Sunday, February 22, 2015

Hard Truths

Gossip is a struggle for me.

I think a piece of me has always grow up within this mindset that in order to fit in and have conversation, I need to have words to say about other people. Those words always seem to be negative, and this is a long-enduring issue.
The words come out negative due to my own insecurity, my disparity to appear better than another in order to fit in, and my own human brokenness. And it is something I need to work on.

The Lord stands with and beside me as my advocate.
I want to stand with and beside others as their advocate. I do not want to be the critic, instead I want to focus on the beauties of these people. I want to share in their joys and sorrows and be reliable.
I want to do this because the Lord is reliable to me.

(Once again, this is a post inspired primarily by a Darling article.  )

I love Janelle Whitaker's short list near the end of some practical applications of exemplifying love and advocacy for others. "Speak kindly of others. Support the dreams of those you love as they strive to be the best version of themselves...Invite someone to coffee and ask how you can serve them or fulfill a need they might have."

As I strive to retire my habit of gossiping about those I love, I know I need God's security.

(Sink My Feet by Jillian Edwards)

What are other practical ways I could serve rather than slander?

Sunday, February 15, 2015


Since one post was simply not enough, and more inspiration has been yielded to me, there is a second this week.

About Laila.

I simply could not write without talking about her. The woman is lovely. I had the blessing this weekend of sitting down with her over one percent and skim coconut mocha lattes, in the plush orange armchairs of Apotheca, and soaking in her wisdom and joy.

Dearest Laila,

You inspire and drive my work to become a teacher with a heart brimful of sweetness and gentle discipline for her students. Your stories you share with me of your own babies, reminds me how much I have to look forward to when I will have my own students. Your vivacious energy is contagious to me.

Laila is an inspirational and faithful wife, daughter, sister in Christ, mother, teacher, confidant, and child of the King. I am everlastingly grateful to my Lord and Savior for bringing me into a world where she named me, and leads me on to trust in your glory.

“A cup brimful of sweetness cannot spill even one drop of bitter water, no matter how suddenly jarred.” -Amy Carmichael

My best to you,

Erin Elizabeth Duffy


I am a truly imperfect person, and this is beautiful.

But the irony is that I am a perfectionist.

Making mistakes, having flaws; I find these chips beautiful and of value in almost everyone else but myself. Many times. And what I am trying to accept is that these chips and rough edges can make everyone - including myself, including those I need to forgive and those I am holding prejudice toward - beautiful.

However it depends on how we treat our edges. If we run the sharpness across walls and leave scars all over because we can't reach acceptance and see the beauty in imperfection. If we allow our emotion toward our mistakes to dominate and dictate who we become and how we interact, then our damage doesn't do us good. But damage can shape us into an even more developed and endearing image of who God created us to be.

Being a perfectionist, my recommendations to anyone struggling with the meaning in their mistakes would be:

Try to slow down or stop for a moment. Don't let your emotion toward the mistake dominate you. Breathe. Do yoga. Take a shower. Go on a run. Hold a cold ice pack for two minutes. But don't let that emotion overpower you and destroy you. It is natural to be upset over making a mistake. But seek out a healthy method of finding calm. Note: Sometimes it can be useful to combine skills. For example the ice pack, then a gentle yoga session afterward.

Figure out what needs to be addressed. Sometimes what upsets us is a  mistake we would be better to smile at (if we can) and move on from. Learning to smile at smaller mistakes (tripping down the stairs, falling out of a yoga pose) helps with being able to move on from the more mortifying mistakes we make (forgetting to pass in that paper, sending an important text to the wrong person).

Choose to let go of the emotion toward the mistakes where it doesn't need to be addressed. For example embarrassment or guilt for forgetting to hand in that paper or sign up for the lecture. Then deal rationally with the aftermath. Could you contact your teacher and ask for extra credit? Could you sign up for a different lecture or course? Then act on it.

Some situations, our emotions need to be addressed. Like the shame over gossiping about your roommate on a bad day, or the sadness and anguish over your uncle's diagnosis. Try writing down a chart with what you feel and think on one side, and what the facts are on the other. Fact: I gossiped about Kim behind her back. Feeling: I feel guilty and know what I did was wrong. Fact: My uncle has cancer. Feeling: I am afraid he will die. Then find the truth and act. Truth: I gossiped about Kim and since I know it was wrong I feel guilty. How can I move forward to speak differently in the future? Could I talk to her about what is bothering me and find a solution together? Truth: My uncle has cancer and I am afraid he will die. Who can I talk to or pray with to find peace over this?

Action and reaction. Take your steps to make it right, then choose to truly let it go and move on. This is the hardest part. Stand your ground. Your emotion may try to pull you right back into its vortex. Allow your mistakes to be beautiful and shape you for the better, and find your value apart from the past.

"The truth is, we are much more than our mistakes and are valuable apart from our imperfection. While it is crucial to learn, grow, and move on from our mistakes, wearing them as scars will not serve us personally or relationally." -Nicole Zasowski

To better help you, here is an article from a professional, Nicole Zasowski, who explains this much more eloquently than I just did.

My best to you,

Erin Elizabeth Duffy

Sunday, February 8, 2015


I really like lists.

If at any point, this becomes rather more of a list than a blog post, that would be the cause.

Right now, I am staring at blustering, wet snow outside the large lounge window, and wondering how safe and how wet it is out there. I am debating going to a church service I really should attend to grow community, and considering what to have for a snack beforehand (if anything).

I am thinking of authenticity.

"Whatever your reason is for starting a blog, the most important thing is to be an authentic version of yourself...Don't try and be something you're not." -Bianca Strzelczyk

I endeavor to create this blog with an intention of presenting authenticity, and chronicling the daily growth my Heavenly Father me with. Whether that be deliberating attending church or staying inside with a hot cuppa tea, or that be my beloved ones battling with lymphoma, God is presenting me each day with chances to choose to be more like Him, and I can only hope to take them.

I hope to chronicle my growth in relationships, community, style, education, faith, the meaning of family, establishing a home, taking risks, and finding beauty.

In this particular chronicle, I really need to hop off my computer and yank on some clothes to be ready to leave for church if the weather permits safe travelling.

My best to you,

Erin Elizabeth Duffy