped God would allow him and his spouse to co-habitate in heaven, because she was his perfect match, and he can’t even imagine eternity without her.  That is a beautiful thought, and at one time, I wished that too, with my whole heart.  Until I realized it wasn’t mutual.  My husband never would say something like that to my face, but whenever I would wish that thought out loud, his eyes would gloss over a bit, and I realized it wasn’t his dream.  And while I can’t imagine life without my husband and I even thought for a long time that he was my best friend, I realize now, it just isn’t the reality in my own life.  Guess what?  He doesn’t fill the best friend role.  And guess what else? I don’t fill that role for him, either.  And right now, that’s truthfully okay.  He’s always had other “besties”.  He’s had one friend he’s known since he was 5, and they are still as close as brothers.  Other friends have come and gone, but there have been several guys that he would consider best friends.  The guys he calls on when he needs a helping hand, a beer, or just someone to vent with.  He doesn’t vent to me.  I’m not his sounding board.  I’m not the first person he turns to when he needs to get something off his chest.  Recently, he’s been under a lot of stress between work and school, and he doesn’t really talk to me about much other than what is going on that day/week with each other’s schedules or what’s happening with the kids.  At one time, I thought there was something wrong with us and our relationship.  He’s had more guy weekends away with his best guy friends than he has ever had with me (we haven’t even been away together, just the two of us).  And I spent so much of my life feeling hurt and angry about it.  I mean, I spend years of my life thinking I should be more meaningful in his life.  I’ve come to finally realize recently though, that just because he chooses other “best friends” over me to talk and relate to, and because he wants to spend more time with them when he gets the chance, over date nights, or weekends away with me, that it doesn’t mean we aren’t GOOD friends.  And it certainly doesn’t mean he doesn’t cherish me as his spouse.  That is a tough realization, I know.  It hurts a little even writing the words down.  But I know it as truth.  And I am accepting the reality of my life.  We spend every day together.  Sometimes he might just need a weekend away from me with his best friends for him to get back on track with life.  He just needs to ease his stress, and blow off some steam.  Spending a weekend at the Lakehouse with his best friends is cheap, relaxing and a way to unwind.  Spending a weekend away with me, just adds stress for him.  It isn’t relaxing, and it just hurts our marriage more than not because we think of all the other things we should be doing instead.  It’s just not high on the importance scale.  As much as I would love to imagine getting away as being this blissful time of reconnecting and celebrating one another…  What is the reality of it?  The reality is, I have to scour the earth for a babysitter who can watch all 4 kids overnight, possibly longer.  We have to budget so carefully that it might even hurt us financially to go anywhere, so going anywhere that requires an overnight hotel is out of the question.  A bed and breakfast, HA!  All-inclusive vacation to the beach, don’t even get me started about how stressful that would end up being!   Even date nights are getting more and more expensive.  What used to be a $50 night to reconnect, now is upwards of $100 or more.  That money has a place in our lives.  That money either goes towards God, or towards keeping a roof over our heads and clothes on our backs.  “Take a staycation, Shara!  Working on your relationship is so important in marriage!  Have someone watch the kids, and just stay together at home.”  Home…  home is where the bills and projects are.  Home is stressful.  Home is piles of laundry and a whirlwind of toys.  Chores.  If I’m at home, then I’m planning on working on what needs to get done, when I actually have the time to do it.  And yes, it’s important to ‘work on our relationship’.  But what does that even mean?  It’s different for everyone. I understand the concept to be true, but it is not always how real life works.  My parents took amazing vacations together and celebrated little anniversaries as well as big ones, and after 26 years, they are still getting divorced.  What does that tell me?  No matter what you do, life doesn’t ever turn out the way you expect it to.  So, right now, I can’t indulge in the fantasy of spending exclusive time with my spouse, because in the end, he’ll just be bitter with me about spending unnecessary money and that will hurt us more than help, and it will just hurt my heart more than heal it.  He is my husband, and I cherish him and all he does for us.

So, is my marriage perfect? No.  Should my hubby and I spend more time together?  Probably.  That isn’t a reality at the moment though.  Is being best friends the answer?  Probably not.  Is it okay that I don’t have a best friend at all?  Yes.  It’s totally acceptable.

And here’s why.

I said this before, and I’ll say it again. I’m a damn good friend.  I will make you coffee, and sit down with you and chat for hours on end!  I laugh at your funny stories, and I am there when you need to talk in the middle of the night, I’m an awesome shoulder to cry on.  I don’t do that with one particular person, I do it with whomever needs me most.  I will drop everything to be there for someone in need.  It’s just who I am.

The first person I think about when I wake up? Probably my kids.  This doesn’t mean you aren’t important in my life!  In all actuality, you are pretty important!  I just have a laundry list of things to get done!  And that’s okay!  I think about and pray about whoever God places on my heart that day, and most likely, I’ll reach out to you and see how it’s going.

Who do I have fun with? All my friends!  If that means sitting on the couch watching a movie with the hubby, or if it means going out with the girls and singing some off-key karaoke, I’m going to have fun with you, because if I didn’t enjoy your company, I wouldn’t be friends with you in the first place.

So, breaking it down today. I might not have a best friend, but I have a lot of awesome friends that I love and I would lay my life down for.  And not having a BFF, that’s okay.  Because I am me, and it’s taken a long time for me to get to who I am, and where I am today.  I will love you exactly where you are and who you are.  And if you’ve already got a BFF, that’s awesome!  I’m glad to be your friend!  Just because I’m not my hubby’s best friend, doesn’t mean we aren’t friends at all, or that we love each other any less.  Just because I don’t have a best friend, doesn’t mean there is something wrong with me or you, or anyone, It just means that’s the way life is, and that is perfectly okay.

Who I once was.

Posted in Uncategorized on September 8, 2014 by Shara

I needed to write today. So, I looked up some creative writing questions. This was the question I picked: When you were a child, how did you imagine your adult self?
I’m not exactly sure why I wrote why I did, or why the words came out on the page as they did. But, this is what I wrote.

As a child, I felt like I had infinite possibilities! I could be a Princess one minute, and a jungle explorer the next. I could imagine being in a different world, or a different time, all within the confines of a book. The simplicity of picking up a novel and transporting myself into a different time and space was a kind of magic. When I read a book, the words changed, and no longer just stayed on the page. They leaped out into my heart and mind, and instead of words on a page, they were movies that played in my head. The characters were real, and I was smack dab in the middle of the most amazing places a girl could be. I could do and be anything I ever wanted.
Books were my reality, and in them, I could be myself.
Reality was nothing like this. Reality was off-color, and lonely. A sort of reddish-brown hue clouds my memories. I remember hours upon hours playing alone. And when I think back about playing with other children, I sometimes wonder if they were real or if I made them up in my head. I was that child. I could barely bring myself to talk to many people, or make many friends. I was a little strange. A little sad. A little different.
I would dream of my older self, my grown-up self. I imagined I would be a Prima Ballerina and dance in New York! I imagined I would travel to wild destinations all over the world! I imagined I would be someone who touched the hearts and minds of people across the globe. I would have so many friends; I would always be with someone! It’s funny how little girl dreams, many times, don’t come true.
Somewhere in time, a little voice that was vaguely familiar started to say, “You need to be sensible. These dreams will never amount to anything. You need to be a teacher. You don’t have that kind of potential. You need to have smaller dreams. You will never be a ballerina. You will never be an actress. You will never… Don’t dream so big.”
So, my dreams became smaller. My world became smaller. I became smaller.
I never travelled the world. I never made an impact, because I never went anywhere past the state I was in.
I read a book recently that said I should START. Dream big! Achieve amazing things!
And yet… I am in my small life, unsure of how to stand back up on my feet. I am unsure how to achieve those dreams. I am so afraid to dream.
My children are my heart and my soul. I tell them, “You can be whatever you want to be. You can be an astronaut! You can be a ballerina! You can be a firefighter! You can be anything! You need to work hard in school and study and achieve your goals, and if you do that, you can be anything and more.” They are smart. They are growing in wisdom. They are kind. They will go further than I ever did. And they can accomplish anything.
That is my dream now… that they never belittle themselves to the point where they are so small they can’t reach out and touch the stars. That their dreams are mighty and brave, and that they never fear them.

When I’m gone…

Posted in Uncategorized on June 10, 2014 by Shara

Shara:

This was on my heart to write today… So I thought I would share. :)

Originally posted on desperate madness:

When I’m gone

By, Shara Wright – 6/10/14

I don’t know when my time will come,

or how much life I have left to live.

But I want to be remembered for the grace of God,

because grace was all I had left to give.

I don’t know when I’ll take my last breath,

or when the road will finally meet it’s end.

But I want to be remembered for my love of God,

because love was the only thing that can truly mend.

I don’t know when I’ll say goodbye to this world,

or if it will come too soon.

But I want to be remembered for the forgiveness of God,

because of the forgiveness that I have strewn.

I don’t know when my last tomorrow will come,

or why, or where, or when.

But I want to be remembered as God’s child,

because that is what I’ve always been.

View original

When I’m gone…

Posted in Uncategorized on June 10, 2014 by Shara

When I’m gone

By, Shara Wright – 6/10/14

 

I don’t know when my time will come,

or how much life I have left to live.

But I want to be remembered for the grace of God,

because grace was all I had left to give.

 

I don’t know when I’ll take my last breath,

or when the road will finally meet it’s end.

But I want to be remembered for my love of God,

because love was the only thing that can truly mend.

 

I don’t know when I’ll say goodbye to this world,

or if it will come too soon.

But I want to be remembered for the forgiveness of God,

because of the forgiveness that I have strewn.

 

I don’t know when my last tomorrow will come,

or why, or where, or when.

But I want to be remembered as God’s child,

because that is what I’ve always been.

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