All posts by Sheavaun

uses social media to convey the message that feeling stuck in life doesn’t have to be the norm. Sheavaun writes about personal failures & stories, weaving in the unwavering belief that there is a big God who loves us individually and passionately, and calls us to step closer to who He created us to be.
Sheavaun is passionate about living a full life, and writes about the importance of being happy, healthy, beautiful, and true to who God created us to be. Absolutely.

Warrior Princesses and Giant Slayers

When I was in the midst of some of the heavier moments of my early adult life, I desperately wanted there to be a reason for it all; so through various means I latched onto the idea that my pain would somehow help someone else someday.

Oh. Good.

Then, when I first started learning how to process the events of my broken life through writing, I saw blogging as a perfect way of bringing that whole helping-someone-else thing come to pass.

For some reason I thought that there would be a definitive “ok, your time of enduring hard stuff is over, so now let’s focus on helping others through theirs.” 

Nope.

Hard stuff doesn’t stop. 

Give the girl a prize or a gold star or something. (Nothing gets past me.)

***

Here’s the thing.

I think.

There’s always going to be tough stuff to face. We don’t get to escape it as long as we live on this earth.

But… we can get stronger each time.

And better.

And maybe right now my purpose is to continue to mother my girls; mentoring, encouraging, advocating, loving, and using the power and authority I have discovered from rising out of my ashes to launch two of them into their God-spoken-&-given identities as Warrior Princess and Giant Slayer.

Yeah.

I’m in.

We are fierce.

We are delicate and strong.

Beautiful and hard-core.

Bring it, baby.

… As it is in Heaven.

 

love love

Shev

Unfiltered Life

Here’s my raw, unfiltered version of my life today, August 19, 2017:

Lately I’ve been feeling like I just don’t have anything left to give. 

As soon as I let those words take shape, I get an influx of messages through my brain, letting me know how ridiculous I sound.

“You’re the happiest you’ve been in two decades woman. Get it together!”

I won’t recite the rest of them because they’re not very nice, but you get the idea. I don’t cut myself a lot of slack.

Really now, if I’m so happy why do I feel so depleted? What right do I have to feel this way? My life has done a total 180 degree swing in the last year, and a huge portion of all the things I have been praying for have come to pass.

So why am I so bitchy with my 17 year old who is actively seeking her independence?

Why am I so anxious about Hannah’s future?

Why do I get so overwhelmed by all the things I seemingly have on my plate?

***

If I was to take a step away from myself and pretend I was listening to another woman talk about this stuff, this is how I’d probably respond to her:

“Honey, who says you have to have your shit together all the time?”

For the first time in my adult life I have a real partner. Someone who adores me, helps me, cheers me on, lovingly calls me on my crap, holds me, lifts me up, and lets me love him back. He just really, really loves me well.

But its new to me.

And I think that because I have been working by myself for so long, and have been so weary yet haven’t had the luxury of relaxing, that now that I have someone shouldering the load with me I’m realizing how exhausted I actually am.

And then my spiritual side gets her panties in knot, telling me how God has carried me through so much junk that I have no business putting words to that kind of negativity…

oh eff off.

I’m tired.

***

I can’t help but wonder if there are other women out there, like me, who have so many voices inside, launching torpedoes of shame and guilt at themselves.

Taunting themselves with hot needles of doubt. Whispering about their worth. Are you good enough? Do you deserve it? Are. you. good.enough??

***

I’m learning about self care.

I’m learning about the power of my words. About calling things in, creating with the Creator, and using my authority well.

I’m learning about the raw vulnerability of relationships.

Of how trying to control a teenager is like pouring acid on their self worth. I confess I have a lot to learn in this particular area, help me Jesus. I’m a scared mama.

***

My name is Sheavaun. I’m 47 years old.

… and I’m one strong, tired, happy, sometimes overwhelmed, sassy, recovering from religion, learning-not-to-give-a-rip-about-what-you-think, spiritually awake and alive, Beloved Daughter of the Most High, bad ass white girl. Even if my arms are flabbier than I’d like them to be.

I’m finally living an unfiltered life.

love love

Shev

Fairy Tales and Very Real Life

Are you gagging or oohing?

Doesn’t matter… we’re all going to have different perspectives and back-stories to draw from in regards to how we feel about fairy tale romances and our Very Real Lives.

Either we’re still holding out for the hearts & tiara & handsome prince, or we’re sneering at the ludicrous imaginations that come up with this stuff.

Or maybe we’re somewhere in between.

I don’t know. I’m no expert.

What I do know is that even though I outgrew the whole Disney princess thing ages ago, I still felt twinges of sadness when I would witness the tenderness between my brother and sister-in-law; and somewhere down deep I’d feel the familiar question tapping at my heart’s door: “how come I don’t have that? What’s wrong with me?”

***

I distinctly remember my then-husband talking to me while I sat on the bed, and feeling like a bucket of ice cold water had been thrown at me.

This isn’t working.

I don’t think we should be married anymore.

I want a divorce.

#stunned

I guess I was naive, but I truly didn’t expect that. Not from him.

Granted, we hadn’t been happy in three or four years together, but surely we would make it through this. Surely he would eventually forgive me for rocking the boat with my honesty about my own unhappiness with our lives, and we could move forward.

But no. Apparently not.

So I read all the books I could find on marriage.

I listened to all the marriage courses I could get my hands on on disc.

I asked for a marriage study in adult Sunday school at my church.

I prayed.

I fasted.

I went to counseling.

I worshiped. Sang.

Cried.

Fell apart.

***

I knew from the beginning that there was something different about our relationship.

I chalked it up to the fact that everybody’s different, and, well… its too late now.

We said vows. We were a team.

To be honest, I know now that I was grasping at straws. I also know now that I was married to someone who had great difficulty letting me in. Being vulnerable. Accepting love, or even knowing how to love me in return.

At the time, though, failure and rejection were the banners soaring above my head.

There was something wrong with me. 

I knew I was missing out.

I knew that fairy tales and Prince Charmings weren’t real, but I also knew that some people had the benefit of being connected with someone special in their lives.

They weren’t perfect. They had stuff and junk to work through just like everyone else. But they respected each other.

They worked together.

They chose to love each other well.

#Chose

And they really seemed to dig each other.

I wanted that.

Bad.

This is where I envision certain people rolling their eyes in disgust.

That’s ok.

I honestly don’t care anymore.

My longing to have an intimate relationship with someone is not something I’m ashamed of.

I used to be.

I used to feel guilty for wanting deep connection with a partner. For wanting to love and be loved. To be celebrated for our individuality, yet mesh as one.

I listened to the voices around me, and tried to tell myself that it was a fairy tale, just like the Disney princess stuff I used to think was so great.

Yet, I would continue to observe candid moments of sweet adoration, admiration, selflessness, respect, honor, and loyalty in a select few around me, and that knocking would start again in the recesses of my heart.

“How come I don’t have that? What’s wrong with me?”

***

I have discovered that the storyline of our lives can change.

That Hope is a very powerful force.

My personal story of various losses and brokenness has slowly begun to change.

I have felt battered.

Alone.

Lonely.

Helpless.

Stuck.

And somehow through that junk I have had tiny strands of hope gleam, catching my eye, causing me to keep going.

I think I’m ready to tell my story again.

You see, I have a happy ending now. Despite the eye rolls and sneers of the cynics and hurting, I have a love story to tell.

A love story that centers on Love Himself who taught me my worth, who broke the chains that have so paralyzed me for most of my life, and who showed me that He created me to want deep connection in a relationship with my partner.

Which doesn’t make me weak or irrelevant.

He is the Author who invites me to co-create with Him. And I keep saying yes.

So we’ve rewritten my story, and for those who wish to hear it, I will begin to share.

Stay tuned.  

love love

Shev

Horse Pucky: On Figuring Out if God Really Gives a Rip

Most of my conversations with hurting people inevitably wind up revealing a similar theme; one that spills over into how they think, how they speak, how they process their circumstances, and how they see their future.

The gist of it is this: God isn’t really good. At least, not to me, and not how I interpret “good” to be.

I lived in that same headspace for a very long time.

Our reasons for aligning with this belief are varied of course, but churning within all of our bellies are the hard, hard things we have experienced, seen, and survived. They hurt us. They are not good.

And if God was really good, He would not have allowed them to happen.

To take it a wee bit further, the whole idea that God is personal and that He wants good things for us, individually, feels like a load of horse pucky.

Whatever. Believe what you want, you who have had a nice life, comfortable circumstances, have never-been-without, are enjoying safe relationships, and a cozy marriage. You live your life, in all of its pretty, matching neatness, and I’ll live out mine.

Which, in no way, even closely resembles yours.

Amirite?

I spent a good chunk of my early adulthood becoming more and more jaded with common christianity. Touring churches in both Canada and the States as I sang for my bread and butter provided me with a broad view of what I perceived as rigid rules that attempted to contain people rather than providing the way to freedom.

Yeah, I was young. But I was also hurting. And what I consistently came across was the fancy white or shiny wooden pews, unspoken yet well maintained dress codes, and order. Always order.

My messy world didn’t fit in these churches. My disarray was uncomfortable to these people who publicly declared faith in God.

To be fair, I happened to meet a handful of genuine, messy, Jesus-lovers amongst the perfectly put-together parishioners. They were like a salve to my open sores.

I mean, I get it. I understand that order feels safe. Rules are intended to help navigate life, though, not control us.

I digress.

All this to say that the stiffness I encountered in mass amounts translated to my view of God as impersonal, willing to use me as a pawn in the Big Game.

My crash-to-the-bottom-of-everything in ’05 began a series of lens changes to help me see differently. Sometimes when you’re in pain, its kinda hard to see much else. But I firmly believe God hugged me that day as I sobbed all the tears of soul wrenching loss and despair in my bathtub. He sort of interrupted my heaving, which also sort of ticked me off a bit, but mostly I was aware that something outside of myself touched me.

Blanketed me.

Calmed me.

That was the beginning of my search to know if I mattered to Him. Because, why? Why get in the middle of my brokenness?

Here’s what I’ll end with today:

There’s more to God than religion and rules. He isn’t the people that say they represent Him. Sometimes people eff up and actually MIS-represent.

He is I Am.

And when we start to figure out on a personal level that its not all just a bunk of malarky, and God actually does give a rip… something changes inside us.

I always go back to Jesus’ response to the dude asking what the most important commandment was.

He said that the commandments are summed up by this:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. And love your neighbor as yourself.  (Matthew 22:37 & 38)

We who have heard that quoted a zillion times may have missed how incredibly packed those words truly are.

We have been preached to, taught and admonished that we are to live a life worthy of God. That we are to love Him.

But who of us can love someone we don’t really know? Go ahead and spout all your platitudes, and I will turn my deaf ear to you. That’s the horse pucky, right there.

You can’t really love someone you don’t know.

Period.

Sure you can be loving toward them, and show love, and act out of love.

But I’m talking about truly loving. The kind that grows and matures and fills.

And most of us need to feel loved in return, as well.

And the whole loving our neighbor part?

Honey, it says As You Love Yourself.

Most of us don’t.

Spare me the religious crap.

Here’s what I have learned, and take from it what you will.

God loves deeply, intentionally, personally, and magnificently.

And it is out of this realization, these encounters with Him, that we are able to love Him in return, and learn to value (aka love) ourselves as well.

Oh! And then we can love our neighbors well too. Because we loved Him and then loved ourselves.

The God I know now is all about relationship.

And yes, He is good. To me.

And to you.

We just have to be wiling to explore beyond our pain and short-sightedness.

He came through for me, and I can’t imagine why He would for me and not for you too.

What if its not all horse pucky, and God does really give a rip?

For Pete’s sake, at least ask the question.

love love

Shev

 

 

Divorce is Like Death. (I’m Sorry For Your Loss.)

If you are one of the few who have found themselves faced with divorce, whether you want it or not, may I have a few moments with you?

I am sorry.

So sorry that those dreams and butterflies and plans and hopes are now in the trash. Trampled and soggy.

I’m sorry if you were rejected. That the vows you both spoke weren’t adhered to, and that in some way, shape or form, you were dishonored and passed over.

I’d like to tell you something.

I realize that I’m just a face plastered on your screen beside some black and white words, but I think its important to share something with you that I have slowly come to understand through my own pain of rejection and divorce.

Its this: You are enough.

And you didn’t deserve it, no matter what floats through your mind or in the atmosphere from people who don’t know squat about your life.

You’re going to be inundated with umpteen lies about how you didn’t try hard enough, how you’re giving up too soon, how you are obviously not sexy enough, attractive enough, smart enough, funny enough, capable enough…

Even if you don’t truly believe those things, you’re probably going to feel them at some point, and its gonna really hurt.

Divorce is like a death in so many ways. Death of the love you thought you shared. Death of a loved one, because they no longer want to be your loved one, or else you realize they don’t actually love you.

Death of how you thought your life would play out. Death of dreams.

So, take your time grieving the loss, however it looks in your situation. Your partner may have cheated on you, may have mistreated you, may have sucked the life out of you, may have taken everything you worked for and left you to start from scratch.

Its ok to be sad. To get angry. To feel at loose ends.

But know this: You Are Enough.

Don’t let “them” win by staying bitter and resentful.

Allow yourself to feel the junk, but keep moving forward no matter how slow.

Because you are worthy of love, even if they did not value you.

Some day you will know that in your bones. You are worthy of love. 

And respect.

Fidelity.

Honor.

Smiles. Time. Partnership. Camaraderie.  Laughter. Shared dreams and goals.

I’m not saying you have to find someone else to replace them. But I’m saying that you are worth those things, and the death of this relationship doesn’t define you as a failure.

The marriage failed. But you can come out of it a winner if you choose to.

It happened. It sucks. It hurts. And you’re allowed to know and feel that.

Just remember that you are not a loser just because of the failure. You can come out of this. I know it.

Hang in there baby.

love love

Shev

When Life is Not What You Expected

When I signed in for work this morning, the date caught my attention. June 13th. The day I got married 25 years ago. 

 

Except I’m not married anymore.

Sometimes life just doesn’t go the way we think it should.

So we adapt as best we can, sometimes with bitterness, most of the time with heartache, and find ourselves getting through each day with a noticeable limp.

Broken dreams, dashed hopes, unexpected loss, trauma, and pain tend to set our world upside down and shaken, and most of us don’t know how to get beyond mere survival.

Survival is important. 

No question.

But when does thriving come into play?

Or can it? Maybe we’re too far gone now.

Is it just a myth, this notion of a full life?

A life filled with meaning, with purpose, with happiness, love and goodness?

Yes. Call me crazy, but I believe it is possible.

A good portion of this possibility stems from the notion of hope. Yeah.

Hope.

Despite all the well meaning (I assume) “friends” who made it their mission to tell me how much God hates divorce,

(of course He does. He hates anything that causes us pain, and since He knows the end from the beginning, He also knows all the pain and heartache that brought me to this point. That coat, that cloak, that tunic? It was ripped in two before I took the step to make the end of my marriage legal. You don’t need to pull Malachi out of your hat because my messy life doesn’t fit into your tidy box.)

to try to talk me into praying for my husband more fervently,

to try harder,

go to counseling,

(btw counseling has been a lifesaver for me. I cringe to think of how much longer it may have taken me to realize how horribly codependent I had become. And how horribly narcissistic and manipulative my partner truly was, – not just my dramatic female imagination. Too bad he continually declined to go with me.)

lose weight,

(insert choice expletives here)

and the myriad of other helpful suggestions lobbed my way.

Gee. Thanks.

I used to be one of the pew huggers that looked down on fractured, failing marriages.

Back before I was told that it wasn’t working and he loved someone else.

I used to cringe at the idea that someone was just “giving up on their vows”. The world sure has gone to pot.

Then I became the pariah. The one that became a notch on someone’s belt for inviting me over to lunch after church because it was the “right thing to do”.

Hope still fought to twinkle beneath all the debris.

I saw glimpses of happiness around me, and I wanted some too.

I saw glimmers of hope, and I latched on for all I was worth.

And now…

After all the years of hoping, of praying, of crying, of desperation, of struggle, of pain, of heartache, of weakness,

I gradually became stronger.

Bigger than I had originally thought.

Happy.

Because. I. Chose. To. Be.

Don’t tune me out yet. 

I had to learn, just like you, that how I thought, how I process, how I imagine, and how I speak are crucial to how my life plays out each day.

No joke.

I learned that I don’t have to have a man in my life to be happy.

I really, really wanted one, and I believe that that is just how God wired me and I’m ok with that. Especially since He brought Tinman into my world, and I see what it is like to have my dreams take life.

Pretty darn cool.

The point is, that I hoped for more. I didn’t just stay in my faltering, broken survival state of being. I learned how to thrive and choose happiness even before I felt it.

I made choices to move out of my brokenness. Sought help. Acknowledged my pain, made friends with it, and stepped beyond it. I wanted to be whole.

What you hope for may be different than anyone else.

But it is still hope.

When life is not what you expected, it doesn’t have to keep you pinned and immobilized. At least, not forever.

Don’t let anyone tell you you are not worth more.

Hope is yours. Grab it.

love love

Shev

 

Why Telling You Not to Worry Doesn’t Work. 

I hear people talking about their worries every single day. 

Maybe I’m attuned to it because I understand it so well… but what I know for sure is this: you can tell me all you want that I shouldn’t worry, but if I don’t have the assurance of something bigger than my circumstances that will help me through it, well, I’m just going to keep on worrying

My spiritual practice involves a God that doesn’t fit into the ironclad mold of typical church teachings. You know: the rules, the judgements, the stigmas, the fear, the blahhhh.

The God I have come to love and smile about is the One who gently stepped into my personal mess and hugged me in ways that blew my church experiences out of the water. 

This same God has taught me to think differently than I have in the past. Taught me to expect Him to do great things in me and for me because that’s just Who He is. 

And it’s all about Him. 

In some of my darkest, deepest, murkiest waters He has carried me on His back and brought me to shore. 

And in all of this junk we have traveled through together, the biggest takeaway is knowing that He has my back. Not because I earned it; but because He is just that good. No, He didn’t spare me from going through any of it. But He did stay with me. 

The funny thing to me about all the people who get their panties in a twist about ‘new age’ thinking regarding the power of your thoughts and your words, is that  it’s NOT new at all. 

The Bible is totally on-point when it comes to watching the words that come out of our mouths as well as the thoughts we let course through our heads unhindered. We were given power and authority to wield using our tongues and our brains, yet we don’t often realize what we are doing with it. 

I’ll expand on that more another time. 

But for today, I personally believe that most of my worrying has stemmed from either not knowing, or at least forgetting, how valued I am to the God of the universe, and that He promises to always be with me and get me to the other side of it all. 

And He has shown up and flexed His muscles Every Single Time. 

Maybe not in the exact way I had aniticipated…

 I mean, my son did die. 


So did my Dad.

Raising Hannah and her sisters hasn’t necessarily gotten easier. 

And I actually became one of “them” and got divorced. 

My adult life has soooo not turned out like I thought it would. 

At the same time, I have discovered how marvelously good it feels to be loved with no strings attached by Love Himself. And I firmly believe that’s how I have been able to recognize real love with the new man in my life (whom I will affectionately dub as Tinman from here on out. Just go with it) as well. 


Telling myself not to worry is futile. I’m visual proof of the extra cortisol that has pumped through my poor worry-ravaged body for years. As well as the constant emotional eating I did to try to make myself feel better. 

Doesn’t work I tell you.

Slowly learning that my God is bigger than I am, and that since HE is good something good will follow as I stay close to Him, has profoundly changed my internal wiring. 

Yes. I have my slip up days. But they don’t last as long as they used to. 

Worry sucks. The life. Out of you. 

End of story. 

I hope you relearn how to think and speak in ways that will change your internal wiring as well. 

Because just telling you not to worry isn’t going to work. 

Love love 

Shev

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