Reasons You Don’t Suck at Life {Part Two}

Like I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been living in the wake of a lot of crazy circumstances the past few weeks, and I’ve begun to believe that I absolutely suck at life.

Have you ever made gigantic, exciting life plans, and watched them crumble as some of your relationships crumble on the side?

Me too.

To combat these lies, I’ve decided to think about what is good and true, and place my belief in those things instead.


So here you have a couple of other reasons on my list of why you and me and the whole Oak Tree doesn’t suck:

3. You Were “Laid-off” From Your Job, and Aren’t Sure How to Bounce Back.

This one can feel extra tricky, because we all handle trials and curve-balls differently. Maybe you didn’t see it coming; maybe you were packed and ready. Maybe you have an entire family to provide for, or maybe it’s just you and your dog {or cat, for those of you who “prefer an animal who doesn’t make eye contact”}. Either way, being “let-go” can sting and cause ripple effects of bitterness and confusion. Even if you were told your severance was due to budget-cuts, you can’t help but wonder if it had even one smidgen to do with your performance {or apparent lack-there-of}. And then, OH THEN, you’re told to go market yourself, get back in the game, and beautify your resumé and cover letters, only to figure-out you’re under-qualified and don’t fit the bill for most jobs. This whole process can feel a lot like running on a hamster wheel, only to find yourself back where you began, restless and bludgeoned by society. But we don’t live like the Mayans and Aztecs and Egyptians, in a world where trade and barter-systems sustain the economy. No, the bottom line is we live within the effects of commerce, and therefore, we have to earn money through work to sustain ourselves. Throughout this humbling {and sometimes even humiliating} process, however, I’ve been hit up-side the head with the fact that it’s ultimately God who sustains us, and unless we submit to His greater plan and authority for our lives, we’ll just keep running in circles. I can’t tell you there’s a sure-fire way to go-about this, but there are many helpful tips and tricks that will contribute to your success; there are people who have gone before you who have words of wisdom to offer, and a whole slew of us who have been laid-off at some point or another, too. You don’t suck–work is how we spend 1/3 of our lives, and very few people have only ever had one job. It’s a rough process, so learn to be patient with yourself. {And in the meantime, I’d love to help you edit your resumé and clearly define your credentials and skill sets. Seriously. I’m a writer, an editor, and I love to help my people out, so just shoot me an email: suzy.hachey@gmail.com}

hard work

 

4. Relationships Are Tough and Awkward and Take Effort.
I met some of my closest friends in college, people who called me into greatness and helped break down the walls I had erected around my fragile heart; since then, though, we’ve all moved in out and on with life, making roots all over. I then traveled the world for nearly a year with about forty people, and came face-to-face with my ugliness and their ugliness and all of the ugliness; my gosh, people can be ugly. But those people became family, challenging me and believing in me more than I ever thought possible. I even went on to work for a large missions organization, where I thought my colleagues would simply be maintained work-relationships and nothing more; but what’s blossomed in the last year has been an unexpected surprise of being surrounded by some of the most inspiring creative geniuses I know, people who have taught me the tricks of our trade, and who have given me deadlines to meet, all while getting to know my story and my past–you can’t say that about a lot of organizations, so to say I feel “blessed” is an understatement. But throughout the journey, friendships have faded a bit, and some have ceased to exist entirely. Some of us realized we believed entirely different things about life and love and people, and we simply couldn’t make the pieces fit. Others of us never confronted the big, fat elephant that was always in the room by seeking out resolve through difficult conversations. And even more recently, I’ve felt caught in the middle of a few friend “groups” that don’t quite see eye-to-eye, feeling like I should choose sides, because remaining neutral feels both dangerous and apathetic. Yet the more I press into the idea of community and what Jesus had to say about it in scripture, the more I’m learning He had twelve disciples for a reason–twelve main dudes to pour into and extract from. These were all people He chose on purpose, people He asked His Father about, and people He pursued whole-heartedly, but who also reciprocated His efforts. They fought with one another, ate meals together, they were enveloped in ministry together, and some even died together. Unlike Jesus, I so often try to compartmentalize my life rather than letting it flow organically. I try to force friendships that just aren’t, or I choose not to fight for the ones that are—because that is messy, and I don’t appreciate messy things. At the end of the day, we could all be better friends, and maybe we should compartmentalize certain friend-groups or commonalities. If we say we meant to call, but never call, our actions speak louder than our words. It’s challenging, and I never feel like I write enough letters to send via snail-mail, or allow myself to be a shoulder when people need to cry {again…the messy thing}; I even decline phone calls because I know the conversation that may ensue could be utterly exhausting. But I know I’m not alone in this, and neither are you. We don’t suck, we’re just human. Yet we’re made in Christ’s image, so day-by-day, hour-by-hour, as we set our minds on things above, our relationships will begin to look like things above, and the Heavenlies will come down and dwell in our midst, causing blinding reflections of love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and goodness and gentleness and self-control, which is the very kind of person {and friend, sister, and daughter} I aspire to be.

FRANCE-10126, France, 1989

 

 

So, please, take all of these thoughts and suggestions like a grain of salt, because I am in process just like you. But know you don’t suck, because praise God, you’re actually human and fallible and faulty. You’re imperfect, and you’re a mess, and I am too. Yet when we *“stop expecting people to be perfect, we can like them for who they are.” Apply that truth to yourself, and pick out the things you like {& LOVE!} Don’t forget entirely about the things that need work and edifying, but don’t dwell on them either.

What are some ways you’re working on doing you better, while not believing the lie that you are less-than?
Leave your comments below.

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Reasons You Don’t Suck at Life {Part One}

The night before last, I asked Jesus to be sure to wake me up the next morning, ready to jump into everything on my “to-do” list with a bold excitement. I remember saying, “…but seriously, mister; do whatever you can to get me out of bed.”

And oh, Jesus tried.–He really did.

A tree-limb fell and hit my window, but I hardly flinched. There were alarm clocks going off I honestly don’t remember setting, but I incessantly hit “snooze” on each of them until they finally gave up, I think. And there was some pesky little morning bird who seemingly mocked me with its zealous spirit of chirping over the day. By the end of these annoyances, I could almost hear Jesus say, “Alright, kid…this is where free-will comes in.” After that, it took nearly every ounce of strength I had to roll over, place both feet sloppily on the ground, and bend my knees to rise and greet the day. The phrase “waking up on the wrong side of the bed” smacked me on the forehead, {and because my bed is practically against a window, I have no choice: there is really only one side of the bed I can get out of}. Sure, it was a Monday, but the day hadn’t even begun, and I was already defeated.

Do you ever feel that way? Do you ever choose to intentionally start your week off on the right “foot”, full-steam-ahead, ambition and courage tucked in your pockets, only to completely fail? 

Yeah, me too. 

I’m actually currently living in the wake of those circumstances, and it’s been pretty rough.
But in the process, God has been tugging on my heart, reminding me I am dearly beloved, and He wants me to remind you of that, too. If you’re still reading this, it could be because we’re in the same boat, not knowing which direction to raise our sails or where to cast our anchors.

So I’ve set my agenda down.
Turned off my cell-phone {it’s liberating…I dare you to try it}.
And compiled a short list of affirmations of how we don’t suck at life & why what you’re doing may or may not be working:

1. Don’t Sleep When You’re Dead. Sleep Now.
If you’ve been one to believe the phrase “You can sleep when you’re dead”, it’s probably because it’s been engrained in you by someone who didn’t actually know how to rest. And I’m not just talking about a physical rest, consisting of REM and 8 full-hours, as prescribed by doctors. No, I’m referring to the rest that happens when we get with the Lord and hang out in His presence for a while. In western culture, this is especially difficult; but it’s also imperative. Research suggests people who know when to put down their iPhones {or don’t even bring them to bed to begin with} are happier, healthier, and living longer, with less chronic disease and ailments. If you’ve been given the guilt-trip for being a “grandma” and going to bed before 10 PM, set that guilt down right now, because you don’t suck–you’re actually wiser than the rest. I love how Graham Cooke puts it: “We need rest not just to practice the presence of God internally, but to guard against the negativity of the enemy and the negativity of other people. We need rest because we are a company of people that have set our hearts on changing the atmosphere around us.”

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2. It’s Only March, and your New Year’s Resolutions {& Lenten Oaths} Were Thrown Out with Yesterday’s Garbage.
I’m not sure why this is, but we love to set ourselves up for failure. We create unrealistic expectations of ourselves, raising ridiculous standards that simply don’t fit into the current infrastructure of our lives. These things we profess to give-up should be sacrificial…meaning the thought of going without them should sting a bit. But the truth is if we don’t ask God what we need to “give-up” or resolve to do first, really waiting on His answer and for His guidance, we’re probably going to end-up striving in vain. If you’ve gained 10 pounds instead of shedding them, and felt drawn to the TV remote and your March Madness bracket, even after you said you wouldn’t participate and obsess, you’re not alone in that, and you don’t suck. Next time, though, if you resolve to do one thing, be revolutionary, and build a team of like-minded people around you to help. Write out your aspirations in BIG, bold letters where you can see them daily, and invite some of your sacred people into that season of fasting or aiming to really help hold you to your word. Simply put, we were given other people for a reason: we weren’t meant to do life alone.

resolve

 

And we’re in it together.
And life doesn’t have to feel like a perpetual Monday.
And bravery through the downpour of conflicts will win every time, resulting in a healthier, more whole you.

{…To Be Continued…}

 

So, what lessons will you take away?
And what other ways are you learning you don’t actually suck {because there are many…}? Leave your comments below.

for being “let go”.

I recently went for a walk through some ups and downs, and I mean that both figuratively and physically.

As I step from one season into another, where God is calling me out of my position at Adventures in Missions, and into new ministry and partnerships, I’ve found myself needing to take many walks outside alone, mostly to clear my head, but also to learn how to dream again.

On this particular day, my walk began much like any other, until I realized I could see and hear more clearly. What I mean by that is the trees and colors around me were more vivid. I heard all of the birds in those backwoods of Georgia tweeting and the scurry of little animal feet upon the crunchy leaves beneath the pines.

trees

I hardly bothered to flinch when dogs would jolt up out of their yards from a deep sleep, barking instinctively at me, the intruder who was passing their people’s house. I was in a daze…a trance, almost…fighting for peace as I traipsed through my neighborhood.

As I marched, I noticed a couple out in their yard together, enjoying the beautiful day. What struck me about them, though, was they were both participating in two very different disciplines: one, the man, was actively tending to the grounds of their property, aerating it with a special machine he pushed before him, followed by a machine he drug behind him, sowing seeds into the newly aerated and tilled ground. He paced back and forth meticulously, one foot after another, until every inch of his lawn was tended-to.

The woman, however, was actively resting. She sat in the shade on their porch, glancing up from her book occasionally, and I could see the rise and fall of her body as she breathed slowly. She’d allow herself to be distracted by something, it seemed, for as long as she needed, before pulling her attention back to her book. To me, she seemed utterly at ease.

But these two have something important in common: they were both participating, and they were both active.

flowers.

 

The world often tells us we have to be going and doing and planning and scheming. And while there’s truth there, in each of our life purposes coming to fruition, there are still other things we must tend to. It may seem typical to some of you–the man of the house hard at work, while his woman just sits and hardly bothers to help. But I am learning there is so much discipline to be found in rest, so long as we don’t use it as a cop-out. And discerning when to rest…well maybe that’s at the heart of the discipline altogether.

This week, I’ve learned more about myself than I have in a long time. And it’s been exhausting {because I haven’t rested when I should}, but incredibly beautiful nonetheless.

What I’ve found is God is simply saying “Daughter, choose.”

Doors are opening and closing left and right, and I must show up to each day with active purposes and disciplines. But when I find myself growing weary and tired, I physically sit down, which is to mimic what Christ did at the right hand of His Father: this action alone declared, “It is finished! The work here is done.”

sojourn

I know my season at Adventures in Missions was not in vain. While they’ve had to cut back their staff by a large percentage due to financial analysis and conclusions, I’m not hurting. While some of their recent decisions have stung and confused, I’m not bitter. Why?

1. We serve the same God. From now until forever. Period.
2. I’ve  learned more in the last two and a half years than I can fully express to you here, and that is invaluable to me. And while my severance was abrupt, it was not unexpected. God has been preparing me in so many ways the last few months, and ministering to my heart about these upcoming changes.

He’s given me peace like a river, and I cannot wait to share even more about what’s ahead!

SPOILER ALERT: it involves a new job, new dreams, new financial goals, a new business, a new personal website, and maybe {dare I say it…} even a new location. {comment below on where you guess I’m headed. Winner gets a surprise gift from yours truly!}

I wish I could give you more than this ambiguous update, but trust that I’m still conversing with God. I can tell you I’m beyond excited, and I can tell you I’ll be venturing out into some great unknowns! When I know, you’ll be some of the first to also know.

lewis

So, won’t you join me??
I’m so thankful for your support and love along the way.

Have you ever been “let go” from something…or even have to let go of something or someone yourself?
What was that experience like, and how did you go about it?

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can support me, you can do so here.
If you’d like to subscribe to my new Suzy The Sojourner updates, you can do so here

for chosen moments.

Moments have the ability to shape us.

Our moments, like much of life, our vernacular, and the food we pour & shove into our bodies, are either life or death. They’re one or the other. They can’t be both. They’re either adding to our life, or taking from it.

I’ve heard it said that when we seek with all of our hearts, we are sure to find.

I’m notorious for getting in my car, tossing a coin {“heads” for right, & “tails” for left}, and driving away in the respective direction given by the coin, throwing caution to the wind along with my long, crazy hair. It’s in these moments where my main ambition is fumbling-upon somewhere new, an uncharted territory or side-street, a place that lands me slightly off-the-grid. It may not actually be new to most of the world, but even if it’s only new to me, I’m winning.

ImageImage
Like most of the people I know, it’s easy to become trapped in the intersection of knowing when to capture these vivid moments throughout my explorations, these robust points in time that add flavor and valor to my life…or when to put the camera {iPad} at bay and simply rest in the beauty that is unfolding around me.

As I’ve waltzed into this Lenten season, taking time to reflect and observe all that Jesus is in my life, and the sweet ways He shows His love from well-beyond the Cross, I’ve wondered if the moments themselves, the ones in which He meets me, are really enough–or if I am looking to impress the people who “follow” along on my journeys, editing and cropping away the things which make me uncomfortable.

A sweet friend & colleague, Jessie, an Arizona-Missouri-New Jersey implant who I met during my long days spent in the fashion-industry, puts it so well:

Cutting back on social media by keeping my eyes on the road directly in front of me might seem like a thoughtful move, but it could also mean that I’m missing out on the chance to capture the breathtaking scenery
before it zips past the car window. 
There is certainly something gratifying about sharing special moments with your friends online…but more and more lately, I’m searching for the sweet spot between peacefully gazing out the window and giving meaningful glimpses as I go…” 

It’s a hard thing to weigh out. It’s an even harder fete when you work in the world of Marketing, where your job is to be on top of the latest trends, social media propaganda, and the many great causes worth dually noting and sharing with the world.

So when traveling friends land on my doorstep to rest and recuperate in my basement apartment in the woods, with late-night laughter and heart chats over hot beverages, I want to soak in everything those moments embody.

When the setting sun makes me weepy and causes me to pull my car to a halt on the road-side, I want to sit and wait expectantly for its setting, breathing in the ever-changing colors, instead of fidgeting with my seatbelt to stick half of my body out the window for the “perfect” shot.

And instead of documenting my tidy, strategically-placed life, *I want to be real about the fact that I sometimes decide to not make my bed or fold my clothes or put away the dishes. I’m learning to throw my satchel over my shoulder and bolt out the door for some exploring, reveling in the fact that my Type-A personality does not always get its way–sometimes, life is just too short for chores and perfection.

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Another friend and fellow writer, Ally, seems to have similar thoughts. She says,

“What if beauty is is waiting for us to find it, and shine a light on it, and call it into existence?
What if beauty works its way into our life in moments–in the littlest things–that we so easily pass by and write-off
as just another day at work, or just another meal, or just another conversation with a friend?
What if beauty is all around us, and we simply need to stop resisting it?”

My friends, I fully believe we’ll get there.

We’ll come to the intersection of absolute failure and astounding triumph, and it will all come down to the moments we let in, the thoughts we let permeate, and the adventures we allowed God to take us on. 

I don’t believe the capturing of such moments is bad or even wrong, in essence.
I just think I need to learn how to better live in them without feeling the need to document the crap out of them, you know? 

And what if these moments are already captured in the Heavenlies? What if we get to replay e v e r y t h i n g  lovely for all of eternity on a film reel, just you and me and Jesus, and all of the angels and saints, clapping valiantly at what our moments became, the culmination of life-to-the-full?

OH MY GOSH, JUST WHAT IF!? 

In this season, I’m learning to set my vices and devices down to breathe.
I’m learning to choose my moments and spend my time wisely {which, to my disdain, does not involve watching three seasons of Gilmore Girls back-to-back without moving from my couch}.

But that’s okay.
Because after all, isn’t it true that “how we spend our days, is, of course, how we spend our lives.” ?

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What are some ways you are stopping to reflect on your life’s precious moments, both with and without a lens through which to capture them? 

*Do yourselves a favor to take 10 seconds to search #myrealrealife & #instagramtheordinary to see how my real friends are really living, unapologetically. 

for clarifying {+ an update on support-raising for my spine treatment}

Maybe I didn’t do an adequate job of giving some of you the information and peace of mind you needed.

Sure, it’s a long road ahead for my treatment, and there’s no doubt about that.
But what I also don’t want you to doubt is the information I’ve given you, or the doctors I’ve chosen to use for my treatment.

If there is anyone skeptical in this situation, I promise you, it’s me. 

I’ve grown up having to having test-upon-test taken, needles put everywhere, visiting doctors, chiropractors, neurologists, endocrinologists, and more. Some of them helped me {albeit temporarily}, and some of them did not.

In all honesty, some of them have even made things worse by either not treating a problem, not anticipating future problems, and sometimes treating me through wrong practices which made matters worse.

Nonetheless, I’ve received multiple opinions from multiple sources about my spine’s current condition. This isn’t my first rodeo.

I don’t say that to sound arrogant, but instead to let you know that my spirit is contrite and broken.

I’m exhausted.
I’m tired of poor sleep, poor digestion, migraines, dizziness, fatigue, hormonal issues, and the downright death that has been spoken over me by people who  a.) have maybe never been as sick or in so much chronic pain and therefore understandably can’t relate or b.) doctors who have simply stated “you will never not suffer with this. just accept it as a part of your life.”

Excuse me for a moment, but NO.
Hell no.

Words are either life or death. Period. So I’m literally saying “no” to death {hell}, which so easily entangles because we have an enemy prowling around us, waiting to steal, kill, and destroy.

Friends, in any area of life, if you’re not speaking life, you are more illegitimately and more unencumbered than you realize, speaking death.

My basis for sharing this journey with the general public came from one source: God.
He told me to be open and honest about my needs, my condition, and my hope for healing that can only come from Him alone.

That said, the doctors I’ve chosen to consult are fellow brothers in Christ who fully believe God is only using them as an instrument to bring healing to His people. When you walk into their office waiting-room, it’s not uncommon to see people praying together and sharing the latest miracle of the week.

It sounds cheesy and cliché. It’s exactly why I was skeptical myself, because nothing has seemed to work for me yet, and I see miracles happen every day around me, but it’s harder to take note of those in my own life. Yet despite my broken and cynical heart, I’ve been met with such grace and reassurance from these doctors who know my journey ahead is long, and still desire to help.

So for that reason, I choose them.
It’s your prerogative to disagree. That doesn’t offend me.
Because I’m not placing my hope in them, but I’m placing my hope in Christ, the ultimate healer and redeemer.

He came that we may have life, and have it to the full.So I’m banking on that. 

_________________________________

A Financial Update: 

As you can see, it is Friday, five days past the deadline for raising this support.

So that’s really what I hope to clarify here: I was the one who created the deadline of February 3rd, not the doctors. 

The only reason there is an incentive to pay up-front is not only to offer people a discount, but to also ensure that they keep coming back, even if they don’t see immediate results. Chiropractic care takes time; it’s not an over-night victory, but a victory that is obtained through small, incremental adjustments. My doctors have given me a “Grace Period” of 90 days to pay my bill “up-front”, so the pressure to pay does not stem from them.

It stems from me.

Many of you know I’ve been given a car to borrow for 3 months. After that, it’s going to be a lot more difficult to make the 45 minute commute 2-3 times per week, so I’ll either have to find rides, or shell-out the $1,600 I’m currently saving-up for a new transmission on my vehicle. Therefore, the sooner I can get this treatment started, the better. Additionally, I do not want to take out another credit card when I already have personal debt I am working to pay-off {praise the Lamb, I think I have a part-time nannying gig that starts up soon to help toward this goal!} Lastly, I am in a lot of pain. I go to bed with migraines, I wake up with migraines, I have a hard time focusing on tasks at hand, or even enjoying life…and I’m ready for a change. These are the only reasons I create deadlines for support raising, and I hope you can see their legitimacy.

Please know above all else, I need your prayers, because I’m learning to believe His miracles are for me, too. And I am grateful for anything you can give, whenever you feel led to give it. If you know you cannot give this month, but may  be able to give down-the-road, please let me know. It will only help to ease the burden, and it’s reassuring me yet again that God is faithful and holds fast to His promises to us.

I’m so grateful for each of you, and welcome any prayers or comments directly to my email: suzyhachey@adventures.org 

For The Record:
Of the $3,268 I have to raise, $233 has been given and/or pledged.
Thank you all so much!! It’s an amazing start!

for driving convertibles.

I’ve always been a four-wheel-drive, mountain-loving-kind-of-girl who lives out of her vehicle and hauls people and furniture around like it’s my job.

So, when my Jeep of 12 years finally bit the dust, the one of road-trips and first-kisses and driving away from the town and house that helped build me with tears in my eyes as I made the trek to Georgia, to say I was heart-broken is an extreme understatement.

I cried and stomped around like a small child, offering to pay all of my Brothers in beer and pizza if they could just put it all back together just this once I PROMISE!

But I had known the time was drawing near. I mean, the friendly people at AAA knew me by name, which is equal parts embarrassing and impressive.

And perhaps it was really my fault for not having it inspected as soon as it started to shake and make weird noises. That is, after all, poor vehicle owner stewardship. Essentially, the transmission fluid had all drained out, and getting more fluid could’ve helped to alleviate the problem. But let’s be real…if it wasn’t this, it would’ve been something else soon. 

So I did what all good Jeep parents do:

I had it towed to the nearest shop and generously taped a sign in the windshield that read, “Only serious Jeep lovers need inquire. Honest, hard-working, cleanly individuals who will wash me at least once a month and check my tire pressure on the weekly and utilize my sunroof to look at the awesome sky as much as possible.”

I’m kidding.
But that’s what I really wanted to say.

Instead, I made a sign that reduced its priceless value to as low as possible, and added a note to ensure people knew its fair condition and need for a new, costly transmission that they’d have to sell a kidney to afford.

Hardly anyone called, and those that did were not all that serious. They’d change their mind in the middle of our conversation and hang-up. “Oh, the travesty!” I thought.

Meanwhile, God humbled me. He told me this was another small step in learning to depend on others. So I swallowed my pride and asked for ride upon ride from people in my community–to work, the grocery store, the post-office–mostly to all of the necessary places.

And I did so for over three months. At first, I’d grit my teeth, but eventually, I learned to receive and simply be grateful. Sometimes people would even offer without me asking, and I began to know that I knew that I was provided for.

It struck me how I’d taken a vehicle for granted all of these years, always having a way to get from point A to point B without batting an eye-lash, and never offering any hitch-hiker a ride, because that’s far too dangerous and I’ll die, I said.

I realized I’d always been so focused on my own needs, and rarely even offered to go pick people up at the airport which is over an hour away. {We’re a bunch of missionaries who are always flying in and out and around the world, so the need is great.} If I’m honest, I think my fear was people not paying me back in gas money or even saying thank you. Besides, it was so much time out of my day.

Then, enter a gift from my Father, who gives the greatest gifts to His children.

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A brother in my community was headed down to Guatemala on a mission for three months, and he prayed long and hard about who to give his vehicle to for use while he was away.

Through the confirmation of others, God told him to give it to me.
I didn’t even know he knew I was car-less.
But in hearing God loud and clear, He obediently handed me the keys.

)!#*%@#&^T#!_*T_W_!#(%!#%!#!#T^)#U@*%$_!. 
Yeah, that’s how I felt.
Maybe especially because I was learning how to depend on and accept gifts from men, which has always been difficult for me.

Now, this car wasn’t just any car.

It wasn’t an old clunker that he was happy to get rid of. No, it was a beautiful, deep blue convertible, for crying out loud, with tan, leather seats and a stereo system. It was special to him, a gift from his grandmother. And I was absolutely dumbfounded and blown away.

God likes to pull-out-all-the-stops, if you ask me.
He is so patient with our lackluster, mild-at-best affections.

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He says He’s good to those who wait.

He likes to surprise us and woo us and give us reason after reason and reminder after reminder that He is good.

Before handing over the keys, my friend Ryan prayed over both me and the car.

In his prayer, he addressed e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g  I’d cried-out to God about. EVERYTHING. He told me God sees me and knows me, never as second best, never choosing me by default, but as His first choice every time. And He never overlooks my requests, no matter how big or small, but instead addresses my needs as they arise.

It must seem silly and maybe even a bit pretentious to think God could prove Himself through material things, things like a convertible.

But I want you to know that is the very God I serve.
He is good regardless of the things He gives and regardless of our aches and pains.
He’s just GOOD.

And He alone is why I’m still banking on a beautiful, warm day where I can ride with the top down and wave to everyone I pass with pure joy, offering rides and knowing that I am a child of the Most High.

If you’d like to learn more about and support my friend Ryan in his mission in Guatemala, a country and people near and dear to my heart as well, you can do so here

If you’d like to learn more about my Jeep that is still for sale, email me directly at: suzy.hachey@gmail.com

for new spines.

no one ever tells you how important your spine is.

actually, they do.
i think i learned about it in high school anatomy class, but i never really took it seriously, and often got glares from my teacher as I drew stick figures in my note-book.

some of you know i’ve lived most of my life in chronic pain, suffering from aches and terrible sensations throughout my body that were unexplainable. i’ve seen doctor upon doctor for migraines, back pain, herniated disks, fibromyalgia, hormone problems, and more.

& i’m young. 
i’m only 27, and many of the professionals i’ve seen have told me i have the body of someone much, much older.

just this past week, i began going to a Chiropractor a good friend of mine has been seeing, and as a new patient, i received all x-rays and scans for free.

but that perk of free didn’t really matter much when i received my results.
what they told me about my spine, specifically in my neck and lower back, nearly left me paralyzed, so to speak.

below is a picture of my neck currently.

neck

simply put, my spine is supposed to be where the blue line is, curving backward to support my head.
instead, it curves the complete opposite direction, creating no where for my Atlas {Axis} to rest.

because of this, my brain stem is angry and can not do it’s proper job, and that is why so many other parts of my body are suffering. it’s also why if i leave my spine in this condition, to inevitably get worse over time, it will decrease my life-span by 25%.

additionally, the mild scoliosis in my lower back has progressed to severe. i will be adding my x-rays to show you what my lower back currently looks like, and i will compare it to a healthy spine that is located at the correct angle so you can see the difference. it’s astonishing, and not in a good way.  my bones are beginning to atrophy {die}, and arthritis is already very prominent.

to me, that’s unacceptable and scary. again, i’m 27, not 67, so these things should not be occurring in my body.

so what are the doctors proposing?

they have recommended 6-9 months of treatment to avoid later problems and potential surgery.

this will require me going to their offices for:
3x a week for the first 4 weeks.
2x a week for the next 12 weeks.
1x a week for the following 12 weeks.

it will also include a few other x-rays over the course of my treatment, so we can view the hopeful progress my spine will be making, and multiple consultations with my doctor about where he sees my body advancing.

it does not include hyper-extending my neck or crazy, loud, painful adjustments, but rather slow, mild adjustments over a long period of time, which is the proper way to care for a spine.

i will be keeping those of you who wish to learn more about my progress updated periodically, but not because i want to. and just so you know, I’ve received second and third opinions about this care, and all doctors agree that the proposed forward motion is imperative.

so where does that leave us?
well, God is telling me to invite people into this journey.
i couldn’t tell you why, but more often than not, He challenges us to step out of our comfort zones and into the Body of Christ for help.

& it makes me queazy, anxious, and a bit angry.
i don’t like to depend on others. at all.

but He’s pulling me out of my stubbornness and into a season of learning that i can’t do life alone.
He’s teaching me that people actually want to help, and it blesses them when i let them.
He’s teaching me to ask hard questions, and hope for big things, because He is the ultimate provider and healer.

so because i’m a support-raised missionary, and because i know it’s good to have insurance for emergencies, i opted to buy high deductible, lower monthly payment health insurance for general doctor/dentist visits. even still, i never anticipated such an urgent need to arise so soon.

but God has blessed me with a vehicle to actually get to these appointments.
He’s reminding me that He has prepared me for such a time as this, equipped me and provided for me.

so what am i asking you to pray about?

pray about whether He’s asking you to support me in this way.
pray for healing over my body.
pray for the doctors who will be working on me, for knowledge to overflow, and for them to know the correct pressure to place on the correct points of my spine.

the good news: 
because i’m young, a lot of these issues are reversible.

ALSO {& this is a big also…}:
if i pay for everything up front, it’s 20% less, which means i’ll owe $3,268 instead of $4,068.
and i need this money by Monday {or A.S.A.P…there is a slight grace period}

how can you give?

1. first of all, THANK YOU for desiring to bless me in this way.

2. second, you can make all checks out to Upper Cervical Chiropractic of Georgia
+ write “Suzy Hachey” in the memo-line {this is super important}

you can mail all checks to: 
6000 Wellspring Trail
attn: Suzy Hachey
Gainesville, GA 30506

3. third, reply below or email me at suzyhachey@adventures.org to let me know what amount you pledge to give and when. this will help me compile information and know how much i’ve yet to raise.

4. if you want to receive my newsletters, reply below or email me as well, and i’ll add you to the list. i promise to only send out one update per month.


from the bottom, middle, and top parts of my heart and soul, I thank you.
I know I tend to ask for crazy things sometimes, at least in terms of what our world defines as “crazy” vs. “normal”.

But I serve a crazy God. 
& He desires for me to have life to the full, not one spent in pain. 
I’m learning to believe in that promise, and invite you to join me on the journey. 

for snow days in Georgia.

When they say the south doesn’t really handle snow very well, they weren’t kiddin’.

The blizzards I grew up among in the midwest were brutal, and sometimes we literally couldn’t leave the house to go to the store that was probably still open.

Down here–it’s a different story. People tend to panic a bit, and all schools and businesses shut down at the mere prediction of snow. If you visit the grocery store, you’ll see all the milk and bread sold-out…since two days ago {the snow just arrived this afternoon}.

The word “snowpocalypse” has been thrown around. And while that’s an accurate assessment, it’s endearing and sweet. I don’t mean that in a chastising “well, bless your sweet heart!” kind of way.  In all honesty, I don’t blame my fellow southerners at all–if anything, I admire them. They’ve all teamed up to help one another, those stranded on highways and byways; they’ve offered food, a place to sleep, and transportation to those without.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about the south, it’s that people here do things right and well, with intentionality and attention to detail like I’ve never seen before. From their well-decorated porches, to their amazing pies, I find myself taking note. Maybe this is the southern hospitality I’ve always heard of.

But perhaps the thing I most desire to mimic in my life are their hearty, get-to-know-you questions and conversations, the ones that cut straight to the heart. By listening to the people around me, I’ve not only learned how to better serve, but I’ve become more sincere in the process.

rest

So, even on snowy sick days when I’m not well and only want to snuggle my cat; when my sweet little make-shift kitchen {okay fine, it’s a mini-bar} could be more efficient, it has more-than-sufficed for me and my needs, and I’m grateful. I’ve learned the art of using the Crock-Pot, toaster oven, electric skillet & water kettle, and blender. Sometimes that’s really all we need to make hearty, healthy dishes that can warm up any day winter solstice decides to show-up; the kind of meals that on-their-own invite our friends and loved ones to the table around us, for robust relationships and the richest, most kindred discussions.

Below you’ll find a few of my recent creations: Spicy Broccoli Pepper-Jack Soup to warm you up on the coldest day, and a sunny, summer snack, Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus with Fresh Green Beans, to later cool you off. Enjoy!

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Broccoli Pepper-Jack Soup {via Crock-pot, but easily altered for a stove-top}

4 large heads of organic broccoli, diced into small, bite-sized pieces
1/2 large organic yellow onion
5 red “baby new” organic potatoes
2 quarts of organic, low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup half & half
10 oz. pepper-jack cheese
2 Tbsp gluten-free rice flour
2 tsp unsalted butter
organic extra virgin olive oil
salt + pepper to taste

First, heat crock pot on high for 10 minutes. Add olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan, and add diced onion and diced potatoes to “sweat” and simmer for 15 minutes. Once they’re opaque, season with salt and pepper. Add enough chicken broth just to cover the top of the vegetables, and simmer for another 10 minutes. Gently pour everything into the blender, and let cool before blending.

Add the rest of the chicken broth and all of the broccoli to the crock pot, and bring to a slow boil for 30 minutes, seasoning with more salt and pepper to taste.

Add 1/2 cup of half and half, and stir through.  Add the blended mixture of onion and potato back into the soup, and allow the soup to simmer for an additional 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt 2 Tbsp unsalted butter. While it melts, slice the pepper-jack cheese into small pieces, and set aside. Stir in 2 Tbsp gluten-free rice flour to melted butter. Cook for 3 minutes until flour is no longer raw, and add the other 1/2 cup of half and half until the mixture thickens. Once it has, turn off the heat, and add all of the cheese, stirring constantly until it melts. It should be extremely thick, with no clumps or bubbles.

Add cheese “sauce” to crock-pot, gently stirring in with broccoli, and allow to simmer on low for an additional 2 hours, or until you are ready to serve, stirring occasionally so cheese/milk does not burn. Yields 10 servings. Enjoy!

Sun-dried Tomato Hummus served with fresh green beans 
1 can organic garbanzo beans
2 oz. organic tahini
1/3 cup of water
1 clove of fresh garlic
2 Tbsp of sun-dried tomatoes
the juice of one whole lemon
organic extra virgin olive oil
salt + pepper to taste

First, in a blender, combine the lemon juice, water, sun-dried tomatoes, and garlic clove. Next add the tahini, and blend. Last, add the garbanzo beans, plenty of salt with pepper, and blend a third time on high while drizzling in the olive oil until a hummus forms and thickens to the consistency you prefer, with no clumps.

Serve with any veggies you’d like, but I recommend fresh, raw, organic green beans, and a light balsamic vinaigrette. Enjoy!

From my tiny kitchen to yours, I pray warmth and favor over your life during these long and trying winter months. 

for homemade living.

This week has been one of those that flies by, where the office was a-buzz with blessing & commissioning out new college-aged missionaries to the field; the excitement was contagious, but the busyness and to-do lists took their toll.

And after a somewhat discouraging visit to a new chiropractor, the words “improper leptin release/absorption” seemed to seep out of the doctor’s lips and paralyze me a bit. So, by Friday night, I slowly made my way through the entire grocery store where I walked around like a zombie, reading every label and sizing it up next to its comparable neighbor. When all was said-and-done, I was left in complete recluse mode, so I carried my groceries through the frosty air to my little wooded abode, lit a yummy-scented candle, and my Gilmore Girls marathon commenced while I ate leftovers that required little-to-no effort.

No wonder it’s been so difficult to get back on the healthy track I was once living: my brain stem is pissed, according to my new Chiropractic friend. 

But all excuses and labels aside, it’s time to not only recognize my lack in #27by27, a program I started by myself, for myself, but to continue the forward motion I began and really stick to my guns, so to speak.

With that said, I’m in the process of making some radical changes to my lifestyle, and I’m about to begin selling Juice Plus+, some amazing supplements I’d love to tell you more about.

In the meantime, I figured I’d continue my clean-eating regime with a Saturday morning BANG! One of my all-time favorite comfort, breakfast foods, is blueberry pancakes, so I’ve created a healthier version.

The best thing about this recipe is it can be easily modified to be entirely gluten free/dairy free/vegan, so I’ve included the modified version below. Enjoy!

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LemonBerry Pancakes + Potatas

Begin with your flavor-packing, immune healthy produce:
1/2 cup organic blueberries, rinsed and drained
{or you can use canned organic berries; just be sure to rinse well and rid of all of the “syrup” they’re packed in}

the zest of one whole lemon–roughly chopped
{& one of my favorite smells in all the world, right up there with fresh laundry and new cars and libraries}

Next, measure all dry ingredients into a large bowl:
1 1/4 cups gluten free rice flour
1/2 cup ground whole grain organic oats {i use my coffee grinder for this}
1 1/2 tsp baking powder {look for a brand with no-alumninum added}
7-10 packets of Stevia {depending on how sweet you like your pancakes} OR 1 Tbsp raw, organic honey to be added to the wet ingredients instead {if you’re a Stevia hater}
1/2 tsp sea salt

Combine with whisk and set aside.

Separately measure all of your wet ingredients:
1/4 cup organic coconut oil, melted in microwave for 30 seconds on high
{let fully cool before combining with the rest of your wet ingredients, so as not to curdle the yogurt/eggs}
1 cup vanilla almond milk
2 Tbsp honey greek yogurt {full fat content…none of that “light” greek yogurt}
1/4 cup water
2 large, brown organic eggs

Combine with a whisk thoroughly, then slowly pour into your dry ingredients, incorporating well yet not over-mixing + gently fold in your lemon zest

To cook:
Heat your pan/griddle to 325 degrees, and lightly grease with coconut oil
{butter or Smart Balance is okay, margarine is death, so throw that crap away!}
Use a ladle to measure out 2 medium sized individual pancakes + gently spoon fresh blueberries on top {uncooked side}
Cook approximately 2 minutes, until many bubbles appear, checking bottom {pan} side to ensure it’s golden brown. Once it is, flip ‘er over!
Continue cooking until second side is golden brown and pancake feels firm to touch {no raw batter in the middle}

In place of maple syrup:
melt raw organic honey with 1 tsp butter in microwave for 20 seconds on high, and drizzle over cooked pancakes

Breakfast Potatas {“Poe-Tay-Tahs”}:
3 small “baby new” {red} potatoes, diced into 1/2 ” pieces
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Toss to coat all potatoes liberally, and bake at 400 degrees until lightly golden {approximately 10-15 minutes}, stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking on all sides

—————————–

Modified Gluten Free/Vegan Version:

omit the following entirely: organic whole grain oats and greek yogurt
use your preferred egg substitute
do not use any butter, but stick to coconut oil or non-margarine butter substitutes

{Leaving any/all of these ingredients out will not affect the outcome of this recipe, however your batter will be less dense, so your cooking time will therefore need to be shorter.}

I hope you enjoy this meal {on any day of the week} as much as I have! I’ve learned that the batter will store well in the fridge in a glass jar with a lid for a few days, so if Tuesday calls for pancakes, by golly, I’ll be ready! 

Well, time to do the dishes…

What helpful tips or similar recipes do you have {like, for instance, a healthier version of biscuits and gravy}? Please feel free to share in the comment section below.

for husband hunting: part two. {+ the “F” words}

Recently, a few of my girlfriends have begun blind-dating and seeking out their husbands courageously. Their goal is to simply get to know people, go out on a limb, have fun, and broaden their friend-groups. If something comes of it, great–if not, great.

I think it’s amazing and admirable and takes tatas.

Meanwhile, I’ve realized there are two “F” words that reign in my heart and life.

The first, I’ve realized, is this habitual motion of sinking back in fear.

Fear of rejection.
Fear of failed relationships.
Fear of perpetual dating into my 30’s without finding my husband.

The second, which is a bit less easily detected, is the epidemic of a fleeting heart.

I happen to work in a very fluid, transient environment where new faces are the norm on any given Monday morning. I’m part of a Body that is comprised of 75% women, so when the new faces are male faces, it’s safe to say we all take notice.

More than just notice, we let our hearts instantaneously go to the place of writing the stories I mentioned in part one of this blog-series.

We freeze-up, and sometimes think, “what if that’s him?” 

couple

Yet, in the midst of it all, cynicism and doubt pervasive, God has revealed the real root issue lending fear and a fleeting heart the momentum they need to rule and reign in my life:

The issue here is I don’t fully trust Him like I say I do.

Instead of wanting to be honest and open with my girlfriends about my crush, I hide it, sitting on it as if it’s an egg in a nest, a little secret to grow and nourish with my wild stories. I lock it up and throw away the key, and as soon as I find out another girl has feelings for the same egg I’ve been so patiently sitting on, my feathers get ruffled, and I wallow for weeks, months, a whole year, even. I stop utilizing my gifts. I forfeit ministry opportunities. I bow out.

And instead of praying for the man who has my attention, for his intimacy with Christ to deepen, his gifts and talents to be used for the Kingdom, his home life and family issues to find resolve, I selfishly pray that he won’t leave and follow where God is calling him, so I can keep him all to myself.

So at the end of the day, because of my choices to live in fear and allow my prone-to-wander heart, I’m left standing at the altar of my disappointments.

But I’m beginning to see it’s my doing.
I have no one to blame but myself.

Why?

I’ve never not had to share the feelings I feel for a guy with another girl who feels the same.

I’ve never not had to fight for the affections of a boyfriend, whose attention was divided a number of different directions.

I’ve never been up-front and honest about how I feel for a guy straight to his face, but instead I’ve kept it to myself, and watched it fizzle out because I couldn’t just say where I was emotionally, honoring him as a Sister by simply having a mature conversation, putting myself out there, regardless of how things ended up.

I’ve been a Samaritan, secretive and legalistic in all I do.
I’ve entertained “husbands” for years because I didn’t know how to put myself on the map with the courage it takes to truly know who I am and what I’m capable of.

Just last week, during our Monday morning worship at work, a man within our community whom I’ve not yet met humbled himself by coming up in front of everyone to give us a word he had heard loud and clear from God:

“Do not awaken love until it so desires, brothers and sisters.”

My knees grew weak, and I sunk to the floor, leaning against the vending machine as I knew His words were straight from the heart of Jesus to my water-fetching, thirsty heart.

At 27 years of age, I still don’t know much.
But I’m learning.

I’m learning it’s time to trust Him, because He is trustworthy.

He knows our deepest desires by calling them out, and it’s no one else’s job but our own to take back all the enemy has stolen. And even if I’m not actively searching for my husband, my heart is still fleeting and fluttering all over the place, which is the same thing, except it’s the unhealthy version.

It’s more-than-okay to long for him…
But not before I long for my Heavenly Groom.

So, will you pray for me in this?

In my moments of weakness, pray I march my soul straight to the Well that does not run dry.
Pray I would hold fast to my desires, and not let them be squandered by cynicism and lust.
And pray for my future husband, because he’s going to be the best of the best, and God has spoken:

It will be worth it in the end.