Coming to Terms with San Diego

san diego skyline devotional diva

san diego skyline devotional diva

Coming to Terms with San Diego

I loved Chicago. I lived in North Chicago with my husband for 11 months and it was truly the best 11 months of my life. I grew so much as person. Although I have written about that experience on Devotional Diva before, I’ll explain a bit.

We moved to Chicago for my husband’s naval training and that was the farthest I’d ever lived from my family – around 5 hours away. I’d never lived out of town before! Chicago is where I found myself. I was pretty depressed for a while, but I got the help I needed. I was even able to really start writing again. God and I became closer than ever.

And the city? The city was just magical.

Moving to San Diego, I guess nothing could live up to that. San Diego was always just “okay” to me. I wasn’t unhappy in San Diego. There was a lot to see and do, and the weather was great (although I missed rain).

To be completely honest, I complained about San Diego a lot. It never lived up to my beloved Chicago.

I found it harder to make friends in San Diego than Chicago and missed the ones I had made there. And the ones at home in Iowa. It’s like every time I moved it got more painful to lose people, and I felt more distance between us.

I did go through some rough times in San Diego (see my post “A Poison Called Anger”) that did kinda put me in a depression for a little while I’d say. But I really went in gung-ho to San Diego, with lots of energy and happiness from Chicago.

After a while I just kind of gave up on really being as happy in San Diego as I was in Chicago. I felt like I just could never be happy until I got back to Chicago.

Now I’m sitting here about 6 months into my stay in Italy and I’m like, “Man, I really miss San Diego.”

Jesus only saw that coming!

I could go on and on with so many conveniences I miss. There are no conveniences in Italy, okay? None. That’s the downside of living here.

But I’m nostalgic for San Diego, too. It feels like home. If I had the choice to go back, I’d do it in a heartbeat. I miss both of the homes that we lived in during our time there. They were both really different. One was military housing, and the other was the first home that we ever owned.

It was our home. It belonged to us. We brought our first baby home from the hospital to that place. For me, that carries such a huge meaning.

It was our home and I want that feeling back.

It’s time for me to admit that, even though Chicago may be the love the of my life, I really made a home out of San Diego and grew to love it, too. I miss it. Even though I went through some hard times in San Diego, I went through some really amazing ones, too.

San Diego is also where I met Devotional Diva founder Renee Fisher! There were so many life-changing experiences for me in San Diego.

I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me before that I’d get attached to San Diego if I bought our first home there and had our first baby there! Of course it was going to hurt when I left that behind.

I don’t know what God has planned for our family after Italy…But I’d love to go home to San Diego again if that’s in His plan!

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The Fear of Vulnerability #onmyheart

fear-of-vulnerabiliity

fear-of-vulnerabiliityThe Fear of Vulnerability

I believe that God is always at work in our lives and in our hearts, bettering us. I always think about this scripture from John 15. Here is The Message interpretation:

 “I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken.

“Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.

“I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.

Right now, I think God is trying to show me how to be appropriately vulnerable. I just realized that for a long time, I have really guarded myself and my heart. I guess it never occurred to me before how guarded I was because I thought I was being so open with sharing my story here on Devotional Diva.

The truth is, I wasn’t sharing a lot of things on Devotional Diva (and in my real life) that I wanted to out of fear. The fear of being vulnerable, that is.

When I really open up, the last thing I want is negative feedback or, as I wrote about in my Support vs. Competition post, someone to make me feel less. (Not that I get harrangued all the time or anything.) If I’m honest, I also hate when I seem weak; I try to put up a strong front. So, I don’t want to take the risk of actually feeling weak.

People can really suck sometimes (sorry for the plain language). The tongue (or keyboard) can really hurt, even when people mean well.

I have decided I am really going to try to open my heart and be more vulnerable. Because when I am more vulnerable in a story here on DD, I usually notice more of a response. When I’m able to open myself up more, I’m able to help more women.

I think there’s definitely an appropriate level of vulnerability, but I think I’ve guarded myself too much for a while. I need to work on finding a good, comfortable balance. Maybe I also need to stop caring so much about what people think. Vulnerability is not bad!

You know when God’s just trying to show you something? That’s what I feel is happening with me now. I’ll keep you Divas updated.

We’re always being made better, always being pruned!

dd-sig

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