happy birthday wee spoon

spoonful 7I've missed this little space. My head was a little fuzzy with planning and dreaming. All the while, thoughts jumped out at me and I so wanted to share them but I struggled to get myself back here. I had so many thoughts, so many lessons to sift through, that I got stuck. I got stuck on where to begin.

But today is really special to me. Today the wee spoon turns one. I know that might seem really small; it might seem like nothing big. But it's huge for me.

All you mommas out there know [God bless you by the way] that so much growth and change happens in just one year. Your little one starts so helpless and sleepy, so in need of you all the time but with each day they learn to smile and reach and crawl.

They still need you but they start to form into a person apart from you – they start to grow little wings.

It’s a miracle, really.

I started this little space four days after my 26th birthday. It was a present to myself; a present to be bold and brave and try something that had been nudging and yanking at my heart.

I figured people are typically nice around your birthday. If I ever wanted to be super vulnerable and share what was on my heart there's no better time than around the day I was born, right?

I mean, no one would tell me my blog was poop on my birthday.

I had a rush of anxiety after that first post. I specifically remember driving in my car, a few days later and my hands were wet with sweat. My stomach flipped upside down. I thought I might faint.

I was having a vulnerability hangover.

It’s a phrase I’ve borrowed from an author I love and admire. It’s that moment you wonder, "Did I say too much? Did I really just share my pain and struggles and hit publish for anyone to see?”

You’re thoughts revert from “Good job, you did it lady!” to “think anyone would notice if I crawled in a hole and never came out?”

I haven't committed or stuck with hardly anything for more than a year, other than marriage of course. Though this space is different. I didn’t vow in front of God and the most important people in my life that I’d love this blank white space for better or for worse. That I’d show up – even on the days I didn’t feel like it.

I don't have anyone telling me I have to write.

I come here because I want it and need it. 

Truth is, I’ve always been more of a dreamer than a doer. I think that's what made starting this space so difficult because I knew if I dove in, my head would tell me to just give up when it felt hard, when I felt like I had nothing to say.

But my heart is stubborn and wouldn't let me turn around. My heart wouldn’t let this be a thing I did once and just let fizzle. It meant too much.

You, dear reader, mean too much. 

Because when it comes to words, I'm an all or nothing kind of gal.

I also knew when I showed up here, I had to give you my real heart, total transparency. I couldn’t just give you stories of things I’ve heard, the leftovers on my plate. I had to give you my experiences, my trials – my skinned knees and broken heart too.

And that meant not simply sitting behind a screen. It meant actually leaving this space to live with arms stretched open wide, it meant stepping outside my comfort zone and trying, verse never starting out of fear of falling.

It meant getting to know our neighbors by name and having honest talks with my husband in the thick of it instead of running to our room, closing the door and writing how I felt in my journal.

It meant getting out of bed and facing the day when I didn’t really want to.

I wish I could say the flu like symptoms subsided after writing here for a year. I still have moments of wanting to go into hiding after hitting the publish button or feeling like I just walked out my house with no clothes on.

But as quickly as those flu symptoms come so do all those good feelings too, feelings of freedom and strength and openness. Feelings of unlocking the parts of me that are begging to break through and be shared.

Feelings of connecting with a friend or stranger over our shared experience, story and struggle.

Feelings of learning that we really aren’t all that different.

We both want to be known and loved fully. We both want safe spaces to be vulnerable and share stories of shame. And we don’t want just a head nod or someone to say, “I’m sorry” we want someone to grab hold of us tight and walk with us through it.

This little space on the web has been my place to let all those thoughts and feelings rise to the surface. It's been a place to wrestle through struggles and dreams. It's been a place to connect and uplift and encourage.

It's been a place to finally recognize the parts that have been hiding.

I hope you know dear one, there is room for you here too. There is room for your voice, your ideas, and your dreams.

Don't think the mold has been voted on, we need you just as you are. Don't think the web is already crowded with voices; we need your voice too.

Don't think your story is small or insignificant. You're living a grand adventure, a beautiful romance, a story of forgiveness and getting up to try again.

Thank you for being here dear one, thanks for helping this space grow. I love you so much for it.

xoxo


p.s YOUR TURN. Tell me friend, what have you committed to lately? What have you stuck with, even on the days of doubt and uncertainty?

How has it felt to not give up? I want to hear about it.

On Sunday, November 1st at 9pm [EST] I'll pick one comment and send you a gift in the mail.

You see that journal way up top? You'll get that beauty. And even better, that journal features original artwork from a student in Kosovo.

That journal helps a woman go to college.

Check out Flora Stationary & take a peek at their bio below. I just adore what these women are doing.


 

flora stationaryFlora Stationery started in mid-2014 after one of the founders, Ashley VanBuskirk, travelled to Kosovo to work and study abroad. After meeting an inspiring young woman who was struggling to pay for a college education, Ashley and her sister, Victoria decided to start Flora Stationery. The goal of Flora is to create a sustainable scholarship fund for young women in developing countries who would otherwise not have the option to attend college. Since launching the organization, nearly 20 women have been supported on full-tuition college scholarships. 

Mission statement: Flora Stationery does not rescue women from poverty. Rather, we empower them with an education while enabling the consumer to be apart of this inspiring process of funding futures.  

 

 

dip your toe in

FullSizeRender (2) I like to perfect things first.

I like to be really good on the very first try.

[It could be the reason I quit playing the violin after a week.]

When I was little, I'd stay at things a short while and then leave. I'd grow tired of not getting it right, of not being good enough. Deep down I'd think, "It shouldn't be this hard. If I were supposed to be a violinist and stick with it, it would just come easy, right?"

Now, I'd like to think I've grown out of this. And in some ways I have. In some ways, I stretch and push until it hurts because deep down, I believe all that pain and sweat is worth it.

There is yoga in my life to prove that. Amen?

But there are those other days of staring at a mountain instead of walking towards it. Of aching for perfection and praying that it will all just come easy. That somehow all the mismatched, tender pieces will fall into place just as they should.

You see somedays, I am still that little girl, not wanting to roll up my sleeves, get messy and just try.

///

I was at the gym a few days ago; my bike faced the pool. A young boy and older man were in the water. The older man was teaching the younger boy to swim. The first few minutes on the bike I watched as the boy flailed his arms wildly. I saw water splash in and up his face. I saw his eyes water when he lost his footing and went under.

The older man stayed near, talking through each step, showing how to move his arms, encouraging him to swim out further.

Just a little further this time.

The boy never hesitated. He never grew too tired or frustrated. He listened to that man, gave him a nod and swam out. Continuing to splash and breath and kick.

He did this over and over and over again.

And with each passing minute, his arms and legs grew more familiar to that water. Each time he swam further from the edge I'd think, "Just a little further Maeve, stay on the bike. I know you're tired. But stay on, just a little while longer. Don't give up yet."

///

If you've been here before, you know I write a lot about being brave. I write about taking big leaps and giving in and living with radical love and obedience.

But I think I left out a really vital part, dear ones.

Because you see, I doubt that young boy learned to swim by diving head first into the deep end. There had to be steps. There had to be moments, little tiny moments of dipping his toe in, sitting on the steps, standing in the shallow end - first.

///

What if today, what if for right now, being brave meant stepping up to the edge.

What if it meant just looking out into the water and saying, "I see you. I see how big and vast and grand you are. And the thought of swimming terrifies me. So for today, I'm going to stand next to you and take it all in. I'm just going to dip my toe in the water."

Sometimes, that's all we can muster - dipping our toe in.

And I hope you know, that's enough. I hope you believe me when I say dipping your toe in is HUGE. It isn't small, it isn't insignificant.

Because sometimes, dipping our toe in means deciding to get out of bed in the morning. It means calling that friend we haven't talked to in a while. It means sitting down and finally writing a letter.

When we start somewhere, anywhere, we make room for something big. We make room for the leaps.

Because that phone call or letter leads to a response. And that response leads to an invitation. An invitation to sit side by side on your neighbors couch, cups of coffee in hand, her sharing life has been hard, really hard lately.

It leads to pouring two glasses of wine, walking next door, and asking if you can come in  because you heard them fighting and wanted to make sure she was okay.

///

Being brave is going to look different for you and me. It's going to look different in each season and chapter too.

Some days it's going to feel a lot like learning to swim when it seems as though everyone else is diving in head first. Some days it's going to feel so easy and freeing, like we were made for this. And other days, we might wish we never started at all.

But I'm not sure if where we land or step in really matters as much as coming back to the shore.

Coming back when we'd rather stay in bed. When we'd rather not have our heartbroken once more or feel rejected or be completely open and honest.

What matters more is coming back, staring out at the wild, unruly shore and simply dipping your toe in.