To move to…

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Early on, in 2016, I created a spotify playlist entitled To Move To… As anyone who knows me knows, I am one of the worst “namers” in the history of naming things. To me, at the time, it seemed a clever way to label my workout list. As the year progressed however, this playlist morphed into my motivation for many areas, not just fitness. It is pretty amazing that this long-ago list worked it’s way into birthing the only word which made any sense at all, for this year.

MOVE.

It is a powerful word. It means a vast degree of many things. It reaches into every area of my life, from health and fitness, to writing, to education, to parenting and marriage. MOVE. Stagnancy kills. MOVE. Even if it’s a step in the wrong direction, it is better than nothing at all. MOVE. Move. move…

My word for this glorious fresh and unwritten year is move.

This isn’t my image. It belongs to Vimeo actually. When I saw it though, I knew it fit my vision for this year, my heart for this year, in a thousand different little ways. Move. To move in such a way that the place where my feet were is left better after my time there…

I do not do resolutions. I commit to goals. Typically, but not always, these goals stem from my word. With a word as huge as this year’s, I don’t think there is a goal that would not apply, somehow.

Goals:

  • To read two books (minimum) per month.
  • To learn one new thing, every month.
  • To complete my passion project More.
  • To complete and self/indie publish my novel.
  • To lose those 50 last pounds I need to lose.
  • To literally move to a more conducive home for the next phase of my life.
  • To expand my freelancing/writing income.
  • To enjoy my family intentionally, in simple and life affirming ways.
  • To visit somewhere I have never been before.
  • Find my writer’s tribe and flourish within it.

Move.

Where are you seeing yourself, this year?

On reflections…

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October was an incredible month for me. Not only did I get to spend so much precious time with my older daughter A and her boys, but I also got the chance to spend an awesome week with my best friend Kozzette. As if those things weren’t enough, I had the privilege of spending 9 days road tripping through New England. My eyes have never drank in a more beautiful October. In that adventure my spirit reset, inspiration seeds were planted deep within my soil and an undiscovered personal dream was born. (Is it wrong that I want to do it again every October?)

I am going on six months of being back in Michigan and it has been an adventure. Ups and Downs. I have seen that persistence really can pay off, and sometimes it is better to let go. I have come to realize my position as a mother, both what that does mean and what it does not. This year has possibly been the biggest leg of my journey. The truths I knew November 1st of last year are not the truths I know now. The difference would, of course, be that last year I knew only to view things through the filter of how I felt in that moment. Today I know to look at life in the big picture and step out of how I’m feeling to look at life objectively. (I have also learned that calories, when your life is upside down, are not equal to calories when your life is getting back on track. This may seem ridiculous, but it’s true!)

I took this photo in Sandwich Massachusetts. I love it because the reflection is crisp and yet, somehow gentler and more beautiful. This struck me. I want my reflection (in all senses of the word) to be just like that. I want others to see me as an authentic reflection of who I really am. Sometimes life may ripple that, and the grace is for that to be accepted. For me to accept it, and for those who I allow in my life to as well. I do not want to fall apart emotionally when my reflection isn’t crystal perfection for others to see. The health of the pond will determine the health of my reflection. Life is that pond. Life organically works out, when we let it. Sometimes there is rain, wind, hail, fallen branches, murky water… I am just kind of rambling here, with nonsense that probably only makes sense to me and that is ok too.

Here’s the truth. I am not perfect. I am not beautiful. I am not popular. I am ok with those things. I have amazing friends that I wouldn’t trade for the world. There are people, honestly many people, who I have not kept within my circle. Either they could not be honest, or could not value me and stuck around only so I would shower them with support and love. I don’t do that, and I have never pretended otherwise. I have an amazing sense of loyalty to the people in my life, but after a time that loyalty dies if our relationship is not mutually maintained.

Here’s the truth.. I never had a child from my womb. The ugly possibility that this happened because I was not cut out to be a mother is one which will speak to me, deep within the shadows of my mind, forever. I fought hard to be a mother and fought like hell for my three kids. I have unique relationships with each of them and do fear that my relationship with my youngest will not be a life long one. There are many resentments and issues and jealousies within her heart. I used to believe their existence were evidence that I was not a great mother. While I do not recommend separating from your child, even temporarily, I can honestly say that doing so has saved my life. It happened twice and each time I learned immense lessons about my motherhood. I am far from a perfect mother, but what I am is a damn good one. There are a few who have judged decisions I have made, and believed they had the authority to do so because of their age or spiritual opinion of themselves. The one thing I am most proud of, in my motherhood, is that I have loved my kids regardless of anything and always from a place of raw honesty. The second thing is that I do not compare myself to other parents or judge what may feel like their parental failures.

Here’s the truth… I am a wife. I am probably not a great one, but I have done my very best. This I know for a fact. I have fought for my marriage harder than anything in the world and my husband has never had a single person pour more love, effort or uncondition in to him. That being said, I have hatred in my heart. Hatred for the women he has chosen over me, whether they are friendship or other. He has a group of women friends who caused significant damage in my already failing marriage and how they live with this is beyond my comprehension. I hate how he handled the situation. Whenever I see one of their names cross my social media paths, I am filled with so many negative feelings. This is my issue, and I completely get that. I know that as long as this is an issue, things will not be “ok”. I imagine these three women taking so much joy and pleasure from that. I need to be ok with that too. That is for them to answer to, I have no responsibility in their choices. Only mine. Today I hate them. I don’t want to, but I don’t know how to exist outside of the damage that was done to me personally, by all involved. It was easily the most painful experience personally and I just haven’t quite learned how to recover from it, though I try.

I am not the woman I was 12 months ago. For the most part I am healthier. I am definitely more grounded. I am also transparently journeying along. I hope one day I do not harbor hatred for anyone, regardless of what they have or have not done. I have shared here, in this space, that I lived a lifetime just aching for just one person to find me worth fighting for. Though that would still be a feeling I cannot imagine- I have come to see I have to do that for myself. I have fought relentlessly for my husband and kids because I NEVER wanted them to know that feeling of no one believing  them valuable enough. At times this may have been a mistake, and I will accept this. I have to.

New England was a bucket list adventure for me. Was it perfect? No. There is something sad about reaching a dream and realizing it is a mixed bag, just like every other aspect of life. I learned things about myself which is exactly what every journey exists for. Ultimately I learned about who I want to be, and how I want those around me to see that. I don’t want to live in a Pottery Barn looking world, while inside it’s really a thrift store shack. I want the picture above. I want to be the honest reflection.

Dreams…

I am a bookish sort of girl. My daughters both love literature and reading, which is something that warms my heart immensely. As I have grown older, I find that I have less and less time to read, which makes me a little sad. I hope that this does not happen to either of them…

Being a lover of books, I have always had a deep appreciation for the classics. I also enjoy poetry. Ralph Waldo Emerson is the person I most quote and the one whose words deeply stir my soul. These random announcements paint the picture for you to better understand why visiting Concord Massachusetts has been on the top of my wish list since I was in late middle school. Several years ago I had the privilege of facilitating a Mother/Daughter book club, for a year, inspired by the Mother Daughter Book club series written by Heather Vogel Frederick.  It was while reading about these fiction girls that my youngest’s dream to one day visit Concord was born. Every year as the leaves have turned, we would dream up our someday, and then yesterday the day was finally here…

We have, in our family, this thing we call The Niagara Falls complex. We used to live in Niagara Falls, NY and every time someone visited, the FIRST thing they wanted to do was visit Niagara. Every single time that guest state Oh, I thought it would be much different. That’s really it? Both Chw and I totally understood because the very first time we saw it, we felt exactly the same way.

Concord was definitely just like that. In fact, there is serious consideration being taken in renaming it the Concord Complex all together. And the reality is, it wasn’t some romanticized disillusionment. No, it is truly just Concord. Granted, we had imagine quaint little tea and coffee shops, small book stores and boutiques, perhaps even a few literary themed restaurants. Have you ever looked up Concord on Yelp? I can tell you it is one hundred percent accurate. The 2-3 actual restaurants that it has, (for the record, I do not consider a food counter a restaurant) had insane waits because, well, they were the only restaurants… They also had less than wonderful reviews, which I guess is irrelevant when hoards of people wait to go in. And the people. So. Many. People. And here’s the interesting part, the volume of people were ALL centered around the shops and restaurants. The streets around the shops were jam-packed and every single bench, rock and many curbs were filled with people eating out of paper bags and styrofoam containers. We had saved lunch for Concord, thinking it would be a nice treat. Instead we stood in LINE at three counters, (because an actual restaurant was out of the question) only to admit we were losing precious time and wound up at a pizza counter with the only decent yelp rating we’d seen, on the other side of town. The parts of Concord we were interested in were pretty empty. The unfortunate reality about the parts of Concord we were anxious to see were the “attraction” ticket prices. Orchard House, Emerson’s home and Wayside were $10 EACH, per person. That is just under $100 to walk through three houses… Yeah. It’s a bit exploitive and super sad. We did end our Concord visit at Sleep Hollow Cemetery, which was really lovely…

I guess that’s the thing about building up anticipation, dreams or what have you… You run the risk of disappointment when the real world does not quite meet up to those standards. In the Concord of my imagination it is peaceful and kind, poetic and spending an afternoon there is best when connecting with others, and leisurely. One thing I can admit, New England in the fall is absolutely not part of the Niagara Falls/Concord Complex. It is breathtaking and inspiring and I could happily stay here forever.

Darling, let’s be adventurers together…

photo-1461301214746-1e109215d6d3My life, these past few years, has been quite the journey. The most humbling thing, at forty years of age, is having to accept that I do not have it all figured out, and that’s ok. I have learned a lot of really great things and sometimes those things are meant for a season, while other times those things last awhile longer. Over the past year alone, there are two messages predominately running through the veins of my lifeblood.

The first is that I am worthy of love and I do not need anyone to reassure me or validate me of this. Plain and simple, people suck. This is an eternal truth that is never-changing. Fact: Sometimes we too are among those who suck. It is a fatal flaw to humanity. Often times we microscopically zoom in on the wounds we’ve received at the hands of someone else, while choosing to overlook the wounds which we ourselves have caused to others. We are each, worthy of love. I am. I do not need my husband, my kids, my mother or anyone else to be the messenger for this truth. It took me a long, long time to get this. Sometimes I still have to remind myself.

The second is that life is meant for living. This does not play into the ridiculous “YOLO” idea as much as it challenges us to make the most of the moments. Sure, it’s ok to bingewatch that netflix show or get lost in that video game, (for me: Harvest Moon. Always.) It is not ok for that to be the center of life. Life has a heartbeat. Life has a blood flow. It’s ours and it is real and every day is a chance for our own adventure. We have to connect with the people in our lives, and with ourselves. We have to do this authentically, even when it is uncomfortable or terrifying. The lazy times are nice when they are the bit of flavor to our down time.

My best friend K came out from Boise, this past week. It was incredible. We simply had a small list of things to do, which included a few shops to explore, a trip to Ikea, a movie to see (Girl on the Train), a brunch place to visit, etc. We could have checked items off a list and crammed as much as possible into her time here. I think maybe a year or so ago, that is exactly what I would have done. This time around though, we just kind of went with it. The two best times were one hundred percent spontaneous. They were absent of the pretense of lists and obligation, when we simply were who we were and submitted to the adventure that organically came from it. What this looked like, for us, became the best Target trip EVER and an impromptu adventure through Detroit. Life is good, always. Even when you’re sad, or broke, or lonely. We just have to be honest with ourselves and where we are at in the journey and let that sense of adventure organically happen. Even in the deepest pits of grief, there can be moments of that certain something which reminds us we are alive… Grab hold of that, whatever your stage and wherever you are, and let’s go!

The one thing I failed to do, while she was here, was snap a million photos. In fact, outside of our Target adventure, I don’t think I took even one. We also forgot to hit up the photo booth, which I do honestly regret a tad. I have real life memories etched in my heart, and so while not having the photos is a little sad, it’s pretty ok too. I think sometimes we get so busy taking pictures to share, we miss living the moment. Social Media has contributed to that inauthentic beast of a problem. Even so, as I head off on my next adventure, I will have my Canon in hand constantly. I am leaving tomorrow for a week in New England, and as this is definitely a check off the bucket list, I know it will be incredible. It will be what I make it, which is pretty universal to all of us.

Have you been to New England in Autumn? Any tips or suggestions for my 8 day adventure?

Hillsong Giveaway…

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After attending a Hillsong show, in May, I knew that I’d maybe never be the same. It’s ok if you read that and think I’m a little nuts. I might be, but I also realize we are all on our own journeys. (There are literally thousands of people who know exactly what I’m talking about.) When I learned I was actually coming back to Michigan, the very first thing I did was search the Hillsong tour to see when they would be here too. (no exaggeration, it was the first thing.) The tour was not scheduled to come here, but they were coming a few hours around us. One of these shows was Chicago. When my daughter confessed really wishing she could have gone with me, I knew I needed to get her to that show. I began praying that God make a way. Not only was it not in our tragically obliterated budget, but suddenly Chicago felt about as attainable as Ireland. My husband was not on board and so, with all of the odds against me, I began praying. I knew we needed to go- but I couldn’t create howHillsong

On the 30th guess who is going to Hillsong in Chicago? This girl… Gen is thrilled. Not only are the three of us going, but Gen is bringing a friend. And here is the very best part of all, (because, you guys… When you pray, God does stuff. Be bold. Dare.)

I happen to have two tickets to giveaway to a reader. IN CHICAGO. July 30th. HILLSONG. Let’s recap, shall we?

Misty went to Hillsong in May, in Boise. AMAZING.

Misty prayed to take Gen to Hillsong in July, in Chicago. BAM. ANSWERED.

Misty has EXTRA TICKETS to giveaway, to Hillsong, in Chicago.

How to enter:

  • Leave a comment on this post.
  • tweet this Giveaway for an extra entry and come back and comment with the time stamp OR tag me (@rainydayinmay) in your tweet and come back here to let me know.
  • like my Facebook page and leave a comment here that you just liked it and then SHARE the giveaway post (on my page), tagging me.

Giveaway starts TODAY and will end Saturday the 23rd at midnight. (Exactly one week before HILLSONG!!!) You guys… Though I know this is geographically vital, but I encourage you to spread the word because it’s so worth it!