My last Conniethought…

October 14, 2011 Leave a comment

One year ago I opened this blog as a release I needed when my second son was born.  I never really expected too much out of it other than to be able to express all the deep emotions and experiences I’ve had in the last few years.  I never expected it to reach so many diverse groups of people.   I’m forever amazed (and humbled) when I run into someone random who says they read the blog.  Wow.   So I just want to say “thank you” for coming along the ride with me this year.  Its been a blessing to hear your stories back of similar situations you’ve been through.  Hearing your stories has been my favorite part of writing the blog,  .

The great thing is that this isn’t good-bye!  As one blog closes, another opens; one that has similar messages to what I’ve been writing on already.  I invite you to stay on the journey.   There is much to tell, but not right now.  If you would like more info on where to find this new blog, please email me at rcbjakab@shaw.ca

In closing (at least on this blog), I reflect on how crazy life is. I’ve always wanted to write.  It was one of my highlights from school and college.  You just never know what happens when you try something you’ve always wanted to do.   I am thankful for the new writing adventures this year will bring as well as for the opportunity to be a part of an amazing writing community such as Redbud (http://RedbudWritersGuild.com).

All the same, YOU never know what could happen if you step out to do that one thing you’ve thought of doing for awhile.  Why not give it a go?  What’s the worst thing that could happen.  Don’t rob us of your beauty.   You have a story we need to hear.  You have something someone else needs.  To sit around and wait until you feel qualified means you’ll sit forever.  The more people I’ve talked to who have stepped into the great unknown often felt unequipped.   But He is the one who equips.

What’s in your hand?  What is it that brings you passion and joy?  What gifts have you been given?

Now look around.  What do you see?  There are those in need of what’s in your hand.  Go for it.  Live free, live loved.

It’s time to ask God; “What do you see in me?” and live out of His perspective of you!

Categories: Getting missional

You women freak me out; another candid blog

October 13, 2011 2 comments

Quick note before we get into today’s blog: Conniethoughts is changing.  If you are a subscriber, please email me at rcbjakab@shaw.ca to find out the new blog as this one will not be updated any longer as of Monday.

Yes, you women freak me out.  I’m afraid of your judgments when I walk in the room.  Am I dressed well enough to impress you?  Too much that I intimidate you?  Do I come across too talkative or too shy?     Should I smile at you or pretend to ignore you?  Should I approach you with openness or put on an aloof facade?

 

Its hard to walk into a room when you all know each other and I know no one.  You seem to all flock together.  It would be ok if I thought you didn’t notice my presence, but that glance back with a look up and down just made me realize you’re very aware I’m there.  I wish you could have seen me smile at you in attempt to reach out, but you turned back so quickly.   I guess this is why girls don’t often go places alone.  It’s just so awkward…..

 

Its that uncomfortable moment of frantically scanning the room for a friendly soul that scares me.   It’s always nice when you finally decide to come over to introduce yourself.  You have no idea how refreshing!  But its hard not to compare the experience to feeling like I’m in the middle of an initiation.   The fact you just walked away tells me I didn’t pass….

 

I appreciate the attempts of inviting me out for coffee and to the party you were hosting so you could introduce me to your friends.  When you’re the new girl, it’s nice to have an invitation to hopefully form new friendships.   I’m just confused when the invitations stop?   I guess we’re not friends then?   It’s hard to read you when you’re nice, but not inclusive…….

 

I love deep talks with you.  It’s stretching for me to be open and spill my heart out.  I go away from sharing my soul with you feeling safe and free!….. until another comes and repeats verbatim all I shared with you…..  You were the only one I told.  I feel even more betrayed when you act like nothing happened.

 

I’m thankful when you’re not threatened by things I’m good at.  It’s wonderful when we can cheer each other on and celebrate one another’s accomplishments.   But I have to admit, I find it draining to hear you talk about yourself only to shut me down when I’ve got something new and exciting in my life I’m dying to share with you.

 

I was flustered after you got offended with me speaking rather frank with you.  I thought you said we could speak freely to each other and not take it the wrong way?

 

And honestly, it drives me a bit crazy when you obsess about what other girls are doing.  You become a different person when you’re trying to impress them.  I’m not sure when you decided these girls are setting the social standard?   Why can’t you just not care and be yourself?

 

Sometimes I just want to give up on you…. but I can’t.  Somewhere deep in my soul I feel I was made to connect with you.  I feel more complete when I’m with you.   As much as I want to isolate myself from you, I long for a kindred to walk through life with.  As tall as I may want to build the wall around my heart, I know that God formed us to be in communion.

 

So when you ignore me, I’ll still muster the courage to smile.   When I’ve been pushed out of the circle, I’ll still speak highly of you.  When you succeed, I’ll choose to cheer for you, even if its not returned.   I may not bear my heart and soul with you until I feel  my trust replenished, but I won’t with hold my hand from you.    I will look for you when you’re the one alone in the crowd.   And even though my time seems so limited, I will try to look for you outside of my comfortable circle of friends.   I won’t care if you have a different style or point of view than me.  I find that intriguing and fresh!

 

You may hurt me again and again in ways you don’t even realize, but in those moments I will run to the Father for His Daddy hug, and He will give me the courage to face you again.   I may succumb to my wall or standoffish behavior again.  When I do, I’m sorry.  Time to head back to the Father again to break down my wall of judgment ….. and hopefully surprise me with a new, deep friendship that sharpens us to be more like Him.

Categories: relationships

one of my deepest reflections as of late… a thanksgiving thought

October 10, 2011 Leave a comment

I look up at the night sky and see the moon’s light beaming down on the earth.   I am thankful tonight for all I have been given; a family, a home, a vehicle, clothes to wear, plenty of food…  Yet under this same moon I am aware of those who have not.

 

Under the same moon, in our land of plenty we struggle with dissatisfaction.  Others struggle with not having anything to satisfy their thirst or hunger.

 

Under the same moon, we try to guide our children away from entitlement, while other children would be thrilled to have one toy alone.

 

Under the same moon, we work overtime just so we can have the newest car, i-gadget, holiday, status, that we are often isolated from others, even our own family.  Yet there are others orphaned by the tyranny of aids, war and poverty who would do anything just to have a family.

 

Under the same moon I have a home, while others have no home.  I complain about driving a mini van and not a mustang, while others endure the winter on foot.   While I moan; “I’m broke” and head to Starbucks, there are those who truly have lost everything.

 

Under the same moon, there is enough money and resources for all to live well, but some hoard while others suffer.

 

I’ve become aware that although suffering is not my personal fault, I am responsible for my neighbor who has the same right to live under the same moon as I.

 

There must be more to a self indulgent life that never becomes satisfied.   I need to find those who live in lack.  Under the same moon they are there.  Will I care enough to look for them?  Will I share what I feel entitled to with them?

 

Can I truly feast while they famine?

 

“We all live under the same sky, but we don’t all have the same horizon.” – Konrad Adenauer

 

To whom much is given, much is required. – Jesus (Luke 12:48)

Categories: Getting missional

What Colin and Justin teach me – a little lesson learned from home reno shows

I love home décor shows.  I used to breastfeed my son while watching Debbie Travis’s home reno show on HGTV.  And I can’t get enough of Colin and Justin.  I love their style and I’m always dying to see what Colin will be wearing that day (or the size of his flower…)

 

One thing I don’t like is clutter.   I like things neat and strategically placed…. And I want it to STAY there (you can guess how that goes over with kids…)    I love it when a home renovator like Debbie Travis or Colin and Justin heads into a home stacked to the ceiling with stuff EVERYWHERE and turns it into a show home.  It seems like every house that gets on those shows are hoarder-types who have to fill every counter space and shelf with knick-knacks of all kinds.  I see it as useless garbage.   So what’s the first thing all these professionals do?   They ask them to choose the most important items and get rid of the rest.   The end result is always breathtaking!

 

The type of home you won’t see as often on a home reno show is a home that looks like someone who’s in college: a large space, maybe a couch, no pictures on the wall, no dining room set…. Not much to fill the empty space.

 

I heard Joyce Meyer say this the other day: “An empty space is still a place”.

 

Our lives are filled with spaces free for us to fill with whatever we please.  Some choose to clutter their lives up with stuff, stuff and more stuff, making no room for much else whether it be healthy or not.   Some stuff is useful but other items are just gagets and knick-knacks taking up space that could be better used.

 

Others have no idea what to do with life.  You ask them what they think about?  Or what they’re passionate about?….. the answer? An empty; “Nothing”.

 

But if what Joyce Meyer says is true, then we need to be sure we’re filling our life spaces with things that deserve a place.  Not useless garbage, and certainly not “nothing”.   The enemy of our souls LOVES to fill empty spaces with things.    God, as well, would love to fill our spaces with things that will only enhance our lives and bring Him glory.

 

Why not take a look at your life-space and see if there’s some de-cluttering needed?  Or do you need to fill an empty space with something that will sharpen you to be useful for His kingdom?

 

What would a home reno guru do to rearrange the inner furniture of your soul?  Are you up for an extreme makeover soul addition?

Categories: a new spirituality

A very risk-a post about women…. and our walls.

Women  build walls.  We can’t help it.  We feel the need to guard the ones we love.  No differently, we love to guard ourselves.   It’s our nurturing nature.   We want to protect the emotion, where as man likes to protect the physical domain.

 

It’s good to be able to protect our emotions and the emotional atmosphere of our home.  We want our children to feel safe.  We want our husbands to flourish.  We want ourselves to live in such safety and freedom as well.  When that’s under attack, we do the first thing we know how to do: build the wall.

 

Walls aren’t bad.  They tell us who’s allowed in and who’s not.  It’s not a bad thing to keep unhealthy relationships at bay.  The problem is when we become so guarded that no one can penetrate through.   This wall can take many forms:

 

  • wanting a perfect image

 

  • shying away from people, trying to remain inconspicuous. (YOU’RE the people I happen to notice first by the way…)

 

  • wearing sunglasses as protection from people seeing you, and you having to look at them.

 

  • giving a stone-cold look, causing others to avoid you

 

  • hiding behind a profession or title

 

 

There are others, but that gives a pretty general idea.   My wall doesn’t look like that.  I don’t like my wall.  I often don’t know how to not pull it up in situations where I feel uncomfortable.   I even know when I’m doing it!  Guaranteed, I’m thinking; “Could I just let the wall DOWN for heaven’s sake??”

 

Wanna know what my wall looks like?

 

Excessive talking.  Like, non-stop.  Like, “SHUT UP, Connie” kind of talking.  Now if I’ve ever talked your ear off that doesn’t necessarily mean I had my wall up, because its also the way you know you’re good friend.  I clearly feel safe to share my feelings, and so I will freely.  But if I don’t know you well and I’ve talked your ear off (and perhaps you’ve felt like saying; “SHUT UP, Connie”, that was my wall you were experiencing.  Weird, I know.  I don’t get it either.   But when I put up my wall, I so desperately don’t want to!  I want you to know that I’m actually not really THAT talkative (just don’t ask my hubby his opinion, k?)

 

What I actually want to say when I’m with you is what I’m feeling deep inside.  I’m a very deep thinker, who likes to really dig deep down into the guts of my emotion. I feel things deeply and love to talk things through with those who I feel will guard my emotions and see them as precious.

 

I think we all feel that way.  Interesting isn’t it?  We all want good relationships, but we feel the need to keep the walls up, keeping our desire at bay.

 

Maybe its time for a little rebellion?….   What if we let our walls down?  How would that feel?   I think we’d all feel pretty naked at first,  probably very vulnerable…. come to think of it, it would feel downright uncomfortable!   The scariest thing is that while my wall is down, so are my defences against your attacks.   Hurt is inevitable as we have no idea what to do with those with no wall!  It seems our only reaction is to hurt one another and see each other as “weak”.

 

We like that, don’t we.  If someone doesn’t appear to be the mysterious, strong woman (behind the wall), there’s a sense of admiration and curiosity.  But as soon as the wall is down and weakness is exposed, the true test of love is shown by the ability to love another wall-less woman….. to see beauty in her in frailty, not a chance for you to expose her for the sake of your insecurity.

 

Then and only then, will she (and you) feel safe to flourish.

 

* this is about women’s walls towards one another.  Our walls towards men is a whole different story….

Categories: relationships

When I got offended

This week I was challenged by something that happened to a dear friend of mine.   Those who know me know how much I hate any form of status or elitism.  I think its stupid – especially among believers.   We know better.  We know the cross of Jesus levels all people to equality no matter what size, color, personality, size of teeth….   Daddy loves all and therefore, we do too.   However, we’re frail humans who seem to fall prey to want the “beautiful people’s” vote.   All of us fall for it from time to time.

My dear friend had one of these experiences of being blatantly pushed aside for not being “beautiful”.  It was one of the most obvious, horrible forms of exclusion I’ve heard of in awhile.  I was mortified.  Angered.  Livid, actually.  My heart burned with wanting justice for all those who’ve been shoved aside for outward appearances.   I called her, still hot with anger, wanting to tell her the truth of who she was.  I was sure she was crushed in her heart.  I was coming to the rescue….

But she rescued me.   What a gracious, beautiful woman she is.   Instead of feeling pushed aside…. Instead of offense….. instead of a broken heart, she stood tall, full of dignity and loved.   She told me of how she had been just teaching her kids about the armour of God, and specifically, about the belt of truth.  She was learning how to put her belt of truth on and passed this test with flying colors.  She offered nothing but grace and forgiveness.   Her words were seasoned with God-confidence that could only come from her roots being right where they should be.

I was humbled by my friend’s ability to live loved when my SELF would have wanted to break.   She is strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.   I said to her; “When I grow up, I want to be just like you!”  Even though I was trying to be funny, I was serious.   After hanging up the phone I asked God to make my heart more like my friend’s heart.   To help me practice what I’ve been preaching lately:

To see others by His Spirit and NOT personality

I want to see past my view of people’s actions.  I’d want them to do the same for me!  I judge myself by my INTENTIONS, but I judge others by their actions.   And they judge me for my actions not my intentions.  My intentions are always great (I promise!). Whether it comes out that way is another story.  Wouldn’t this be true of those I question?

The battle is won by people like my friend.   Her heart reminded me of those Jesus would like; “the last shall be first….”    She’s ok with finding herself in God.

Maybe I’ll try that out too….

Categories: relationships

What it took to crush my heart…

October 4, 2011 2 comments

 

If I wanted to destroy a woman….

I wouldn’t use physical pain.  Women can get through almost anything; from forgetting about a paper cut,  to childbirth, to experiencing some of the worst trauma possible.  Nope, it wouldn’t destroy her.  Somehow she would just find the strength to keep going…

 

I wouldn’t use situational hardships.  Even women who consider themselves “weak” still can get through the hardest of times.  They have no choice; they are the glue that holds the family together.  They’ll “take it for the team” and stand in the way of any bullets being thrown at her and her family.  It would be foolish to think she would go down without a fight…. And what a fight she’d put up!

 

No, if I was to destroy a woman’s heart and crush her spirit I wouldn’t use those methods.  I’d go for something much more personal.   I’d hit her where it really hurts.  I’d destroy her through relationships.

 

  • I’d have someone she loves abandon her

 

  • I’d make her second guess herself by making her think everyone is talking about her

 

  • I’d have her best friend or closest relation betray her

 

  • I’d have her husband distance himself or replace her

 

  • I’d have her children defy her and rebel

 

  • I’d isolate her away from the world, making her feel she’s safe from being hurt from others, then watch her collapse in her own shell of loneliness.

 

  • I’d see that every person she has reached her arms out to in love would shrug her off.

 

  • I wouldn’t let anyone give her a friendly smile.  I’d have everyone pass her by with stone-cold faces only to glance at her when they needed her help.

 

  • I would make her feel like a victim; like she’s always giving and never receiving

 

  • I’d make her think she’s not good enough by having people deliberately leave her out of social outings.

 

  • I would be sure to have someone call her “fat” when she’s having a good day.

 

  • I’d have her keep believing that she doesn’t “fit” anywhere.

 

  • I’d use small, cutting remarks from a co-worker make her think she’s not smart enough for the promotion she’s been wanting.

 

Because I know that women are made to connect and thrive off meaningful conversations and fulfilling relationships.   If I can make them feel small and insignificant, I’ve got them right where I want them: ineffective and unproductive.  They’ll find purpose and joy in things they think will help; like shopping, facials, new shoes, a new hair-do, a special trip…. but it won’t work.  As long as I keep their loving hearts locked away from ever wanting to live the way I know they were created to live; to be earth’s problem solvers and nurturers, then I know that poverty will remain rampant, people will never come out of their brokenness, and hearts will never turn to a loving Heavenly Father.  The earth will remain unhealed, unloved and in desperate hope.  Offense will remain in the church, keeping it buried under judgment.  Status and elitism will remain to rule against the very heartbeat of Christ Himself.

All I have to do is hope they never figure out this tactic of mine.  If they did, things could really change….

 

*note to reader: this is clearly not me, Connie, wanting to destroy women.  It is written as a narrative from the enemy of our souls (just to clarify for you concrete-types)

 

Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken.  If you want to make sure of keeping it intact,  you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal.  Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.  But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change.  It will not be broken; instead it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. – CS Lewis

Categories: relationships