Tag Archives: friends

prayer.

A long time ago, someone told me that the most powerful thing you can do is say to a person is, I’m praying for you, and mean it.

Because it’s so easy to flippantly say that you will pray for someone and then just don’t. As a matter of fact, I’d bet that that happens way more often than not.

So today when I got a text from a friend who lives, like, a million miles away, telling me that she prayed for me this morning, despite me not even asking for it or knowingly exhibiting red flags for needing prayer, it really brought me joy. Because I knew she meant it.

It really does have power.

And so I texted back a heartfelt THANK YOU and pleaded for more. Because why not?

If anyone else wants to pray for me, please do; I’m currently in the process of weaning myself off of caffeine and man –

it is a HELL of a drug.

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can you hear you? we can.

This post has been swirling around in my spirit for the better part of six (!!!) months, but I haven’t really had the real words for it until now. (Actually, even now, I’m not entirely sure I have all the right words. But what I am sure of is that there is becoming increasingly less room in my brain for unimportant things like blog posts so I’ve got to get out whatever loose scraps I can to make room for all those important 90s song lyrics I can’t seem to forget.)

I have this friend whom I dearly adore. She happens to be strikingly beautiful, dangerously talented, wickedly smart, and hilarious. I want to tell you so many other things about her, including her name, but I can’t do that because I’m pretty sure she reads my blog and if she knew I was publicly affirming her in such a way I bet money she would very likely turn fifty shades of burgundy and demand that I remove the post immediately.

And this post is way too important to me for her to do that. So let’s just call this amazing girl Kay.

The thing about Kay is that no matter who you ask — whether they’ve known her for five minutes or her entire life — they’ll all say the same things I just did: that she’s a walking phenom; a force to be reckoned with; someone that transforms the earth from merely a revolving sphere of dusty rock to a beautiful, magical work of art. I’d venture to say that anyone you ask wouldn’t be able to find one, single bad thing to say about Kay.

But here’s the thing: none of us have to say anything bad about her because she says all the bad things about herself.

If you compliment her, she will deflect it. She’ll be the first to tell you she’s worthless. Or ugly. Or something equally wrong.

And it hurts my heart so very badly, not because all those things are untrue, but because to her, they are. 

I’m sure it will come as a surprise to exactly ZERO people when I say this, but Dead Poets Society is one of my all-time favorite movies that I don’t own (DAN WHY DON’T I OWN THIS MOVIE?!?!). One of my favorite quotes from the film comes from the character of John Keating, played by Robin Williams:

No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.

Whether you believe it or not, words have power. They have the power to build us up and they have the power to break us down, either in one fell swoop or in tiny bits and pieces, methodically chipped away over a period of years. And as loud as the words other people say to you can be, the words that come out of your own mouth — bubbling over from whatever is in your heart – are, strictly from a physical standpoint, the loudest ones. 

shh

The season of Lent began yesterday and, as you all know, I love to fast things for Lent — my hair straightener, all liquids except water, fried foods, the list goes on and on. But this year, I chose to fast something less tangible.

Words. 

Not cuss words, mind you. But certain words that I can’t write here on this blog. Words that, when strung together in lengthy, negative diatribes, damage my spirit. Words that break me down bit by bit. Words that change my world but not for the better. Words that, when flying out of my mouth, are the loudest in my own ears.

I hate hearing all the things Kay says about herself. It is heartbreaking and infuriating. But even more than that, I hate that she hears them. Because in this screwed up world, there are enough people who can say crappy things about ourselves. Why must we give them fuel for their fire?

I can hear you, Kay. Can you? Can you hear you? If so, could you stop talking about yourself for one minute and let me talk about you? And let me talk about how you know how to make anyone laugh. Let me talk about how you sing so beautifully it gives my goosebumps goosebumps. And let me talk about how you’re so stinking smart and capable and can do literally whatever you set your mind to.

I can hear me. Can you?

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new and sleep.

So, hey, already skipped a day. Off to a stellar start, friends!

SUNDAY:

I’m having a hard time choosing what one thing to be grateful for. The entire day from start to finish was perfect. It started out at church, where I got to play a piano that used to belong to Elton John and then see my dear friends’ children get baptized. After that, we all hung out at said friends’ house to eat and celebrate and LET ME TELL YOU, Naples brought out the big guns weather-wise. It was only (!!!) 80 degrees, with a slight breeze, and no clouds in the sky. We sprawled out on blankets in the backyard under trees and sipped wine as we watched all the kids bound about on the springy grass, and all the while my smart phone lay dormant.

And don’t even get me started on the cookies.

But I’ll simplify it to this: today I am grateful for new. I am thankful for new weather patterns, new friends, and that all of this “new” is slowly backing up to make way for “normal”. And I like that.

MONDAY:

Today I’m grateful for Trader Joe’s. (Okay, who isn’t?)

But I’m also grateful for a sweet baby who LOVES to sleep. On top of sleeping all night, my little one is currently on hour three of his afternoon nap. (Called so because he naps the entire afternoon.) I think I’ll join in on the fun.

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month of thankfulness 2013.

There is no doubt that my family has been through some ish the past few months. From moving away from our friends and family to our baby’s seizure to this miscarriage, we’ve been bracing ourselves for the next wave to hit.

But, even still, there are new mercies each day. And it would do my spirit well to acknowledge these gifts of grace publicly so that I’m held accountable by the internet to not be a total buzz kill all the time. Because no one likes that, right?

So each day during the month of November, I’m going to blog about at least one thing I’m grateful for. Let’s be real — as a work-from-home mom it’s always  challenge to find time to blog at least once a WEEK let alone once a DAY, so some of my posts will be kinda short and sweet. But it’s really important to make a point to be grateful each day for one month to turn my stinkin’ thinkin’ back into the rainbows and unicorns I’m used to.

Today’s is easy; last night, I got a package in the mail from my friends in Tallahassee. Check out the contents of this bad boy:

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In case you can’t really see in the picture, here are some highlights:

  • Guatemalan coffee beans!
  • Nail polish.
  • Dr. Pepper flavored Lip Smackers.
  • A homemade loaf of bread. (Which is delicious as is but when slathered in butter is ZOMG-worthy.)
  • Mustache duct tape.
  • A naked lady light switch cover.
  • A 1Direction notebook.
  • Tons of origami cranes made out of book pages.

I seriously have the best friends. Such an awesome blessing to come across. Thanks guys!

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when we make ourselves bleed.

It is Sunday and I don’t normally blog on Sundays but I foolishly downed a grande Starbucks iced latte this morning so I’ll be awake and vibrating until Tuesday so MIGHT AS WELL EXPEL SOME FINGER ENERGY, AM I RIGHT? (The piano is getting slaughtered as soon as I’m done with this.)

Failure and grace are on my heart today, because:

  • I just got done writing an apology letter to a mother in our congregation for our streaming platform being down this morning during her son’s baptism.
  • Dan had to apologize for not being the husband/father I needed him to be on Friday.
  • And a few days prior to that, I had to send an awkwardly phrased apology email to a mentor whose blessings on me I have not exactly honored.

There have been a lot of “I’m sorry”s floating around my head this week, thrown both at and from me. A lot of disappointments. A lot of failures.

It’s easy for me to forgive Dan because he’s so silly and wonderful. But my mentor forgave me (for probably the millionth time) and I’m crossing my fingers that this mother will also forgive me. However, even though the reality of their forgiveness is within my reach, I still find it hard to forgive myself.

Last night I went to dinner with some ladies from our church. My friend Kimberly told us a story of her son’s experience at a local water park. There is an area that has big, floating lily pads with a rope suspended above them. The idea is that you can jump from lily pad to lily pad and use the rope to help you across.

Kimberly’s son decided to make his way across by only hanging on to the rope and not touching down on any of the lily pads. When he got to the other side, his hands were blistered and bleeding.

“Why didn’t you stop when you were hurting?” she asked.

“Because I didn’t want to fail,” he said.

WHAT.

Whenever someone forgives me for wronging them, it’s like I look down on their grace like her son did those lily pads. I dismiss it and choose instead to cling to my shame as punishment — a thick, tough, splintery rope — and mentally beat myself up. In a sense, I make myself bleed because I’m so upset that I failed in the first place.

Is it failure, though? Is it?

To admit you need help? To admit you made a mistake? To step down on a lily pad? To apologize to someone and say, “I missed the mark and I’ll try to do better next time,” and to let their grace be enough? 

Perhaps when we find ourselves in pain we should stop, step down on a lily pad, and apologize instead of making ourselves bleed unnecessarily.

And then, we move on, more aware of the reality of love and grace and mercy and redemption than we are of the lies of shame and guilt.

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things i love thursday! (august 22, 2013)

You’ll notice it’s been awhile since I posted a TiLT. From the worst Tuesday to a busy season at work, it’s been hard for me to stop and really grasp onto gratitude. But that’s not an excuse. There is always something to be grateful for, and when you don’t choose to acknowledge it, it only hurts you. Amidst Dax’s illness and all the other craziness of my life that is beyond my control, I should have made it a priority to sit down and record the things for which I am grateful to preserve my spirit. I didn’t, and that was detrimental to my already precarious situation.

BUT IT IS A NEW DAY OF A NEW WEEK! And each day is another second chance to get it right.

thirteenmonthscollage

THINGS FOR WHICH I AM GRATEFUL THIS WEEK:

  • Second chances.
  • My little boy is thirteen months old! BAH. Look at all that cuteness. JUST LOOK AT IT AND TELL ME IT DOESN’T MAKE YOU GO, “!!!”
  • Jars of Clay’s new album isn’t out yet, but it’s streaming for free here. You’re welcome.
  • The time after Dax goes to bed but before Dan and I go to bed.
  • Dinners in.
  • The ability to rent movies from Amazon WITHOUT LEAVING THE HOUSE! (Go go gadget laziness!)
  • The sound of acoustic pianos.
  • Emeals.
  • Knowing enough about food that I can whip up some sort of dinner from whatever is in the kitchen.
  • Smoothies that hide spinach.
  • Encouraging text messages.
  • Silly Snapchats.
  • Long naps.
  • Getting encouraging messages about how my blog has helped others. (Also file this under THINGS THAT MADE ME CRY THIS WEEK.)
  • Needing to drive to Ft. Myers for work, which allows for lots of drive-jamming.
  • When Dan’s Galaxy-equivalent of Siri says, “Ft. Myers” she pronounces it, “Eff-Tee Myers.”
  • Making friends!
  • Splurging on new clothes for the first time in OH I DON’T KNOW EVER?
  • Meeting and chatting up Ileanna, born and raised in Athens, Greece, who did my pedicure this past weekend. What a lovely person. Seriously.
  • Randomly ballroom dancing in the middle of Barnes & Noble.
  • Dax signs for “milk” now! He doesn’t do it correctly – he waves instead of squeezes — but I know what he’s trying to say because he always accompanies it with pulling on my shirt.
  • Baby sea turtles!
  • A parody of “Teach Me How to Dougie” that is “Teach Me How To Breastfeed.” It’s equally hilarious and informative! Do yourself a favor, if you’re not squeamish about boobs, and take a gander.
  • Bath time.
  • Dax finding it hilarious when Dan pretends to barf.
  • Not sure why, but lately, Dax is mega snuggly-clingy. Like all he does all day is nurse and cuddle. It’s bad for homemaking productivity but I am savoring it.

What do you love this week?

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things i love thursday! (july 25, 2013)

Hello lovelies! Especially all of you new followers. Every Thursday I try to post a list of things for which I am grateful. Keeps my spirit on the upswing, you know? You should try it. Check it out, lots of wonderful things happened this week!

dax_bday

THINGS THAT MADE ME SMILE THIS WEEK:

  • My baby boy turned one. ONE!
  • My mom, aunt, cousin, and his wife all came down to Naples for Dax’s birthday. I teared up when they pulled in (and when they left) because I just love them so, and I love that they care so much about Dax to drive 8 hours in a day just to spend time with him. (That’s my mom in the picture above.)
  • Making cupcakes from scratch with the husband. Confectioner sugar storm!
  • Being Freshly Pressed on WordPress! Huzzah!
  • A quiet house at the end of the day.
  • Playing a real piano. Nothing better.
  • Being randomly invited over to friends’ house for dinner.
  • Fun at the pool with my little boy.
  • Anything buffalo flavored. Pizza, pitas, whatever. I will eat it.
  • Lunch times out with coworkers.
  • Starbucks two days in a row!
  • Being ambushed by naps.
  • Whatever compels my baby boy to randomly crawl onto me and cuddle me for no reason. (Last time was ten minutes of cuddles! Love him!)
  • Trashy magazines. (Sometimes you just gotta give in to the trash.)
  • Sketti night.
  • Having nurse friends I can text when I accidentally BURN MY LEG by spilling BOILING WATER ON IT. (#fail)
  • Gifts and cards in the mail for Dax! Including…
  • A stuffed pony that gallops and sings that Dax is (LOLOLOLOLOL) totally 100% terrified of. (Sorry Liz! Hahahaha he cries whenever it turns on! And I laugh because I’m terrible!)
  • Seeing a Taco Bell employee get fired right after he handed me my food.
  • Bubble baths.
  • Also, showering long enough to shave my legs.
  • Breakfast dates with my boy. We share strawberries.
  • The Hufflepuff anklet my husband made me on his last mission trip.

What do you love this week? I love your gratitude lists! Comment and let me know!

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