The answer to 'Is she moving to Louisville?'! and a whole lot more...

Oh my golly.  Early this morning during my quiet, wait for my hair to dry while I eat oatmeal and drink too much coffee, too fast time, I came across Sarah's Rhoads' blog post on the following passage.  And ohhh shoot, if it didn't just kick me in the face.  You see, this week I spent a little time with someone who knows me very little, but believes in me very much.  We chit and chatted about my place in our community and the process of our lives to this point. If you know me, you know there's always something (often 12 somethings) I'm fervently called to and working towards.  Welp.  When the Lord put photography in my mind (I really should type out my beginnings in this story - it is just silly talk) it was the beginning of my continual journey of recognizing the 'somethings' I'm called to and moving forward, in faith, on them.  The highlights for me include switching majors to advertising, then back to photojournalism; taking on children (I didn't like them) to shoot; shooting weddings on weekends during school; quitting a job I fought hard to obtain to move towards a bigger, more permanent goal; finding and buying the shop; remodeling the shop; never sleeping because I was doing work all the wrong ways; committing to take every opportunity to serve presented over a year in an effort to learn; almost dying from over/ineffectively-serving; hiring Nathan (still a little nauseous from this...just kidding.  sorta.)...

And that's where the line of big ideas ended.  There hasn't been one since.  Not that I noticed and was consciously moving towards, anyway.  And I've been squirmy since.  Since May.  Me bopping around has not been content.  I get asked 45 times a week why I'm in Shelbyville and if I'm staying and most recently, I've been asked by the most timid and nosey of folks if I am moving to Louisville.  You could you possibly be young, single, woman, business lady, crazy person who loves people and wants to do big things for them and you want to live in Shelbyville?  Uhm.  Yea.  I don't know.  But hey, hey - this is where I am.  I've been hip-hopping to church in Louisville, building up our business in the non-profit community in Louisville and learning from many fine, big idea sort of folks there, but I certainly know God has called me to Shelbyville.  Even on the days when I love, love, love Louisville the most I can't deny that this is where I am to be.  So stop the presses on the rumor mill, I'm only rooting my anchor deeper and deeper here.

So back to since-May, when Nathan came on board, I've just been bumbling along.  No big, scary, makes-me-wanna-puke (I HATE PUKE!, FYI) idea.  I've just been complaining to those closest that I sort-of don't belong here.  I know I am valued a lot by our clients and my friends, but with most of those closest to me out globe-trotting and doing big things, it's been hard to be content in growing relationships with people who aren't like me.  I like to feel safe.  I don't like to feel like the only girl without a child at a get together.  I don't like being asked where my husband is (if I knew, do you think I would be attending the dinner party by myself?).  I don't like having to argue with 50+ year old men about the merits of my bitty, small-business in a town full of highly-educated lawyers, accountants, financial planners etc.  I don't like fighting for credibility all day long, everyday.  I've tried to be involved and serve here in many different avenues, but none quite work out just right.  My heart cries for orphans, both domestically and abroad, and all my big-thinking friends keep telling me I'm moving to Africa one day.  I don't want to move to Africa.  Nope.  No thanks.  I LOVE Katie Davis as much as the next girl and I would get eye-balls-deep in her mission the minute I needed to, but that just isn't where my heart is called right now.  I have ideas about where I want to go, what I want to be here, but nothing has been aligning.  Just discontent.

So.  I go for chit chat with my friend one night this week and from the second I walked in the door, to the minute I walked out and couldn't remember where I parked my car in a lot with 20 spots, I knew without a doubt where I'm moving.  75689237 things aligned.  My brain was set to spin cycle.  Every single one of my frustrations was listed, discussed and connected to others in this crazy, perfect puzzle that made perfect sense.  So.  That brings me to two things that are chasing me.  Lets start with Marianne Williamson's words below.

I'm big on fear.  I like to talk about it.  I like to face it (except heights, no thanks).  I like to kick it out of my life.  Big ideas + fear are my sweet spot, all day long.  Now, I'm not the type to cling to the Lord when things are good.  I'm horrible at remembering to be greatful in goodness.  I know; shame, shame.  It's the times when I'm most scared this whatever thing I'm doing won't survive, is when I cling.  Duh.  It's when I'm reminded most clearly that I'm a feeble, little human who can do nothing at all without the guidance of the Lord.  Not a dang thing can I do apart from his grace.  Shew.  That sure does take the pressure off.  So in this area I excel, but I flop again when it's over.  When people want to talk about how good this was or how great that was, or someone wants to make a fuss over me or say thank you.  Let me just tell you, I will read your thank you note 100 times over and weep a bit about it, but if I'm in a room with just one person thanking me, I do everything I can to crawl and hide or run away fast.  Ok.  Not fair.  I'm to a point where I fear success in giving.  That sounds dumb.  But I do.  I become insecure when I excel.  I won't volunteer to do something if I know I may be publicly thanked.  That sounds dumb.  Typing it feels dumb.  But it's true.

I so often feel that I shouldn't do well and be thanked because people will see - or worse people will see and feel that they can't do what I'm doing, so they shouldn't try.  Or that they'll see and say horrible things about me.  I'm speaking from experience.  The last thing I want is to make someone feel insecure.  Insecure in that they think they are unable (hello....I'm just a little girl doing little things I'm called to - this is nothing fancy, I just know how to color coordinate) or insecure in that they turn to be hateful out of that insecurity.  And again, I only know because I've been hateful out of inadequacy.

I thrive on growing other people and empowering them.  I don't want someone serving alongside me to feel anything less than they are.  But I haven't been leading this way.  I've been quieting my strong suits, to keep from stepping on the toes of another.  Not what I was made for.  Not what you were made for.  If you make the casserole best, then go.   Make that casserole. Tell me I don't need to make it and that I need to be assigned the pie because that's what I can do.  And make sure I'm at least listening.  If I was made to lead, then I should lead.  We shouldn't spend a minute shrinking to align.  Shrinking to accommodate someone who really can't make that casserole as good as you.  We're at the edge of this not making sense, so you should probably just read the following and figure out what your 'casserole-skill' is that you've been suppressing.  And run in the opposite direction.  Go open a casserole store and make those casseroles as if you were serving them to the Lord.  And don't worry about me who thinks I can make the casserole.  Come alongside me and teach me that I need to be openin' the pie shop.

Lucky for me someone came alongside me and said hey, you shouldn't be just a'makin those photos, you should be doing that, which the Lord has clearly been calling you to for months.  So now we've got Phillipians 3:7 chasing me.  Chased me right from the pulpit at a church visit this morning (thanks Lee Webb for always saying more than you plan to...we should should share some sort of twin-ship).  Jumped right out of my computer before that.  But whatever was to my profit, I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.  Phillipians 3:7  How's that for pumping up the rumor mill?  What currently is my profit, will one day need to be considered as a loss for the sake of my calling.  Oh shoot.


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. 
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented,

       and fabulous -
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn't serve the world. 
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people
Won't feel insecure around you. 
We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. 
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone,
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously
Give other people permission to do the same.
- Marianne Williamson