Actions Speak Louder

I’ve given up a lot personally – sacrificing time, personal goals, etc. in the name of what I felt was a kind of calling – a calling for the greater good. So you see – I was sacrificing – but I was doing so for the sake of this mission. That calling or mission seemed to make the long hours and hard days worth it. But after the last 25 months, I can honestly say I’ve been thoroughly defeated and I’ve gotten nowhere. The value I hold to the organization – is non-existent (if you’re evaluating based on actions, that is).

In the last 25 months, I’ve lost a great deal personally, staked my reputation on defending someone who disappeared from my life, and I’m now 25 more months removed from the life I’ve always wanted personally. And for what? Have I made any difference at all? Because in this defeat – in settling into the truth that I hold absolutely no value to them – when I’ve given up so much – it feels like I haven’t.

Why do we allow words, without action, to hold us back from taking the leap we may need to take? Maybe that leap is out of a job, church, or relationship? If you’re a person like me, that’s held on, thinking personal sacrifice is worth it – without truly evaluating what you’re giving up – you may want to stop that. Particularly if the relationship, job, whatever- isn’t holding up their end of the bargain. Listen, we don’t need to be selfish & demanding. But we do need to go where our worth is recognized and where there is equality and balance. I’m tired of fighting – when actions have revealed over and over what my true value is to them.

Taking into consideration the paths that brought us to these places – if you’re anything like me, will be important. Take the good things, lessons, and memories and leap into choosing yourself and your future. Invest in yourself and keep your eyes focused on the path ahead. But this time, don’t leave yourself out, like I did all these years.

But You Won’t Forget Me

Fleetwood Mac is one of my all time favorite bands. This song is my favorite – just behind Sara. In spite of how much I love this song, I had not see this video until recently. The emotion from Stevie as she sings & stares down (haha) Lindsey Buckingham is…phew. She’s an incredible story teller and this video drives home that point (in my opinion). While I am waiting in a ridiculously long line, this song came on and it seemed to fit my mood. “Time cast a spell, but you won’t forget me.”

“So I’ll begin not to love you
Turn around, you’ll see me runnin’
I’ll say I loved you years ago
And tell myself you never loved me no
Don’t say that she’s pretty
And did you say that she loves you?
Baby, I don’t want to know – Oh no
And can you tell me was it worth it?
Baby, I don’t want to know Time cast a spell on you but you won’t forget me
I know I could’ve loved you
But you would not let me Time cast a spell on you but you won’t forget me
I know I could’ve loved you but you would not let me
I’ll follow you down ’til the sound of my voice will haunt you
Give me just a chance, you’ll never get away from the sound of the woman that loves you”

Learning to Let Go

new bern nc, elaina avalos, autumn colors, christ episcopal church

Life has passed by very quickly the last couple of weeks. Work tends to do that to me. I’m one who wants to savor and slow the moments. My favorite pace is no pace. Haha. I’m a flip flop wearing, windows down, slow it down – kind of girl. Last I remember (okay, this is a slight exaggeration), it was October 1st. And here it is, almost the 22nd. I’m rushing through my days trying to get projects for work taken care of – which tends to mean my head is down and my energy is focused on what happens between 8-4, Monday through Friday.

Autumn is such a beautiful time of the year. While I am a great lover of all things Christmas (I have Christmas issues), I absolutely treasure the change of summer to autumn. Growing up in Southern California, we just didn’t do seasons. Not really. Sure, there are changes. But you’re just as apt to wear a sweatshirt on the beach in June, as you are in December. Nothing makes sense at home. “June Gloom” is a phrase any resident of “SoCal” understands well. If you live near-ish the coast, it’s not unusual to grab a sweatshirt for the bonfire on a summer night. Our summer days are hot. We have heat waves. But it can also be blessedly mild (all year). SoCal doesn’t have trees quite like we do here. It is a desert, after all. So the colors associated with this change of season aren’t as prevalent. There are exceptions. The photo below is from the mountains (Oak Glen, CA). I snapped that photo about 11.5 years ago. I couldn’t resist because it’s not a site I saw all that often. When I moved to the Washington, D.C. area in 2000, I was in heaven. Autumn in our nation’s capital is a sight to behold. It’s just not the same at home. I was in love. I knew then that I didn’t ever want to live anywhere I couldn’t experience the four seasons – in some form.

I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.

L.M. Montgomery – from Anne of Green Gables


In the south, where I live now, summer is a joy to me too (for a few weeks). And then, when we hit mid-July or early August, I’m done. Done. It’s hot. It’s humid. And for a person who loves the outdoors, being outside is just . . . soul-sucking. As the temperatures drop here in the south, the humidity begins to dissipate too. There’s a chill in the air – in the mornings and I have to wear a jacket to work. Of course, by the time we’re midway through the day, the car is hot and I don’t even want to look at that jacket.

Along with the cooler temps, low humidity, and the color on the trees (it is slow-going out here on the coast), there’s a special golden glow of light in the early evening hours. It’s unlike anything I’d ever seen at home. I adore it. The scent of bonfires and burning leaves is a constant. Autumn reminds me of the ways that life shifts and changes. Autumn reminds me that no season in our lives is permeant. We may find ourselves dormant in the winter – feeling cold and dreary as the grey takes over – but eventually, life springs forth again.

I hate waking up, after a season has passed, with the realization that the piling up of the Monday-Friday made me miss the sweet, quiet moments I treasure and savor. Last fall, while I did write a novel – my life moved at a pace I couldn’t sustain. I don’t want that anymore. The goal, as I stay in place – because a weird God (but I love Him anyway), doesn’t move me – is to sustain the pace I long for, regardless of where life takes me.

oak glen ca, elaina avalos, autumn colors

Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.

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This is not an easy feat – sustaining the pace you long for, even when life is crazy. The truth is, life is in each moment. And yes, that means work & the stuff you don’t care for, too. The question is, where do you want to invest most your time, heart, effort, and energy? That’s an easy answer for me. Autumn is a stunning example of what it means to let go. I’m sure you’ve heard variations of the quote above. Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go. Learning to let go is a beautiful thing. Green – the deeper and brighter the better – is a reminder of life and all things new. As those green leaves change to yellows, oranges, browns, and reds – and begin to fall to the ground, it’s a quiet signal that in spite of the loss of the green, life is just as beautiful as always.

Once the leaves fall and life looks rather drab through the grey winter, there’s still growth happening. Deep in the ground and in the trees and plants, these processes continue on – though you can’t see them. This time of year, as the colors deepen and prepare us for the long days of winter, I’m reminded of grace, too. This is the beauty of the changing of the seasons. I needed the reminder this week to slow down. If you’re racing through your days, I hope you will take the time to slow everything down to savor the beauty, before winter comes – internally and in the world around you.