Honest Moments

by - August 22, 2011

You should read the blog I wrote early Sunday morning. I really poured my heart out. I was a little distressed, a little anxious and totally honest, completely vulnerable, and humbly surrendered. Whew! That will drain a girl. I used words like: serve, trust, passion, quiet, please, forgive, stillness, joy, faithful, boldness, anywhere, grace and love. I was kind of taking a moment, and I thought this venue, to cry out. And then in my diligence to write all of my honest feelings from my heart I remembered these words "He will quiet you with His love..."
I've sort of always been prone to lay it all out there. To say honestly what I thought about things.  I’ve never been afraid of discussion.  I've learned some hard lessons about timing and what constitutes something that needs to be said vs. something that doesn't...and to whom it needs to be said. I'm still learning. There are a few misguided honesty moments that stand out in my childhood...
Scene 1:  The living room of my babysitter’s house. All of us in her care where told to line up to receive our paddling (this is the only time we ever had to do this). We had returned to sit on the curb with our feet in the street, after she had told us not to. I guess having our feet in the street was irresistible. I was maybe 4 and the youngest of the curb-sitters so I was at the tail end of the spanking line. I watched as each of the others took their turn and then marched to the kitchen for the chicken noodle soup and crackers that awaited us. But when it was finally my turn something I didn't expect happened. She paddled me....and it did not hurt at all. Did she mean for that to hurt? Because it didn't. And I wasn't sure of the point of this little drama if that was the big end to all of her talk. So, on my way to the kitchen with those thoughts running through my mind, I turned back to her and said: "Betty, that didn't hurt." That turned out to be too much honesty.
Scene 2: The living room of our house where I spent most of my little kid days. Probably around the same age. A good year for me. My brother and I are in front of our Christmas tree. I'm wearing a red Christmas dress and white leotards. Some family friends, who loved to give good gifts to Chris and I, came by with a present for each of us. Chris ripped into his; a Star Wars Cartoon projector set. A-m-a-z-i-n-g. He rarely let me play with his Star Wars stuff because I made Han and Leia kiss. Maybe they got me something Star Wars too! I ripped into my gift and it was some goofy looking clown holding a drum with a piggy bank slot in it. Excuse me? Is this the vibe I give off? So, to my family's humiliation I looked up and said to these friends: "Um, I never wanted one of these." The fallout from that honesty moment was a sudden overcompensating love to collect all things clowns that lasted 15 years and resulted in many, many clowns. I had friends who wouldn't even sleep in my room when they stayed the night. I did grow to like my clowns especially that first one I named Corky after my grandpa, but I learned too much honesty can have lasting repercussions.

My Brother Chris, Me and Corky the Clown.  This photo is not of a reinactment.
Ok, one more:
Scene 3: Our cul-de-sac. All the little cul-de-sac children who were my buddies were in our yard. I had just organized an obstacle course for them to complete. Don't be shocked. There was a jump rope section. I remember they had to go out the back gate, circle one of Daddy’s old cars and swing on my swing set. They also had opportunity to walk the half brick wall around our porch. It was a pretty good time. The time was nearing, however, for one of my bff's from school to come spend the night. So I went and told all of my after school and weekend friend's they were going to need to head on home because I didn't get much time with my spend-the-night friend and I wanted to just play with her now. Mutiny. Susie-from-my-block went right in and told my mom about my ungraceful frankness. Mom called me out (my parents were not hesitant about that) and all of my little neighbor friends stayed to play, but were mad at me. So, I didn't have any fun because they were all giving me the stink eye and getting my school friend to be mad at me too. Full disclosure of my selfish feelings right then was not a wise way to go.
There are plenty of stories as I got older where I learned some hard lessons. And plenty of times where it was honesty's nemesis which had hold of my tongue. But some stories are left better untold, Right? Right.
Like my recent heart-pouring-out-blog, that has taken its place not on this site, but between me and the Lord. I really enjoy blogging. Shortly after my first post, was my trip to Austin to see Ryan and Jess, and shortly after that was the plan to go to Ethiopia. Writing about that trip in this blog financed the majority it. Then getting to share all that was happening during our time in Ethiopia and the week we began life with cancer was a huge part of thinking through all the drama and trauma and organizing my thoughts to see God's hand in the chaos. Writing gave me much needed focus, perspective, and release.
I still need focus and perspective and release.  Back to present day: Sunday morning as I was writing my guts out came this verse to mind: "He will quiet you with His love." And He did.  His Word reminded me that His love quiets me in my distress. Some things I need to just cry out to Him. He is the One who created me and loves me and only through him can I be truly quieted. Only my hope in him calms me through His word and Presence. Then he gave me time with a life-long friend to spend the afternoon with (lylas Lizzy) and sweet new roommates to spend my evening laughing with. He quieted me with himself, then with His blessings of friendship. My mom has said I'm never one to suffer in silence.  I think even as God allows me to use this voice more, He is showing me new lessons on when to let Him be the one who quiets me.
So, when I feel I need to be known I need to take it to Him who knows me best, loves me most, and has the power to redeem me from the fears and insecurities I face. Then, when it’s Him, His power and grace that I want to be known...He allows me and blesses me with this little corner of space to share…honestly. Honesty to the right ear, at the right time, for the right motives. Honesty to make Him more known, so that the Hope he gives me may be more known.
"The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love..." Zephaniah 3:10

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  1. Great blog Haley! :))
    love ya!

  2. Good word. I've not always enjoyed your honestly but I have appreciated it. Love you friend.