Where to start…
Hi, my name is Valerie and I am a mess.
This the part where you all say “Hi Valerie!” and I continue on to tell you about my story and how I got here.
For the past, I dunno, five years I have had this convicting weight laying on my shoulders that I needed to be taking more risks and doing something more awesome with my life. Instead I have been wallowing in mediocrity and not living up to, even denying, my true potential. So here is step one in my 12 step program out of mediocrity – writing.
I LOVE to write. I was that crazy kid in class who was totally stoked that the professor/teacher was assigning a five page paper instead of a multiple choice test for an exam. The world we live in is not black and white, right or wrong, good or evil — it is a rainbow of choices and experience glopped onto a palette and spread across the canvas of life. These colors swirl inside us and out, through our history and the history of others, connecting us to people past, present and future. Which is why I like writing– I like getting to explore the whole story and not just memorize facts and hope I memorized the right ones and I see this as your story as much as it is mine.
What a tangent! Sorry, I will try not to do that on our blog as much as I can. Let me tell you about some of the colors I paint my incredibly messy story with.
In 2013, I married one of the most patient and caring individuals I have ever met, Patrick (in the photo above with me), who never ceases to amaze me with love and support. He is actually probably more like step one in my program, and writing is step two. Our relationship has been a giant leap of faith and it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.
In 2016, Patrick and I were blessed with the birth of our little E. She is perfect, and gorgeous, and by far the best baby I know. She has me on the path of the greatest adventure I have ever known and I am so excited to walk it with her hand in hand.
We currently live in Gilbert , Arizona and while it is fun coincidence that the title of this blog has the word “Phoenix” in it, us living in the Phoenix Metro area doesn’t really have anything to do with it. This blog is about living and dying in the messes we make for ourselves and the messes served piping hot (and sometimes arctic cold) to us by life in general.
Life is messy because people are messy. Maybe you are a super clean freak and I just offended you, but hear me out. I’m not talking about keeping a well organized home (though I must say my home is usually a disaster because I have better things to do than clean, in my opinion); what I am talking about is making ends meet, supporting each other in crisis, laughing when all you feel like doing is crying… I am talking about living in the mess that is life!
We none of us is perfect, me least of all, and I am constantly having to “die” to myself and start a new. 1 Peter 1:21-25 says:
21 Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory.22 You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters.[d] Love each other deeply with all your heart.[e]23 For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God.24 As the Scriptures say,
“People are like grass;
their beauty is like a flower in the field.
The grass withers and the flower fades.
25 But the word of the Lord remains forever.”[f]
And that word is the Good News that was preached to you.
Peter is talking about being reborn in Christ, and that is what I have to do every day. Like the mythical Grecian bird I die, sometimes in flames, to rise again a whole new creation — the old has gone, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17).
And that is what this blog is about.
Me, the messy phoenix, dying and living and dying and living in this crazy world called life. Some of my posts will be inspirational, some will be a vent session about the idiot who didn’t use his turn signals on the freeway today (you know who you are), some will be just updates on my life and what I am learning/doing/living day to day.
I am typically a private person, so taking this leap of faith into the world of online blogging is all at once frightening and exhilarating but knowing that I am not alone and you, oh reader, are on this journey with me — that is what pushes me forward. So I fervently invite you to join in on my joys, my pains, my discoveries, my creations, my utter failures, my remorse, my life. I believe we are meant to live in community and with our ever transforming digital age maybe that means reaching out in… non-traditional ways as well (like this blog). I am an open book, as long as people listen. I hope to do some good in the world and that some of you will reach in and do some good in my world as well.
Welcome to my 12 steps. My redemption. My story.
Welcome to the home of the Messy Phoenix. Come get real with me.