The Good Gift

Alright guys, I just listened to Robcast #9 and I AM PUMPED. But let’s be real, when am I not pumped after listening to a Robcast? You’re right, never. The answer is never.

Also, if you don’t know what Robcasts are, whaaaaaat are you doing with your life?? They’re these awesome podcasts by a guy named Rob Bell. They’re called Robcasts because his name is Rob… Get it? Like instead of podcasts….Robcasts. Genius, that man. But anyway, Rob Bell is a pastor, writer, speaker, and overall spiritual badass. I’m not sure those two words should go in the same sentence but moving on.

Alright. Robcast #9. The Good Gift. Go listen to it right now. Or just read this summary of me ranting on and on about it because I’m telling ya, it’s awesome. He’s awesome. Just spiritual badass things, ya know?

In this podcast, Rob talks about a word called eucharist. Don’t worry, I’d never heard of it either. But anyways, eucharist is a word that means “the good gift.” Spiritually speaking, this good gift is Jesus. Body broken, blood shed, eucharist given. Simple enough.

But then Rob goes into how we can all be eucharists to this world. Each of us have a good gift, one that’s given to us by The Good Gift himself. Your gift might be patience or the ability teach, musical talent or the gift of hospitality. Whatever it is, you have it, it’s yours, and it was given to you by God himself. Now wouldn’t it be a waste to not use that gift, to hide that gift? Trust me, I know it’s easy to hide your talents because of things like fear and rejection and all that crap. But also trust me on this, the world NEEDS your gift. That’s why it was given to you. You have something this world so desperately craves and it’s your job to give it.

Now let’s talk about being tired. I know a lot about this topic; I’m a tired girl. But we all know that there are different kinds of tired. There’s physical tired and emotional tired, mentally tired and relationally tired. I don’t think relationally tired is an actual thing but sometimes people are just TOO MUCH and I CAN’T DEAL and I HATE EVERYONE. So yes, relationally tired is a thing in my world. But there’s also a thing called eucharist tired and this is when your soul is tired. It’s different than normal tired; it’s a fatigue, an exhaustion that you can’t quite describe. You’re worn down and dry and feel like you can’t go on one more day. Sound familiar? Eucharist tired, my friends. Eucharist tired.

Rob goes into this and describes the remedy for when you find yourself eucharist tired. It’s something called a eucharist rhythm. A eucharist rhythm is the concept of caring for yourself and letting yourself rest so that you can go out into the world and give your gift to your greatest ability. So basically, eucharist rhythm is just a big fancy term for self-care.

Rob further explains this concept by going into an example about the blood of Jesus. Listen up because this is good. So like I said earlier, eucharist is the “good gift” or the blood of Jesus shed for us. That in and of itself is good. Great. Freaking spectacular. But when it comes to euchairst rhythms, it’s about letting that blood pour back IN. Jesus’s blood poured OUT so that we can receive it, use it to spread our gift, and then ultimately let ourselves rest and have the blood pour back IN. It’s a cycle, a circuit, a rhythm. A eucharist rhythm.

Just let that sink in for a sec because it took me a little to wrap my mind around all that.

…….. waiting for your mind to wrap around it ……

When you really sit down and think of it, all of life is a eucharist rhythm. It’s all a balance. Too  much work is not good, too much rest is not good. Too much of ANYTHING is not good. That’s why I strive to live a life of balance. A little of this, a little of that. Everything in moderation. Work, rest. Run, walk. Cupcakes, kale. Socializing, alone time. Crying, weeping. Movement, stillness. There is a time for everything, which just so happens to bring me to one of my favorite bible passages.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.” -Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Rob closes up by emphasizing the importance of these resting times. If you’re anything like me, you feel lazy when you’re not being “productive.” Sometimes I literally have to write in my planner, “relax for twenty minutes.” It’s hard for me to relax, to chill, to simply be. But Rob states that when you aren’t necessarily being productive, that’s when you are HONORING your body. NOURISHING it. HEALING it. Your body needs rest and when it’s giving you those signs, it’s your duty to take care of yourself and give it what it needs.

In conclusion, I’ll leave you with one last statement from Mister Bell. Truly think about this one and be honest with yourself about what this looks like for you.

“What does it look like for your body to be broken and your blood to be poured out for the healing of those in the world around you?”

Lots and lots and lots of love,

Tate

People Come and People Go

“People enter our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. We only get disappointed if we try to force relationships beyond their purpose.”

A reason, a season, or a lifetime. That’s what it comes down to, friends. It seems a little harsh but its the cold honest truth. And sometimes the truth hurts a little, especially when someone you thought was a lifetime person only ended up being a season person. That’s some tough stuff right there.

I’m writing this post because it’s something I personally struggle with. I’m a sensitive person, I get attached easily, and I don’t move on very quickly. Let’s face it, sometimes I don’t move on at all. If someone comes in my life, I assume they’re not gonna leave. But it doesn’t always work out that way. Just like the quote, some people only come for a reason or a season and that is not something easy for me to accept.

First things first, a REASON. These are the people who come in and out of your life for well, a reason. To teach you something, to give you a lesson, to show you something only they could show you. Several people come to mind. Ex boyfriends came and went for a reason. To teach me how I should be treated (or shouldn’t be for that matter). Certain teachers came into my life for a reason – to show me that teachers are more than just teachers; they’re humans. Certain doctors came into my life for a reason – because they knew just how to help me at just the right time. But sometimes, I think the people that come into your life for a reason are mostly strangers. People you don’t go out of your way to meet. People that randomly pop in and out but somehow teach you something along the way. You may never see them again, but they taught you something you’ll never forget. Whether it was a homeless person on the side of the road or a check out lady at the grocery store, you ran into them for some certain reason. Our job is to find out that reason.

Alright, my least favorite…a season. A week, a month, a year. Maybe a few years if you’re lucky. These are the people that come and stay, but not too long. Before you know it they’re gone. Blink your eyes and they’ve disappeared. With or without warning, addressing or confronting closure, they’re gone. Tough stuff, but I think I’m starting to understand it a little. I think God gives us the right people at the right time. I think He strategically places people into our lives that He knows we NEED. Maybe we don’t necessarily want them, but we need them for one reason or another. In certain times in my life, I needed certain friends to be there for me – to love me when I was unlovable, to hold me when I was hysterical, to be there when I wasn’t fully there myself. In certain seasons of my life, I needed that support of that boyfriend, or the compassion of that youth leader, or that sense of belongingness that came from being on a team. But when the season was over, my relationships with those people were over too. Come and go, come and go. New people for a new season. Bring it on, God.

And dun dun dun.. a lifetime. These are the people that are stuck with ya. Muahahhaha. It’s crazy to me that you could meet someone for the first time, a lifetime person, and have absolutely no idea. Doesn’t that just blow your mind? Like the first time you say hello, the first time you look in their eyes; you could be looking in those eyes for the rest of your life and not even know it. Crazy, man. But lifetime people are important because they’re there for all of it – the good, the bad, and the ugly. The ups as well as the downs. The tears alongside the laughs. They’re the consistent, reliable people that you know will always be there for you no matter what. Listen to me for a sec, will ya? If you have one of those people, never let them go. Ever. Fight for them like they fight for you. Love them not just for a reason, not just for a season, but for a lifetime.

I’ve probably mentioned in some of my other posts the concept of Love and Let Go. It’s pretty simple. You love people and then you let them go. Whether that be for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. The loving part, now that’s easy. I can love and love and love and love some more. But the letting go part? That’s the toughie. What really helps me when it comes to letting go is focusing on the fact that some people were never meant to be in your life forever. I repeat, some people WERE NEVER MEANT to be in your life forever. When God decided that you two were going to meet, he had an expiration date on the relationship. He knew when it was going to start and when it was going to end and that was it. Shouldn’t we trust God enough to respect his expiration date? Yeah, sometimes I wish I knew the expiration date of certain relationships so I could prepare for their ending. Like why can’t people have little numbers on the side of their arm signaling their date of departure just like milk cartons have expiration dates? Same thing basically. The milk’s not good anymore so you throw it away. The relationships’s not good anymore so you throw it away. You leave. And you don’t look back. Human expiration dates – now that is a topic I will have to bring up with God tonight during my prayers.

This whole reason, season, lifetime thing puts everything in perspective for me. It makes me not want to go back to old relationships, try to rekindle the fire of past romances, attempt to save a fading friendship. Because maybe, just maybe, those relationships were perfect just the way they were. Those people came for a reason, a season, and that’s it. All done. Case closed.

But my lifetime people, those are the people I choose to focus on. My family, my closest friends, my kitty (does that count?) I’ve been blessed with a few lifetime people – not a lot, but just enough. They’re supportive and encouraging and selfless and hilarious. They love me when I don’t love myself and hold me up when I’m falling down. Beautiful people, I’m telling you. And I thank God every day they’re the ones without an expiration date.

So that’s it, peeps. That’s my little piece of advice for letting go, for moving on, for leaving the past in the past. Some relationships are meant to last forever and some are not and that’s just how it is.

Hope ya’ll are having a lovely day!

Tate

YOU are the ocean

“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.” -Rumi

I am one person in a state of 6.7 million, a country of 318.9 million, a universe of 7.1 billion. I am one person in one state out of fifty states, in one country out of 196 countries. I am seemingly insignificant. Small. Unnoticed.

Or am I? Rumi argues that we are not just a drop in the ocean, but the entire ocean in a drop. We don’t just live in the universe; the universe lives in us. We reside in the world, but the true world, the real world, resides in our soul.

“Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.”

This entire concept of being small, yet large. Insignificant, yet significant. A piece of the world, yet the whole world. This completely blows my mind. It makes me look at the world differently and look at myself differently. It makes me wonder why we look to the world for fulfillment when the real place we should be looking at is inside ourselves. Our hearts, our minds, our spirits – this inner world that just so happens to live in the outer world.

This is why I like yoga so much. It challenges me to view myself in a different light. While society tells me I am small and imperfect and insignificant, yoga reminds me that I am whole and beautiful and complete. I am whole because I am me. I am whole because God is in me. Yoga is my way of connecting the two.

The Hebrew word for breath is Spirit. In yoga, the focus is on your breath. It is your way of connecting with  yourself, connecting with the Spirit. Whether you call it God or Jesus or the Divine or Love; the name does not matter. We are connecting to something greater than ourselves; a force that connects us all universally, but knows us each of us by our own individuality. Breathe in the Spirit, breathe out the Spirit. Breathe in His grace, breathe out His praise. Breathe in love, breathe out hate. Breathe in your own world, breathe out the world we inhabit. Breath, spirit, connection. This is yoga.

As a Christian, Christ lives in me. Jesus, the Savior of the world, resides in me. If that doesn’t blow your mind, I don’t know what will. But I think that’s what Rumi was talking about. He believed in Divine love, of faith, of a force greater than himself. He believed in prayer and meditation and inner peace – the same concepts Christians believe. But to me, this quote directly relates to Jesus being inside my body, flooding my spirit with his grace and love and compassion. He is the ocean and He is inside of me. I am just a drop but because I have Him, I am the ocean as well.

There are so many bible verses I could bring up that relates to this, but I think Galatians 2:20 sums it up the best.

“I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.”

“Crucified with Christ.” I die to myself so that Christ can live in me. The term “I die daily” that Christians often say – this is what it means. My desires, my sins, my selfishness – I die to these things so that Christ’s love, Christ’s grace, Christ’s compassion can live in me.

“And it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.”He’s IN me, people! His home is my Spirit. His Spirit joins with my Spirit. How, you ask? Through breath, through connection, through mediation. He pours out of me so that others can see him THROUGH me. My words, my actions, my thoughts – I pray that they are always a representation of me. Though I am only a drop in the ocean, I have the entire ocean in me. May everyone I come in contact with be able to see this Ocean, this Savior, Jesus Christ, inside of me.

There’s a song I love and the lyrics go something like this. “Let them see you in me. Let them hear you when I speak. Let them see you when I sing. Let them see you, let them see you in me.” That song is my battle cry, my last prayer, my final breath. I have so much inside of me – so much love and light and peace. I want others to experience it as well! I want others to feel it as well. I want others to experience this ocean as well – wave by wave, sinking deeper and deeper into the love of the Divine.

Which brings me to another lyric. “If His grace is an ocean we’re all sinking”

We can’t comprehend God. He is too big, too large, too magnificent for words. He is the ocean after all. And even the ocean on this Earth has not been fully discovered. We have only explored 5% of this world ocean. FIVE PERCENT. There is a whole new world out there, a whole undiscovered space of water and mystery and beauty. If something on Earth like the ocean can’t be fully described or discovered, how could God be?

That’s why we’re sinking. Sinking in his grace, his love, his compassion. Sinking deeper and deeper into the Soul of who He is. The more we find out, the more we love Him. The more we read and study and discover, the more we want to be like Him. We are drawn to Him like people are drawn to this worldy ocean – for it’s peacefulness and beauty and mystery. For the way it makes us feel small, yet large, Insignificant, yet significant. A piece of the world, yet the whole world.

“You are not a drop of the ocean. You are the entire ocean in one drop.” -Rumi

Tate

 

New Year, New Blog

Well not really. Same blog, but updated. Same blog, but with an ABOUT section. Same blog, but now I’m back after my mysterious three month disappearance. But really, I’m back and I’m back for good. I stopped blogging for a bit because I was feeling a little ashkdfjidsfsd. You ever feel that way? Well yeah, that’s how I was feeling and the creative juices don’t flow too well when I’m like that so I took a break from the blogging world. But I’m back, and I’m better and it’s a new freaking year. Woohoo.

I thought I’d start out by doing a quick little recap of this past year. I’m a big fan of letters so I decided to write one to good ol’2016.

Dear 2016,

You were the year of lessons. Sometimes you whispered them to me, sometimes you nudged them to me, and sometimes you hit me in the face with them. Whichever way, I got the point. Like the point that someone can be a GOOD person, but not YOUR person. That one took me awhile to understand. I spent a lot of 2016 with a person who was a great person, really everything I could ever ask for. But still, they weren’t my person and it took me months and months to get that. Something was missing and you don’t settle for a missing part when it comes to a soulmate. Someone can be funny and charming and spiritual and tall and creative and everything you think you want in a mate, but still, they might not be your person. 2016, you taught me the difference between the two.

2016, you taught me that things come and go. Friends, lovers, passions. Emotions, relationships, moments. Nothing lasts forever, which is both a comforting and terrifying thought. That’s why you can’t hold on to anything too tight. Before you know it, it’ll be gone. Whatever it is. All you can do is enjoy the time you have with whatever/whomever it is. The good doesn’t last forever, but the bad doesn’t either and that is something to thank the Lord for.

Oh 2016, you taught me that progress is better than perfection, that being present is better than being perfect. You taught me that perfect is plastic and boring and ultimately unattainable. Raw is better, real is better, messy is better. You taught me that I’m never going to be perfect no matter how hard I try. My body, my hair, my talents. My achievements, my grades, my recovery. I will never be perfect and that’s okay. It hadn’t been okay until this past year when you taught me to give myself a little grace and a little rest. After all, I’m only human.

2016, you taught me to chase the light, to seek the light with everything I have. You gave me a few really hard months from February to May and boy, was I living in the darkness. You taught me that chasing the light means different things. It may be getting more therapy or Jesus or blasting a little Ben Rector in the car. It may mean cuddling a kitty or writing or running to my momma for a hug. Whatever brought me light, made my soul less heavy, you taught me to run to that. 2016, I started you in the dark but thank God, I’m ending you in the light.

Last but not least, 2016 taught me that if I have Jesus, I have all I need. I started 2016 with a hard heart, a heart that was yearning for something. Purpose, passion, something to live for. Jesus became that thing. Every day, I did something to fill myself spiritually. An online sermon, a bible study, a podcast. A prayer sesh, a worship concert, a church service. Day by day, Jesus became more to me and I became less to myself. I studied Jesus’s heart, I felt his grace and forgiveness and love. Never has my faith grown as much as this year. 2016, you taught me how to be a servant, a follower, a daughter of my everlasting Father.

Okay, I know I said that was my last one, but I just have to add one more thing! And that is that 2016 taught me to run MY race. This phrase, “run my race” has been an anthem for 2016. Running my race means doing what’s best for me, not what’s best for anyone else. It’s focusing on my own unique path, my own crazy journey. 2016 seemed like the year of engagements and graduations and babies for a lot of my friends. I was overjoyed for them and yet, I couldn’t help feeling a little jealous. I had started ASU in January and dropped out a week later, I didn’t have a boyfriend, and I had no idea what I was doing with my life. I felt like I was doing everything wrong. That’s when this phrase came into my head. It was like Jesus was saying, “Tatum, that’s not your race. That may be her race, but it’s not yours.” This completely changed everything for me. Getting married may be right for someone right now, but not for me. Graduating college may be the next step for someone, but for me, dropping out was. Changing my major 8394 times this year was. Boyfriend or not, degree or not, accomplishments or trophies or babies or not, my one and only job is to run MY race. 2016, you were the starting blocks for my race, the race I’ll be running for the rest of my life.

“My only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me” – Acts 20:24

So that’s it 2016. You’re done, over, gone forever. Hasta la vista baby. Or hasta la pasta cause I’m feeling a little hungry. But really, when it’s all said and done, 2016 was tough year, but it wasn’t my hardest. It was a challenging year, but I came out on the other side. And by golly 2016 tried to break me, but you bet I didn’t let it.

Hope you all had a great year as well. Maybe try writing a letter to 2016 and see what comes up for you. I know my letter brought up a lot of emotions, both good and bad, so this is your friendly warning 😉 My next post will most likely be some of my New Years Resolutions and exciting stuff like that. Thanks for reading and keep coming back for more!

XOXO Tate