Measuring sticks…

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So I was in Portland from a Friday night to a Wednesday morning. It was a really full few days, but so wonderful. I’ve had the opportunity to be in Portland a few times and each time I love it more… It’s hardly ever rained when I’ve been there… This makes me think that I just carry sunshine around with me ;).

So I went to see the Roomie Bestie, you know that part. But, the whole reason I was able to go out and take this cross country trip is because the foundation I work for is head quartered there. What a special little HUGE blessing… There are yearly “retreats,” more like national conferences/meetings. It’s an opportunity to gather our national team together to train, fellowship, and prepare for future plans. This trip coincided with one such retreat. Since I have only been with them since June, this was the first time that have had the opportunity to meet with the people that I talk to on a weekly basis on a variety of things. It’s interesting coming into a local chapter, when there is a head quarters, and a much larger team than your little local one. I stepped in for a gal that was becoming a mommy and going through some big life changes. We only got to spend a very little time together, but coming in behind her has been challenging, in a wonderful way.

As I mentioned, I did not know her, but I have gotten to know her through the ministries we serve and the people that I work with. She is organized and meticulous, she is hospitable and gracious, she is stylish and respectful. I can’t tell you how many times ministries have introduced themselves to me and simply beamed with how wonderful she was to them… It’s both challenging to feel like you want to serve them in a way they are used to and in a way that is uniquely “you.” I am so thankful to be in a position to love these people so well, because she did. I have loved the high expectation and the accountability of remembering that the person before me made such a positive impression. To her, I say thank you for leading is such a beautiful way.

When I went out to Portland I don’t know what I expected from my distant team, but I found them very unique. I don’t know if, because we are a Christian organization I expected it to be a glorified, professional prayer meeting, or what… But I was impressed by their level of complete professionalism. {I want to just say that we are very professional here in the office, so I wasn’t surprised, just happy} We worked as a corporate team with deep seeded biblical values. Unique feeling to me. Coming from working independently and in the design world, this approach is so very regimented and refreshing. The expectations for me are clear, and that’s so nice.

I work with two guys here in the office and I help both of them do an assortment of things. Here, I feel like my job is clearly enough defined that I feel right at home, I have movement and freedom on daily tasks. They have been so very active in making sure that I am happy and stimulated professionally, they take good care of me. I feel heard and respected and valued… It’s incredible.


But, in Portland I struggled. I could list a myriad of reasons I think I let some poor thinking slip in, but really over all, I started measuring myself against others in the room. We all do that, don’t we…? Or we try not to, which is acknowledging that we do… I was pumped about meeting everyone and I felt honored to be among them.

But, have you ever had one of those times when you entered the room feeling like yourself and then you start putting your “intuitive” feelers out there to remind yourself about how it is that you in fact belong to this group, and you draw back a feeler that simply says “you don’t?”

I should say up front that I thoroughly enjoyed my time getting to know the national team. Immensely. I found myself challenged by them. It was good.

But I also found myself seeped in insecurity. I found myself thinking things like: “They are so good. So pure. So upright. So intelligent. So NOT LIKE ME. I mean, dang, my bangs are harsher than they are collectively.”

I mentioned this jokingly to the Roomie and she came back with- “So, they are like you….” She knows me. She knows my internal reel and how it spits out it’s vicious biting words.

I catch myself some days feeling like Linus {with his ever present dingy atmosphere about him} with what I’ve seen and been through. Not that what I’ve been through is worse than anyone else’s stuff, but it just feels like I’m dingier than they are because of it… Like everybody else got washed off and out, or didn’t have to be washed because they are already so clean and smelling like Tide… Yeah, not me. It makes me cynical sometimes. But when I feel uncovered and need a blanket to cover me, I grab at the closest one – for me that’s cynicism. And to be honest, it usually feels paper thin and scratchy. But I grab at it because it’s close and reliably present.

I don’t want to be cynical. I don’t want to pull back a feeler and think it defines me. I also don’t want to put others on pedestals they don’t deserve…

So am I dingy? Eh, not more than most living and breathing things.  Am I harsh? Sometimes, but my bangs really are (at least until they grow out some). We live and learn. It’s the learning that makes me feel dingy, I’m learning about things I didn’t know before, that I don’t want to do again. I’m learning about how much God loves me through his provisions. I’m learning that the way I see people doesn’t mean I see them clearly, always. I’m praying for a spotless heart, not a spotless life (not really realistic, and I’m not into not meeting expectations…).

Believing that what God has said about me, is who I am… And that what God says about himself is exactly who He is. Redeemer. Restorer. Creator. Lover.

Excuse me, while I’m busy NOT measuring myself beside you… 🙂


One thought on “Measuring sticks…

  1. I am in love with this! God designed you specifically to fill YOUR shoes (with your bangs and all). No one else can do that job. Kisses!

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