Always both

Posted on Wednesday~February 4, 2009

Some lovely blog friends of mine have given me some accolades recently here on the world wide inter-web (as my dear Ryan likes to call it).

That sentence was extremely uncomfortable for me to type. Because it sounds showy and a bit brag-ful (another hyphenated and made up word I enjoy).

The words of these accolades and the sincerity behind them are a beautiful thing. So thank you to those of you that warmed my heart (you know who you are). You said the things that you've noticed about me that you like.

Which makes me think you're the ones that deserve the accolades.

Because we all want to be heard. We all want to be seen. We all want validation. We want someone to simply notice. And you noticed and then you said so, and that makes me think you're pretty selfless yourselves.

Hopefully we don't want to do or say good things simply to be noticed, even if we struggle with that sometimes, but we want to live well and love well from our hearts. And if someone takes the time to say "Good job," it's time for us to say, "Thank you. I'm trying."
We don't have to hang our heads and say, "Oh no, it's nothing. I actually suck," because that's not true humility either. It only brings the focus to our need for more.

So to my friends I'll say, "Thank you. I'm trying. I'm doing the best I can with what I have in my heart right now."

But that doesn't mean I don't recognize what needs an awful lot of work. Holy cow. So much work.

I am both
. Always....

Always good, and yet always struggling with things in my life that are far from good. Always loved, and yet struggling to believe I'm valuable. Always accepted, but just a little insecure about my worth. Always trying to focus, but always distracted. Always trying to do right and mostly doing everything I don't want to do.

Always both.

But always trying.

For so many years I focused way too much on myself. On trying to fix me. On trying to perfect my faith and finish this project that is me. I wanted to finish, slap on a bow and then sit back and enjoy my freedom in being done.

What I've learned is that there is a great freedom in recognizing that I'm always both. I will not be perfected in this life no matter how many ways I try. But I can keep running the race with the chicken legs I was given, trying not to think so hard. Those legs will give out on me quite often, but I can always try again, even when it hurts.

The good that is in me that brought on the accolades? Totally not a doing of my own. I believe anything good comes from a God that IS love. If it were not for His image in me I'd be a total schlep. (See? I'm not even sure if I spelled schlep right, nor do I really know what one is, but I'm pretty sure it's not good.)

But anyway, what I do from my heart is born out of a nudging from Him, as He asks me to be the tangible evidence of His desire to rip through our pain, to do what He can to pour love on His hurting people. He moves me. I do not. I have very little faith in my chicken legs, so He lets me borrow His strength and gives me ideas of how I can do a little something to ease some pain.

It is Him. Not me. We're clear, then? I've beaten this dead horse? (What a horrible saying.)

Okay then, I'll finish with this: We need to focus more on each other's trying, and then say what we notice, inspiring one another to keep running. That's what my blog friends did. They focused on my trying, and I'm thankful. It helped remind me that I shouldn't think on my failings so much. Doing that only keeps me failing.

And friends, I see your trying just as clearly. You are beautiful.

Ahem...Why am I so weepy? Sheesh.

As if this post wasn't already way serious and totally cheesy, I will leave you with a song. I absolutely love this song, even if it isn't a style of music I would generally get excited about. I love the message in the lyrics and how it speaks to this whole topic of accolades and living out of love. Peace out.

"Humility is like a rare, intangible, fleeting thing that seems to disappear the moment you think you have it." - Charrette

40 clicked right here to comment:

Kristina P. said...

Beautiful post, Heather, and I think you summed up how I feel most of the time, nicely.

Sheryl said...

Love, love, love this post! Did I mention that I love this post? So nice to hear someone be honest and admit we are "trying". Isn't it great when people reach out and tell you they notice and they like what they see.

I know you've been an encouragement to me. I get excited when I see a comment has come in from you. (Ok, I don't really have a life but, whatever)

Thanks for being real.

JustRandi said...

Fantastic post, Heather! I love it when people can be honest and humble at the same time.
Love the song, too!

Lara said...

It's such a fine line, isn't it? But you summed it up beautifully. I love that.

I have learned that being overly humble is really just as prideful. Because if you say you're terrible and refuse to take a compliment, you are not recognizing the Lord's hand in your life. He made you, and He made you wonderful, even if you're a work in progress.

charrette said...

Lovely, as always, Heather. A beautiful description of the often-overlooked importance of _process_, of _becoming_. I'm so glad I stumbled over here and read this today. I love that you pointed out how lame it is to respond to a compliment by saying, "No it was nothing, I suck" That was funny...but also not (as you pointed out) true humility.

Humility is like a rare, intangible, fleeting thing that seems to disappear the moment you realize you have it. But you did a great job of wrapping your post around it. Thanks.

CC said...

Love it! Peace out girlfriend!

Jillene said...

AWESOME, AWESOME post!! You never cease to amaze!!

Annette Lyon said...

Yu got me in the the gut. I had a big comment I just deleted because I couldn't say it right.

So I'll just say amen--and that I too have a serious case of chicken legs. But I'm trying.

Brooke said...

You always post such heartfelt, beautiful things that make me think. I love that. Thank you.

Becky said...

I think that most people feel this way most of the time. I certainly do. I am both, too.

Thanks for sharing this. You always know how to make me feel better about me.

wendy said...

WOW, I can't add anything to that as it would take away from what was so beautifuly written and expressed.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

It's obvious that people like both of you. You're welcome. :)

And I like that song, too.

Laurie said...

Very well said. Love your blog!

Jenn said...

Another beautiful and heartfelt post!

Keyona said...

You ar ea beautiful person Heather, oh so beautiful.

Melissa said...

I think you should be brag-ful every day of your life. You're awesome!

sara said...

Great post Heather! I am always both, too.

and I loved that you ended it with peace out.....that's what my son always says!! and I heart him!

Elizabeth said...

I wish I'd read this earlier today. My day probably would have been a lot better.

In grad school we called this Both/And. You described it perfectly and I know that many of us relate to it so well!

The Thompson's said...

Hey theres an award over at my blog for ya! Go pick it up when you get the chance!

Erin said...

My uncle used to call me chicken legs when I was younger. I think it's a sign that you and I are both quite a bit alike.

Thank you for this wonderful post! Really, really wonderful.

I heart you.

3 Bay B Chicks said...

You always know exactly how to sum up the thoughts and feelings that I seem to be having. It is crazy.

And the fact that you can do so much more succintly that my feeble attempts makes it that much more enjoyable to read everything you write.


Heidi Ashworth said...

Beautiful, as always. You make me want to stop writing a (so called) humor blog and take up the meaningful stuff. :)

Kazzy said...

Hubby and I are huge Nicole Nordman fans! And I like Charrette's quote. You got it, girl. Love your posts!

Tooj said...

Wonderful post. :) And because you typed this, you made me feel good, too. I was just talking to "myself" in the car (and maybe someone else even though I was alone)...and saying I really need to appreciate my husband's efforts and what he was trying to for our family with what he's given right now. This post reinforces that I was being led the right in my thinking. I love your posts.

Mrs. Dunbar said...

You are such a wonderful blogger and an inspiration to us all. Your comedy and your wit always make me feel better and on your serious days I remember that we are all here to help (and love) one another. I appreciate you, your blog, and your wonderful thoughts.

Jennifer said...

Very well said Heather--you are so right!!

LexiconLuvr said...

Heather---you've left a "legacy" in my heart. Thanks for letting me be here for the trying.


BoufMom9 said...

OMGosh Heather! Nothing what-so-ever cheesy about this post. Just simply beautiful and heartfelt and full of faith.
Thank you for sharing your heart in each post :)
~ debi

Angie said...

Beautiful. And you're so right. I've often said humility isn't saying, "I have no gifts." It's pointing to the Giver and saying, "Thank you for letting me bless others with these gifts." In this little while I've been reading you, I have been so blessed.

charrette said...

Have been thinking about this all day, and about "being both". This scripture strikes me as contributing to that thought:

"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."

I'm always especially uplifted by that last line.

Carol @SheLives said...

It's hard to know how to accept accolades humbly. I struggle with it, too...on the rare occasions I receive praise, that is.

Someone once told me that SOMETIMES the best way to accept praise while still giving God the glory is to just say thank you. She reminded me that He created us and gifted and empowered us. So, when we are praised for something, He gets the glory indirectly IF what we did was done in humility, not self-service.

I still struggle with that, too.

Cheesy can be good!

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting said...

You know I'm going to be right by your side, weepy right along with you. I've been one big pile of mush all this week. Teary at the drop of a hat. This post did me in already this morning (have yet to respond to your email).

*huge love and hugs*

Your accolades are well deserved, dear. Remember that, no matter how much work you see yourself as 'needing' others love you the way you are. Something I need to remind myself often.

RosyRose said...

Thanks for this! I love this song too! Shes awesome!

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...

Oh My Goodness -"For so many years I focused way too much on myself. On trying to fix me. On trying to perfect my faith and finish this project that is me. I wanted to finish, slap on a bow and then sit back and enjoy my freedom in being done."
Word for word ME. :) That paragraph explained me to a T. :) Some times my visits here could almost be described as "eerie" because of how much I relate.
That is part of the gift you have. I see it in your comments. God gives you words that others grab onto because they have been there too, but didn't know how to articulate it. You give the validation of words to their feelings.

Cynthia said...

As always, you express so much of what is bubbling around in my head but words fail me. I love the way you are able to give voice to the feelings we all share- especially we ADD girls. I always feel like I'm so much but not enough. Good to know I'm not alone.

Kimberly said...

I love how loved you are. =)

Anonymous said...

Thank You for the goodness in your words today.

Peanut said...

That's so true. I'll be coming back again and again to read this post. I like that, "Always both". I need to mull on that for awhile.

Troy & Tara Livesay said...

you're totally adorable. end of story.

Carolyn said...

Thank you for this post. I really needed this today, in spite of the fact that you wrote it quite a number of days ago. But it was here for me today, which was a gift from God.

I really appreciated what you said about "being both". I need so much to keep the things I don't do very well from stamping out the divinity in me. I need to acknowledge my strengths and my weaknesses so that my strengths can overtake my weaknesses someday.

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