Today is a new day and another fresh start. I just came of a month straight of taking part in the Minimalism Game, the Minimalists 30 Day (or in my case, 31 day) Challenge. #MinsGame
Here's how it works, you "get rid of one thing on the first day. On the second, two things. Three items on the third. So forth, and so on."
It's starts off easy, but I tell you, finding 20+ things to get rid for days in a row can prove to be quite the challenge.
But, I did it. Some days I struggled to let go, and dreaded what was to come. I became anxious about the impending reality of opening the drawer of treasured VHS tapes, you know the ones I was saving for my grandchildren... the grandchildren that will have no idea what a VHS tape is...Yep, those grandkids that don't even exist yet.
Going through the process of letting go, although stressful at times, proved to be exhilarating. I found such freedom in loosening the grasp I had on things that I had not looked at for years, things that I didn't need, and things that I realized actually had their grasp on me. Less was becoming more in my life.
By the last day, I found myself sad that it was over, because I still had "stuff" that I didn't need, things that just took up space and served no purpose.
These past 31 days, as I see it, are just the beginning. Letting go has also curbed my appetite to accumulate more. I think more deeply about why I am buying "things" and as I process these decisions, I find that most of the time, whether in the store or browsing online, I simply pass and walk on by the extra stuff.
My home is happy and my bank account is not sacrificed because of my shopping impulses.
And really, it's not about the "stuff." It's deeper than that. As I tossed the objects, the weight on my heart became lighter as well. It was a great mental discipline and a freeing exercise for my soul.
Letting go! What a workout!
Here is a link to the the challenge if you are up for the task. If you do it, let me know how it goes! I'd love to hear! http://www.theminimalists.com/game/
In the meantime, Enjoy the snapshots of my past 31 days of Letting go!
Here's the thing, I try to be transparent as I present myself on social media, through my writings, on stage and through song, but the reality is that you will only see what I allow you to see through those platforms.
Yes, I share my struggles, my failings, my joys and my victories, but in truth, there is a small circle of people who really truly know me, who really truly "get me". And of those people, many of them would tell you that it's a lot of work. Apparently I can be a tad "high maintenance" and possibly, so I'm told, like to be the center of attention...I don't know, that just what "certain people" say. Go figure!
When I write or share my struggles, it's normally for the purpose of asking for prayer, sharing what I have learned though it and how I trusted or struggled to trust the Lord through it all. Those are all wonderful words to share. And we all need to hear them and be reminded of them.
But the people closest to me don't get to the end of the story that easily. They get the Mia that is actually going through it, the Mia that fails, can't hold her tongue, the Mia that snaps and gets impatient. They are in the trenches with me waiting to be on the other side of the pain. And sometimes, it just ain't so pretty. Sometimes, it downright sucks to be a part of my life.
But, what I also believe, is those same people in my life that walk through the mud with me, would also tell you that there is no place they would rather be.
It's good to have people like that and it's good to BE people like that. Sometimes, you may feel so alone like you have no one...and maybe, you don't.
Dare to let someone, even if it's just one person, in. Dare to allow someone to see you, to really see you for who you are, the good version of yourself and the not so good version of yourself. Dare to ask God for that person. Dare to get burned and dare to be let down, but also dare to be the kind of person that you want in your life.
People that know me and still choose to follow my "crazy" via social media know a few things, unless I am talking about Jesus, hiking or my family, most everything else is subject for sarcasm and should not be held in too high of regard.... For instance, just this past week I shared the stages of my journey from meat-eater to vegan to vegetarian to partial meat-eating vegetarian to full out meat-eater again. It was an intense 8 hours and each phase of the journey was met with an unrivaled passion.
Some people along the way cheered me on, some people laughed, some people told me I was crazy and ill-informed and some people just sat back quietly watching the show, that is my life, unfold. That last group of people... yep, it's best to be in that group, because in time, it all comes back around again.
So this morning, as I sit, writing and reflecting on the roller coaster that I take my family and friends on, I do it over a non-vegan sugar-filled, butter-laden chocolate chip cookie (yes, it's breakfast time) and a reheated cup of coffee from last night (didn't feel like wasting it.) Feel free to judge, feel free to relate, feel free to sit back and watch the show.
And when it's your turn, let people know what channel your show is on, so they can sit in, watch and be a part of what's going on in your life. I dare you!
Love you in the Lord, Mia
Fool may be a little harsh for what I am, but... "if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck..it's a duck!"
My middle child, Aaron, has better labeled the phenomenon in our home as "Constant Ridiculousness" and he simply doesn't want any part of it.
"Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor;
only fools insist on quarreling"
Our constant "quarrels" aka ridiculousness come from two insanely competitive people (my husband and me) that draw their son into the middle of these "discussions" to help prove and win our own points.
Now, it would be one thing if it was a debate over something life changing or worthwhile, but ours tend to be over topics like "Which athlete best transcends their sport and is bigger than baseball?" The correct answer (of course) is simply, "any athlete that I have heard of because I don't follow sports, so even if no one else has heard of "said athlete" they must be bigger than the sport itself... this solid reasoning (in my own mind) stands firm, but not so much for my husband.
Hence, the call for Aaron to come in and settle the debates that we find ourselves in, tends to be pretty constant.
I could go on with examples... but suffice to say, these conversations and this "passionate ridiculousness" occurs on a daily basis. And at the end of the day, it truly does keeps us laughing.
But still, Aaron chooses to take the high ground and not even put his gloves in the ring. He chooses honor, while my husband and I choose to act a fool.
Either way, it is a choice.
Is our ridiculousness hurting anyone? No, but suppose it was about things that actually mattered.
What if it was a daily barrage of fights, nitpicking, complaints and quarrels? Those are the acts that become habitual, deliberate and detrimental to relationships, especially in a marriage.
The same way my son chooses to not be drawn into the crazy, we choose to be the crazy. We all have the ability to choose.
We have the ability to choose joy, to choose praise, to choose to encourage, to choose to listen instead of complain. We have the ability to avoid fights and quarrels and to set ourselves in a place marked for honor.
Next time you feel the urge to be drawn into the fight, remember, and remember quickly, to avoid it, to remove yourself and communicate in love from a place of honor that honors and respects those you care about... (and even those people that you don't much care for..yes, even them!)
Let's choose to NOT insist on quarraling. It does a body good! It does friendship good! It does a marriage good!
Love you in the Lord!
PS. Aaron Koehne is still one of THE most competitive AND silly people I know. Go figure!
There is a good chance that these wrestling matches with his older brother, Chris, started over the debate of who had a better haircut, cleaner room or bigger muscles. (True fact) LOL!
Someone asked me this past Sunday if I knew how many weekends I am gone a year. My response was "Hmmm, I don't know."
This question made me a bit curious, so this morning I sat down and looked at my calendar and tallied up all the concerts, events, and tours that I have had in the first 6 months of 2017.
It was eye opening. I think I have done a bit more traveling than I suspected. But, the thing that struck me most was this.... There were only 10 Sunday's in the past 6 months that I have NOT had a commitment to serve outside my home church. And of those 10 Sundays when I could be at my home church a few were spent at another church or my husband may have had a commitment to speak at a neighboring church besides our own.
I am thankful to have the opportunities and I am ALL IN to travel as the Lord sends me out. I embrace the journey and with my Pastor's blessing, I press on to serve the way God has designed me to. The people God has connected me with and the ability to sing and speak of His grace across the country overwhelm me!
The sad part for me is not sitting next to my best friend each Sunday. So how do we make it work, because for now, this is our reality as a married couple.
The main thing, above all, is that we fix our eyes on Christ first, seek Him, listen to Him and obey. We both work hard to keep a proper perspective that the traveling is simply a season in our life. It hasn't always been this way and it won't always remain. So while we are in it, we serve in this capacity with all of our heart, trusting God and continually seeking Him for such a time as this. PERSPECTIVE
We talk, we share our schedules and our calendars. Any time that we are able to travel together, we do.
We work hard (and I mean it, we work hard because it is difficult) to guard our Yes's and deliver No's when necessary to the many requests that we both have that take us away from home and family.
The time we have with each other during the week, is precious to us, so date nights are a must! Finding things that we can do and enjoy together, like hiking and also making sure we do those things that fill us individually, like going to the gym, a relaxing round of golf (for Bob, not me) time in the Word and prayer keep us healthy together and healthy apart.
Time flies and we will never get back the moments apart, those Sundays in different churches, but those moments in this season are filled with the opportunities that the Lord has given us to love, to serve and to encourage.
May we never grow weary, may we treasure the moments, seek first His kingdom and then watch everything else be added.
It's here!! My Birthday!! I actually like to celebrate the entire month with Birthday hikes, Birthday dates, Birthday coffee...any excuse to celebrate, I'll take it. When the big day actually arrives, I'm pretty fatigued from all of the celebrating and most of the world is confused as to when my birthday really is....because of all the excessive celebrating!
So, just to calcify again. IT'S TODAY!!
This year, I celebrate my birth a few hundred miles away from home doing a women's event in San Diego and watching a Padres baseball game... so it's not all bad! Such is the life when your ministry takes you on the road.
Birthdays are a mixed bag of emotions for me as an adopted child. I don't have those conversations with my Mom about the night I was born, how long she was in labor, what did I look like when I came into the world. I don't have those conversations with my Mom, because my mom wasn't there.
In fact, the day I was born, she had no clue that I even existed. I'm sure she was going about her usual day, taking care of the six other children she had, probably not imagining that a seventh would soon invade her life and more importantly her heart.
It wouldn't be until six weeks after my birth that my Mom and Dad would get an emergency phone call to take in a little baby girl that had not left the hospital yet, a little baby that didn't have the consistent love of a care-giver, but was looked after by nurses on rotation.
What was originally supposed to be a short-term foster care situation turned into 12 years of foster care. After those years passed, I stood before a judge and said "I want Paul and Joan Grotelueschen to be my parents" and I was officially adopted.
So on this April 22, my birthday, I sit and reflect on the fact that I may not be able to say "Hey, Mom, remember the day I was born?" but I have so much more, like remembering the fact that unbeknownst to my parents on this day, the Lord was stirring, preparing, and orchestrating the greatest gift and birthday present I could have ever asked for.... a Mom, a Dad, and six amazing siblings that would love me forever.
Happy Birthday to me!
A collection of writings from a life based on the truth that about midnight anything can happen.
As an imperfect servant of the Lord, I often feel I am fumbling my way through life, looking upward for guidance and outward to love. So, I write about it, to break up the noise in my head.