If You Really Knew Me

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Life sometimes takes turns that we do not expect; surprising us, challenging us, and changing us.  We plan and hope and dream, all very valuable in helping us navigate successfully through life, but often, instead of just goal setting and dream weaving, we latch onto an unhealthy control in an effort “to make everything ok.”

I’m not sure what everything means, and I still haven’t figured out what ok is.  Maybe ok is perfect, but if I know, fundamentally, that perfect doesn’t exist, why do I try so hard to achieve vapor?

When will I inherently be ”enough?”

As alone as I may feel in my quiet quest to figure out who I am and where I stand, these questions haunt others, and they are at the core of every persons’ existence.

As humans, we search, and yearn, and spend countless hours concocting ways for people to acknowledge us, love us, and accept us, and frankly, it’s exhausting.  Our hearts our broken, our confidence dismantled, and our spirits crushed, just to start the process the next day, when we interact with another, and say in our soul, “Please just love me for me.”

Attractive and successful, Rob Lowe, with millions of adoring fans, makes a statement in his autobiography, saying, “If you really knew me, you wouldn’t like me nearly as much.”

In an effort to avoid rejection, we take on a job description of self-creator; forming, shaping, and molding ourselves into what “fits.”  This is a duty that was never, and will never be our responsibility.

Last night, during a moment of quietness at work, I read the following words, contemplating the gentle reprimand being communicated towards me.

What I read was this:

“Arise and go down to the potter’s house and there I will cause you to hear My words.” Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel.  And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make. Then the word of the Lord came to me saying: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the Lord. “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so you are in My hand….” Jeremiah 18:2-6

I often argue and become angry with God, because he took me here, or there, or I had to experience this, or that in my life.  But, I thought I was a “better person” before?  I thought I had my life together.  Now?  Well, I feel like chaos on the inside, with the facade of charisma on the outside, and a whole lot of confusion in-between.

Maybe you understand.

With this verse, He so simply, and beautifully communicated that I am not the creator of my life, and what I thought was a good piece of clay, was just marred, but that He will not leave me as that!

A lot of my stress in my life comes from trying to take over the job of the potter, making me into my own creation. But I don’t own that business!  That’s His realm of experience.  He is creating me. He is creating you, out of the marred material, into something else. Something better.  Something new.  The process is done with love, care, and thoughtfulness.

He chooses to create us again.  Into what He sees to be good.

I want instant gratification.  I want the fix now.  Well, timeframes are irrelevant.  Divine Creativity does not fit into human limitations.

And the most beautiful part?  He is willing to sit with my marred piece clay, for however long it takes, and says, each day, each moment, “I really, REALLY know you.  And I love every part of you.”

Eat Pray Love

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I went to see the film Eat Pray Love last night starring Julia Roberts. Based on the bestselling book it tells the story of Liz, a middle aged writer, who reaches a crossroads in her life, realizing that she does not like the life that she is living. Realizing she is unhappy in her marriage, she divorces her husband, and embarks on a year long journey of travel and new experiences in an attempt to feel alive again. Beginning in Italy, she lives, eats, learns Italian, and finds snippets of happiness, but still she is incomplete. Liz travels to India to learn meditation from the great Guru, and is frustrated cause she cannot still her soul. Ending her year in Bali, she faces her fears of opening her heart again to love.

Liz’s experience is like so many people. We want to be happy. We want to experience life to the fullest. We want to feel complete. We want to be loved. And, we want to find rest. So often, we think that when our lives are not how we expect or what we want, we must change something outside of ourselves. We need to get away. So we plan a trip, change jobs, move, break-up with a significant other, and for awhile, we are ok again. But, that feeling of not enough, of something missing, returns. Because the problem is not outside of us, it’s in us. There is a saying that goes, “Where ever you go, there you are.” You can never leave yourself.

I’d like to suggest that we look in all the wrong places for the peace and stillness and completeness that we all desire. It won’t be found in success, wealth, beauty, thinness. In the book, Desire of Ages, it says, “Living faith in the Redeemer will smooth the sea of life, and will deliver us from danger in the way that He knows best (White, 336). Jesus tells us “Be still and know that I am God.” Ps. 46:10. Here alone, can true rest be found.

Tortilla Love

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My friend Enrique told me an interesting tortilla tid bit this week. I asked him if I could share what he said:

Hey, since you’re in the tortilla business, I thought you’ll find it interesting
to know that tortillas play an important role in romance in Mexico.

First, you need a little background info to understand. In Mexico, people don’t really buy tortillas at the store. People buy warm freshly made tortillas daily from “tortillerias” you find everywhere. They take their own towel to carry and keep the tortillas warm. Usually in every household, it’s the young girl’s job to go for the tortillas while the mom is finishing with the cooking. Here’s where the opportunity for romance comes in. For young girls with really strict parents, this is the only chance to be out of the house by themselves.

When a boy asks a girl, “So, what time do you get the tortillas?” That question means a lot more than a simple inquiry about the tortillas. A girl can reject him or let him know when and where they can meet, so he can walk her to get the tortillas and get to know each other. This is a beautiful custom in Mexican courtship. At lunch and dinner time you find nervous boys all over the country getting ready to escort the young ladies.

I was lucky enough to experience it one summer in Mexico when I was 14. Her name was Violeta, and I was so nervous to ask her, but I did and walked her to get the tortillas almost every day that summer. We Mexicans are passionate and hopeless romantics. I’ll never forget that experience.

I still get a smile when I think about the phrase, “So, what time do you get the tortillas?”It’s a staple in my culture’s romance. Sometimes guys still use the phrase, even if the girl is older and independent. They use it to break the ice, and to make their intentions clear. I bet you never knew tortillas could be so romantic…