Beauty from Ashes

I am so frustrated right now! I just spent two hours trying to edit my podcast I did with my sister last night. I slowly went through the entire process only to find that when I went back to the beginning, the entire track was off. My opening is missing and it starts mid sentence several questions in. Ugh! I didn’t realize how hard it is to edit a podcast. I was a broadcast journalism student back in the late 90s, and I remember hating editing video. Now I remember why. It is so incredibly frustrating! I seriously had to walk away. To calm my nerves, I of course ran to the refrigerator. After eating two lemon bars, I decided to clean the bathrooms, another chore I just love.

While cleaning and breathing in Clorox, I decided the actual podcast recording isn’t very good. My voice is super low and Kim’s is super high. I missed key opportunities to ask follow-up questions that really would have added insight into the talk. I’m thinking of scrapping the entire thing and starting over. Of course that means I have to re-interview Kim, but thankfully its my sister. I’m not too embarrassed to ask her. My teenage niece and nephew were on the phone last night, cracking up at the thought of a late 40-year-old mom trying to start a podcast. Honestly, we needed their help in trying to figure out the whole computer thing. It was hilarious!

It’s at points like this that I feel like I’m not good enough. I’m an old lady trying to do something that really doesn’t fit. I get all these messages, self-produced, but very real to me. It is hard to shut them off. Then I’m reminded of active faith. Walking out what you believe even when circumstances and life doesn’t show evidence that its real. I do feel that God wants me to share my stories and other people’s stories. I’m not sure if that is in a book form, podcast, or mixture of both, but I’m feeling led to try. Just try. Regardless of the outcome, I need to give it a shot. I will hold onto the promise that I’m made with a purpose, even though I don’t feel or see my purpose right this very minute (besides being the toilet cleaner of our house).

As annoyed as I am,  I believe in the power of story. Many a story has given me hope and encouragement through the years. It started way back when I first heard a group of teenagers talk about their alcoholic parents. Their stories, although different from mine, were very similar to my life with an alcoholic parent. I felt the “me too” relief that happens when you hear others going through the same thing as you. There is something astonishing about community and realizing you aren’t alone. I think God intends for us to share our stories because someone is going through a similar battle and needs to know they aren’t alone.

The bible verse Proverbs 14:10 says, “Each heart knows it’s own bitterness and no one else can share its joy.” Life isn’t easy and we each feel our own bitterness and joy in unique ways. We don’t have to feel like our neighbor; we more than likely won’t. But hearing their story, hearing their shame disappear when the light of sharing is opened, we can all grow and feel encouraged. Encourage is courage – see it in the word? Stories that encourage build up our courage.

As I go through new steps in this life that feel unanswered and constantly in flux, (such as trying to edit this stinkin’ podcast!) I am reminded of the miracles bestowed on me and the way God used my past to build my future. God took all my trash, and he weaved it into incredible blessings. It is a multi colored, intricate pattern that is unique to me. The blessings are grand and I stand in awe of his provision, but I know my messes were grand and he used all of my sin to build my story. God can use anything we throw at him to build incredible, never thought of beauty from ashes. I know he will use this current life struggle to fulfill and build his new masterpiece in me.

This is what living brave looks like: facing the frustrations and difficulties head on with courage and confidence. The fear and pain are worth the hurdle and effort to overcome. I will stand strong and brave it out so I can jump and feel the excitement and freedom the ride entails. I want to live life from the standpoint that this journey will end for each of us and we need to live it as bravely as we can. That doesn’t mean perfect. I’ve screwed up and continue to screw up, but I want to try, give it my everything: I believe it is worth the jump.

Thanks for joining me on this ride. Let’s build story together. If you want to share your story with me, and be a guest on my podcast, please send me an email to p.ziemke@gmail.com and I will get in touch with you. We can journey this life together building each other up through our struggles. Although we may differ in our religious beliefs or our theology, we can all know we are loved by our creator and beauty is being built from our ashes!

 

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