Monthly Archives: December 2012

A Sunday Kind of Love : Marianna Paige

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This week’s love is Marianna Paige. I just discovered her a few days ago. She writes little poems, phrases and creates whimsical illustrations. They are just a collection of her thoughts and drawings. There is a great mix of fun and profound which makes for a perfect way to spend an extra 5 minutes while waiting in line at the supermarket. She also uses a typewriter to compose most of her written pieces. Old-school Mairanna. I like it.

Again, I haven’t read everything she has written. So, if you visit her blog and find something offensive, I apologize.

Here are a few of my favorites:

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What to do when you feel small

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My family.

To say that today is a ‘small’ day would be an understatement. It hasn’t been a small day. It hasn’t been a small month even. It has been a small year.

2012…the year everything shrunk.

From the outside looking in, I’m sure it doesn’t appear this way. But in the inner cavities of my little heart the smallness crowds me.

This has been a year where things for those around me seem to have blown up. Their friendships, their finances, their careers, their families, their influence and skills… surged in 2012.

I’ve worked hard, prayed, and done my best. Being overlooked is painful, but I would have preferred it this year. Instead I was seen. Very seen. Weakness and awkward attempts were hidden from no one. I am blessed to be surrounded by support and encouragement, but I just didn’t have moves like Jagger in 2012.

So, reviewing my year I am struggling to get over my sense of smallness. It is a totally self-inflicted viewpoint, I know. I wish I could say that this past year I dealt with this emotion well.

Oh, to say that I prayed and fasted and memorized scripture and served my peers to help them succeed even more.

But I didn’t. Heck no, I didn’t. I pushed as hard as I could. I wrestled with envy and let it win most of the time. I minimized the fruit of people around me. I plotted how to gain more success. I smiled when I didn’t mean it. Maybe even to you.

Embarrassing, right? I know you did stupid things this year too, so I don’t feel totally exposed here.

It seems like most people I have talked to lately are struggling with the same thing. So, what should we do when we feel small?

  • Confess. No, you don’t have to post it on the internet like me. You should tell someone though. Amazing what bringing people in does.
  • Grow. This sounds like the obvious solution, no? Well, I am planning on growing this next year. Not trying to get bigger than my friends, just grow. I want to do a better job this year than last. Period. And the outcome of how large my growth is will be up to God. I’m at peace with that…I think.
  • Realize that bigger isn’t always better. Big towns are better than small towns. Big blogs are better than small blogs. Big churches are better than little churches…or so I tend to think. But, it’s just not true. Bigger isn’t better. There is a purpose in smallness and mid-size. We need to recognize that more.
  • Keep dreaming. What happened in our lives last year doesn’t have to dictate what will happen this year. God loves a good surprise. Plus, God doesn’t use cumulative GPAs to rank us. Each day is new.

So, that is my humiliating confession that I will most likely regret posting just a few hours from now. Hope it helps those of you who feel like 2012 shrunk you too.

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Filed under Faith, My Life Thus Far

A Sunday Kind of Love: Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist

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bittersweet

via Shauna Niequist

If you are looking for a good book to read over the holidays, look no further. This is the one. It is one of my new go-tos for reading. It is funny and deeply raw at the same time. I’m in love. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“It’s not hard to decide what you want your life to be about. What’s hard, she said, is figuring out what you’re willing to give up in order to do the things you really care about.”

“When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow.”

“…sometimes the happiest ending isn’t the one you keep longing for, but something you absolutely cannot see from where you are.”

If you find yourself in a tender place this season or in the middle of transition , you’ll love it. I promise.

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How I Survive Doomsdays & The End of The World

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Don’t worry. It is juice not alcohol in the glasses.

This is me the night the world was suppossed to end. Remember Y2K? I was a senior in high shool, and I heard months of build up about the impending disaster that would send the whole world into chaos and ultimately an unavoidable doom.

Some of my friends actually stopped studying because they were convinced that the Internet would combust and all their scores would be lost. No, I’m not joking.

Other friends stockpiled water and hosted prayer meetings on New Years Eve. No, I’m not joking.

I actually knew a family that had backpacks packed for each family member with survival items. They also buried supplies around their land so that over time when their supplies depleted they had secret stashes that no one knew about. No, I’m not joking.

New Years Eve (aka the predicted last night of a civilized earth) started with my hitting a deer. Actually, the deer hit me. Honestly, he ran full speed into the side of my moving car. That was the closest I came to being hit by a freak asteroid on Y2K. Except the deer died, not me. The rest of the night was spent hanging out at my friend Lauren’s house. If you are going to enter into a freak Internet meltdown Armageddon you might as well be with friends, right? Unless you are Liv Tyler, then you spend your Armageddon with Ben Affleck.

I survived Y2k so what’s my plan for surviving this Mayan doomsday? I’m gonna wake up on Saturday morning. Just like any other day. That is my plan.

Some of you wonder if the world really is ending. With the decline of education and the rise of Honey Boo Boo and all…

No, seriously. There is some rough stuff going on in the world and maybe you found this post looking for answers. I can’t tell you when the world will end, but I can tell you how to find peace instead of anxiety amidst it all. Jesus.

He gives a peace that mankind longs for and a destiny that speaks to the aching of our souls. Good thing for you, He works nights. So if you are laying awake tonight wondering what tomorrow holds…I suggest you talk to Him about it. He promises to answer.

 

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Been thinking about this post today. Thought I’d repost it.

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The Question That Will Change Your Life

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This question really will change your life. I have asked it countless times. Sure, 95% of the time it doesn’t change a thing. The majority of my “What ifs”  never materialize or are forgotten five minutes after I’ve spoken them.

I have a billion “What ifs”  in a day. Many are ridiculously ambitions and driven by the emotion of the moment. However, some stick. I have moved cities, forged new relationships, and set off on fantastic adventures thanks to this question.

What if I just saved up my money for a year and went to Italy?

What if I adopted?

What if I let myself really fall in love?

What if I’m wrong?

What if I went with some friends and planted a church?

What if I applied for that career in the fashion industry regardless of my lack of experience?

What if I wrote down what I am thinking?

What if I stopped apologizing for the way I see the world?

What if I wore red lipstick even though it seems fantastically bold?

What if it was different than I’ve always thought?

What if I sold most of what I own to get out of debt?

What if I tried something new? Something I’ve never considered doing?

My list has led me to countless countries, taken me into the vulnerable depths of God’s love, merged my life with amazing friends, and birth dreams I’d never considered before.

When my life seems stuck, I always go back to this question. I sit with God and ask the biggest “What if ” I can think of. Bigger, bolder, beyond my ability…that is the space God lives in. That is the life He dreams for me.

I’m taking the next few weeks to ask some new “What ifs” for 2013. What is your favorite “What if” question? I may use it as I dream into 2013!

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Filed under Lifestyle, My Life Thus Far, Whimsy

Sunday Kind Of Love : My Team Jersey

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via Lovocracy

Today’s Sunday Kind of Love is this amazing t-shirt. For those who are punctually challenged like me, consider this our team jersey. You can grab yours over at Lovocracy. A great Christmas gift for so many people I know. Including myself. Go team!

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What This Mama Can Do About Sandy Hook

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With my littles

Like all of you, I spent the day yesterday in a horrified shock. I cried off and on the whole day. It was nauseating and I couldn’t seem to shake it. I prayed so hard, for so many whose names I didn’t know. What on earth, God???

I went to bed last night haunted by the reality that there are 20 parents whose kids are no longer sleeping down the hall. My daughter went to school yesterday too, but she came home.

This morning I woke realizing that I can’t do so many things I want to & I felt hopeless.

I can’t homeschool my kids and never let them go into public again. After days like yesterday this is what I would prefer to do.

I can’t talk to each parent who lost a child & hear their story.

I can’t understand & fix gun control laws in a day. 

I can’t go back and change what happened in those classrooms yesterday. 

I also realized that there are things I can do. Things that will make a difference today and for the days ahead. I’m sure there will be more, but these are what I am starting with today.

I can keep praying.

I can value every person in front of me & teach my children to do the same.

I can make sure that I always leave my kids with a blessing. How many times have I been annoyed with my kids  or been a frantic mom when I drop them off somewhere? Yesterday was a reminder that I want to always part with a smile & a blessing.

I can make sure my home is a refuge for my children. In a world that feels so unsafe & unpredictable, I want my home to be a  refuge for my kids. A place of peace and security where they can play and dream without fear.

I can teach my kids to value and give dignity to human life. What if we raised up a generation that stood up to bullies, that befriended the lonely, that wasn’t consumed with image but others. I can do my best to raise kids who ask what they can offer instead of what they can take.

I can hold fast that despite all the emotion & anger, I have a God who is good & will hold all things together.

“…therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.”

– Hebrews 6:18

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Filed under Faith, Fire, Kiddos

My Life As A Gang Member

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I make a hoodie look straight boss.

Don’t be fooled. I may look like a red-headed mama, but I’m totally gangsta. I’ll tell you why…

This month marks three years since we started our adoption process. The number of things God has taught me through this could easily fill a book, and perhaps one day they will.

These past few weeks though I have been thinking about how powerful it is to be chosen. Out of all the people in all the world, how amazing to be picked. Obviously, that translates to God and the way He chooses me in spite of the many reasons I think He shouldn’t.

I’ve been thinking about how it works in terms of friends. The people who could fill their lives and free hours with anybody & they choose me. When they are crying, they choose to call me. When they are excited, they choose to text me. My friends choose me and that says a lot.

Sure, there are plenty of people who don’t choose me. People who didn’t return my calls, people who hired someone else, people who followed another blog and not mine… More people haven’t chosen me than have. Sometimes we can focus on the ones who haven’t picked us.

Recently, I’m really amazed and humbled at my friends who do choose me. What an honor to be invited to be a part of someone’s life. What an honor to have friends, no matter how many, who choose you back. We really are like a small gang.

So, gang, cheers to you! Cheers to us choosing each other.

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Questions No One Asks Me

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I’m gearing up for all the parties about to come at me this holiday season. Class parties at my kids schools, church parties, work parties…lots of parties. I am not really sure how introverts make it through the holidays. I’m an extrovert, but the amount of small talk that happens during all the holiday events is a bit taxing even for me.

Clusters of people standing around asking questions and getting to know each other. Networking & connecting over fruitcakes and cider. Over the years I have noticed there are some questions that no one ever asks me. The following are questions I regularly hear asked to others…but never me:

1. Did you make that? I hear this asked to other moms regularly. Their beaded necklace, their felt headband, their daughter’s dress…never me. No one ever asks if I made anything I ever wear.

2. Can I tweet that? Honestly, I hear this multiple times a week. Someone says something profound or funny and is asked if they mind being quoted on social media. I never get asked that, but for the record you are free to ‘tweet’ me.

3. Did you see the game? Guess I don’t look like a sports fan. I’m glad I get left out of these conversations because I would have to have them clarify which game. Then they would tell me the teams & I still wouldn’t even know what sport we are talking about.

4. Just get back from vacation? You look so tan and refreshed! I heard this question at my daughter’s school the other day between some moms. This has never been asked of me. Ever. First, I never look tan. Even if I did just get back from vacation. Second, I haven’t looked refreshed since my oldest was born six years ago.

5. Want to train for a marathon with us? My social circles have big problems. They all enjoy running. I could fill up all my fingers if I counted the times I’ve overheard this question in the past year. Not once was I asked. Kinda offended. Kinda relieved.

6. Can you take our picture? This is funny to me. I am not a horrible picture taker & am a bit stumped as to why I am never asked to take a picture for someeone. Always, without fail, the people will ask the person standing next to me to do the honors.

Those are just six of the questions I am never asked. I am sure there are more. What questions are you never asked? I’d love to know!

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December 12, 2012 · 4:46 pm