Monthly Archives: July 2013

the plauge


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July 30, 2013 · 3:44 pm



I know you are all wondering what in the world this post will be about. I’ll cut to the chase. I got to talk to one of my best friends today. Her name is Erika & she is in Haiti. It was so nice to catch up and really let her in to all the things going on in deep inside.

Amazing how powerful the simple act of letting people in is. Sharing with them the unimpressive, broken and humiliating parts of you. Not just telling them, but allowing them to get in there with you & hold you up. Much like Aaron & Moses. Moses was tired, but Aaron held his arms up until the battle was won.

That is what true community does. They get in there & support you when the battle feels like too much. We love the idea of being vulnerable and supporting each other. It is an idea often talked about but rarely done. The reason for that is quite simple. For someone to hold me up, really hold me up, they would have to support me under my arms. In the armpits.

For someone to support me I will have to be incredibly vulnerable. If I want to support someone else, I will have to be selfless and get in there. Into the sticky, smelly, and gross parts.

I have to let go of hiding my weakness. I have to let go of feeling impressive and embrace my need. —> click to tweet.

My guess is that most of us have lost battles. Perhaps a battle with sin, fear, discouragement, a battle in marriage… In my life I can tell you a key to whether I won or lost a fight was directly related to my allowing someone to hold me up.

If you are in a fight, let someone in.

They can’t hold you up by your smile or your manicured nails. Let them hold you up under your arms. Tell them the ugly bits. Confess the sin you are embarrassed by. Admit the failures that haunt you. Be unimpressive. Need God more than you need an image.

Loose your shame & win your battles.


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a celebrity in Taiwan


Remember that time I was in Taiwan? Oh, you don’t? Well, Tuesdays this summer are all about travel on Lark & Bloom. So, I guess now is a good time to tell you that I am famous in Asia.

Taiwan was good to me. The extent of my stay was the airport, but there was so much to love. It was just a layover on the way to Thailand, but it gave me some very enriching experiences.

I Am A Celebrity In Taiwan

First, was the Hello Kitty Lounge. I would like to note that this is not a children’s area. This lounge is for adult passengers & it was in fact, full of adults. Hello Kitty was splashed throughout the entire space.  If you go to Taiwan you most definitely need to stop by. Don’t worry, you can’t miss it. There are life size cutouts of Hello Kitty pointing the way to the lounge throughout the entire airport.

Also, I had some delightful dumplings and some kind of ginger soup for breakfast. Yes, breakfast. When in Taiwan…

I Am A Celebrity In Taiwan

The best part about my visit was the fact that I am apparently a celebrity in Taiwan. My friend Amy was traveling with me and she was the first to notice it. Everyone was staring at me. Then they started whispering to each other. Next thing we know their phones come out & photos are being taken. Here I am sitting at the gate where these people had just snapped my photo.

I Am A Celebrity In Taiwan

My loyal fans began to nonchalantly try and see the name on my boarding pass. I didn’t oblige. They would know I am not whatever celebrity they thought I was & I would go back to basic pedestrian status.

I would like to thank the person in the Taiwan airport that started the rumor that I was famous. It was great fun & by far the best lie ever told about me. Sadly, when I returned to America I was not greeted with the same respect & fanfare.

The rumor died somewhere over the Pacific.

Sadly  I didn’t think to use the hype of being famous to see if I could get bumped to first class. Oh, well. There is always next time.

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the Mayor of Boston


This week’s Sunday Kind of Love comes from the mayor of Boston. Chances are you have seen the hoopla regarding the cover of the latest Rolling Stone magazine. I loved what the mayor had to say about it. Curious what you guys think about the whole thing?


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10 lessons I learned from watching the Bachelor

When I was in college, my roommates loved to watch The Bachelor. Sadly, I must admit I ended up watching it with them by default sometimes. It still seems that I can’t escape it thanks to Facebook, Twitter & all things Internet. All sarcasm aside, I will admit there were some great lessons on love we can learn from this high quality show.
1. Grown women wear prom dresses. It appears that the average grown woman has multiple prom/pageant dresses. I had no idea. All this time, I was buying wardrobe staples like Real Simple told me to. I guess I was led astray.
2. You must have perfect teeth. Any stains or blemishes are unacceptable. Good orthodontics in high school are required if you want to find love on national TV.
3. Don’t be ethnic. Is it just me, or are all the contestants white? Or at least mostly white. How do minorities find love I wonder? Surely they don’t have to actually build normal relationships & go on dates to places like Starbucks?!? So unfair.
4. Avoid any advice from anyone who has a successful marriage.  Contestants don’t consult couples who have been married 50 years. They use the more reliable method of drinking lots of alcohol and just “following their heart”.
5.  Wear LOTS of lip gloss. This is a dating MUST. I don’t care if you are going scuba diving in Tahiti or having dinner in Paris. A critical key to finding love is looking like you just ate fried chicken.
6. America has nothing to do on Monday nights. The fact that millions of people are spending a chunk of their time watching people compete for love tells me that Monday night needs some new activities.
7. Men Like Helicopter Rides. I have never in my life heard a girl say, “Oh, I WISH he would take me on a romantic helicopter ride.” And yet, the men seem to always plan dates on them. Maybe because you can’t really talk against the noise of the chopper…I don’t know…
8. Only Date On Vacation. If the show teaches us anything it is that dating can only truly be achieved by doing nothing but dating. You can’t work, or talk to your family. Or go anywhere really. You must devote  yourself entirely to falling in love.
9. Each day you should make ‘the most important decision of your life’. You can’t miss this step. If you don’t make “the most important decision of your life” every day, then you are probably really out of touch with your feelings. To tell him about your ex-fiance, your parents divorce, that you never graduated from college…these should ALL be the biggest decisions you have ever made. These “most important decisions of your life” should always be made while talking to a camera crew and drinking a cocktail.
10. There Is An Entire Generation Who Know Nothing About Love. The contestants and the viewers represent a generation that craves love, but doesn’t know how to get it. Our understanding of sacrifice and commitment are lacking when it comes to relationships. In the end the contestants and viewers who mimicked them are left with broken hearts.
I have a suggestion. Instead of watching a failed model of falling in love, lets spend those few hours a week working on our relationships. We should choose to BE in love with our spouse. We should become better people for the ones we love. Serving our friends instead of competing and comparing ourselves against them. I know it isn’t reality TV material, but I think we might have a better shot at the happy ending.
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Filed under Funny, Lifestyle, My Life Thus Far, Whimsy

The Motorcycle Midget


Note: Today’s post is written from one of the greatest storytellers I know…my friend Robert. Tuesdays are dedicated to travel this summer & his post hits the mark. Enjoy the midget & his motorcycle.)

Several years ago on a bus in the middle of Turkey I met a man who liked to talk. I was living overseas at the time and had just finished a week’s vacation on the Mediterranean where I mostly just sat in the sand eating lamb shanks and staring at the water. As a natural introvert, sitting in sand and staring at water was crucial for my sanity.

The man across the aisle was telling me a story in Turkish. I smiled and nodded, catching only snippets of what he said, but still managed to piece together a sad story of a wife who had recently passed away, leaving him to raise his little boy alone. The boy sat beside him on the bus, reading a children’s book. I tried my best to offer my sympathies but ended up sounding like a Neanderthal at a funeral home.

“Me sorry for loss. Life be hard sometimes.”

Regardless of my linguistic limitations, however, we soon became fast friends. That’s how things go down in Turkey. You can make a friend in 4.2 seconds in the middle of nowhere with little more than a muttered greeting. Before you know it you’re at their home reclining on pillows, drinking tea and eating baklava.

Nine hours later the bus arrived at Istanbul, pulled into a station crowded with travelers and cut its engine.

“Do you need a ride?” my friend asked as we exited the bus. I’d assumed to take a taxi across town to my apartment.

“Are you sure?” I asked. “It’s not too much trouble?”

“No problem!” he insisted, then raised two fisted hands while making a vroom-vroom sound. Perhaps it was bus ride fatigue, but my brain failed to compute what he had just pantomimed. It wasn’t until I actually saw the motorcycle that I realized what was about to happen.

Three passengers, plus luggage, to be balanced upon a teetering, two-wheeled machine, in rush hour Istanbul traffic no less.

Did I mention he was a midget?

The guy was just a hair taller than his little boy. I stared in slack-jawed wonder as he hefted our baggage onto a thin metal wrack behind the seat, strapped them down with a frayed bungee chord, then lifted his son to straddle the gas tank before climbing up himself. His feet didn’t even touch the ground.

I glanced about to see if anyone was watching. “Are you sure about this?” I asked.

“Come on!” he beckoned, strapping on a full sized helmet that made him look exactly like a Turkish bobble head doll. The irony that neither his son nor I was offered the same cranial protection was beyond my ability to express. There seemed no way out. No escape. I wanted to run for my life but couldn’t bring myself to refuse his hospitality.

In the end I took a deep breath, exhaled a prayer, and climbed on behind them like a Sasquatch with arms wrapped tight around both midget and son.

After several wobbling tries my friend managed to kick-start the engine, revved it hard, then popped the clutch with a lurch to send us barreling forward. We swerved right, then left, then right again before gaining enough speed to stabilize. Into the meat grinder of Istanbul traffic we went, weaving between cars, dashing across lanes.

I squinted my eyes shut and screamed the loudest and most desperate prayer of my life.

I was going to die.

As we zoomed across the Bosphorus Strait bridge, water gleaming sapphire blue a hundred feet below, another motorcycle drew up alongside us. It was a crotch rocket driven by a guy clad in black leather and helmet. He took one look at our merry band then shook his finger at us in disgust before darting forward and out of sight.

At that moment, terrified as I was, I couldn’t help but smile, then snicker, then laugh out loud. For I was likely the only person on the planet riding a motorcycle behind a midget and a little boy.

What if I’d stayed home that day? Maybe watched some good shows on the tube? Would I be writing this story now, after all these years? So often in my life I am tempted to settle for the highway of the predictable. But I don’t recall a single time I’ve looked back and said to myself, “Wow, wasn’t that such an amazing time of average?”

I lived in Turkey to start a church, but along the way I met a midget with a motorcycle, and I lived to tell the tale.

What stories are you living at the moment? I promise they’re there, if you’ll just step out your door.

  image Robert is a father of three and husband of one. When he is not reading, writing, cooking, eating, or walking in the woods, he enjoys telling stories about his awkward adventures on planet earth. To partake of said adventures, join him at .

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A letter to Trayvon Martin’s mother


Ms. Sybrina Fulton,

I woke up this morning and you instantly came to mind. I made the coffee and started getting ready for church.  but my thoughts kept drifting back to you wondering what you are doing. What do you do after all of this?

I imagine you looking at his pictures, playing over the last conversations and wondering a million “what if’s”. Mostly, I imagine you sit in immeasurable pain for a life that has been lost.

This entire situation of Trayvon has struck a chord with me. You see, I have a four-year old son. There are the usual challenges of raising a little boy. Put the seat down, stop scaring your sister, and where did you hide my keys?

But my son is white. That eliminates him from so many of the challenges your son faced.

However, soon I will have an African-American son. He will grow up side by side with his white brother, but I am well aware that his experiences will be quite different.

They will be from the same family, the same economic status and the same educational background, but they will not be seen the same. Not by some at least.

I bet my sons will wear hoodies and like to eat Skittles too.

I’m not here to speculate on what the verdict should have been last night. Should Zimmerman be found guilty or not… I wasn’t there and I can’t answer those questions.

Somehow though shrugging my shoulder’s and saying ” I dunno…” doesn’t seem like enough. But what can I do?

I’m writing you this because I can’t get Trayvon back, I can’t give you the verdict you hoped for and I can’t take away your pain. But I am going to do something.

I am going to address my own prejudices that I have. I’d like to say I have none, but it isn’t true.

When I see someone who looks different from me, I will look them in the eye and smile. I want my kids to see me me setting an example of valuing people. No matter if they are a hispanic college student , a black teen with a hoodie or a white suburban mom like me. Everyone matters.

And every time I eat Skittles, I am going to think about your son. And I will remember that the world is not yet as it should be.

Your son’s life mattered. Not simply because his death sparked a national dialogue about race and laws. His life mattered because he mattered. His dreams, stories and things that only you as his mama knew about.

He mattered. And you matter Ms. Fulton. I’m praying that God would give you comfort beyond any human measure.

I’m also praying for Ms. Zimmerman. Watching your son be tried for murder – deserved or not –  must be heartbreaking in its own way.

Ms. Fulton, know that mamas across America are thinking of you today. Because your son could have been our son.

Thoughts & prayers,

Elizabeth Griffin


Filed under current events, Faith, Fire, My Life Thus Far, Politics

big dreams not small realities


I decided today that it was time to create something new. Life provides me plenty of limitations. Areas that need improvement. Aspects of myself that I can’t change no matter how hard I try. Situations and circumstances that are beyond my control but within my realm of worry.

On Tuesday I talked about pain. Lets be honest, pain & frustration take a while to work out. I’m not saying to brush off your pain or minimize the value of what you are walking through. It’s just that sometimes I draw the process out waaaaaay longer than I need to.

If I am not careful I get fixated on all that isn’t going right at the moment. My small reality becomes a big shadow covering everything else. Tunnel vision sets in and I don’t see anything except my failure and disappointment.

Truth be told, God has way bigger plans for me than the reality I am seeing at the moment. He isn’t staring at my flaws, my minimal resources, or the restrictions that come with my situation. God has big dreams for me.

It is time to focus on big dreams not small realities.—> click to tweet

No more thinking about what we did wrong. We will do better next time.

No more wondering if it is too late to get started. Just time to start.

No more waiting until things change. Time to risk where we are right now with what we have.

Let go of the small reality you have your grip on. Chase something new, something bigger. Time to create a fresh & new dream with God.

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my beautiful pain


In all my travels around the world, one thing remains the same. No matter what culture I am in, the reality of pain is present. Another Tuesday another travel story. This post is about pain.

The fall of 2008 took me to Ko Samui, Thailand for a conference. My incredible husband stayed home with the kids and I flew across the water to paradise.

Greeting me on my arrival was pure beauty. Beaches were incredible and even the alleyways were filled with vendor stalls and the smell of grilled meats.

I walked down the beach staring at the emerald-green mountains climbing up from the crystal clear water. Breathtaking times a million.

Along the way I stopped and talked to a middle-aged Thai woman. As we spoke, her eyes filled with a deep sadness. The pain of poverty and not knowing what sort of future her uneducated children will have. She was vulnerable, raw and uncensored. She was beautiful in her pain.

I’ve seen that sort of pain in every country. The emotion of loss, fear, and desperation. From the drug addict in Amsterdam to the refugee in the Sudan. Each carries a haunting ache. More than the attractions and natural wonders of nations I have visited, I remember the eyes of pain that I have seen.

Vulnerability is compelling. It reaches out and grabs people. Makes us stare. Inside we wonder if we will ever be brave enough to come undone too.

This is a picture of me crying real tears over real pain. Not gonna lie, its been a rough month for me in certain areas. Feeling like too much & not enough. Hoping for an adoption that has gone on for over 3 years. Waiting for distant dreams to come to pass. Coming up short in areas I had previously felt confident in.

I found myself sitting on my bathroom floor two days ago crying. That is when I snapped this pic. I guess I intuitively knew I would end up writing about it and would need a photo to go with the post. Seems funny now.

As I sat on the floor, I felt the desire to pull away. Step back, cover up and hide the flaws that were screaming neon at the moment. Shame seemed like comfort. Why would I ever show someone this weakness inside of me?

Across my mind came thoughts of the people I’ve met, the brokeness they exemplified and the shocking strength they represented.

Pain deconstructs our masks, walls and pride until all that is left is flesh and bone. Bare humanity. Tears of desperation for a Savior who will not fail. —> click to tweet

Tears streaming, contacts burning. I needed the Gospel to be true for me. In that moment & in that space. I needed a God that would find me, show me love and shelter me from the storm.

Completely unimpressive, I sat in my pain and came undone. Unraveling in the presence of One who knows exactly how to put me back together.

I chose to hope that Jesus would be enough. I chose to believe that by holding onto Him through all the disappointments I will be able to look back and say that I too know what a “hope against hope”  faith looks like.

A certain power lies in these places of vulnerability. A formidable beauty grows.

I cling to God and He works. He transforms my impatience, fear, anger and pride. The cracks and ruins begin to glow with Hope.

No need to worry about all that we are doing wrong and failing at. We simply cling to One who is making all things right. We find Him in our beautiful pain.

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Filed under Adoption, Beauty, Faith, Fire, Global, Going Places, My Life Thus Far, Uncategorized, Whimsy

Sunday Kind of Love : ‘Merica


This week was the 4th of July, and today’s love is ‘Merica. I think that July 4th may be my favorite holiday. Okay, fine. My very favorite holiday is Christmas, but this is a close second. I’m sharing my pictures with you from the festivities.

It started with a neighborhood parade and ended with a BBQ with friends. But, I’ll just let you see a few highlights.


Me & the littles.


Bikes decorated & balloons distributed. Time to start this parade people.


Can you handle the cuteness of this girl & her dog?


About 500 people from our neighborhood took part in the parade. Community involvement makes me happy.


A reminder on a mailbox of the sons & daughters who never came home. Just about made me cry.


My brother & his family were there.


Free snow cones for all who walked in the parade. Yum.


Snow cones with cousins


This lady brought her patriotic doll to the festivities. But this is America and she can do that.


BBQ time. The guys were SO thrilled to have kid sparklers. No flames. No booms. Just what they were hoping for.


Fire = happy 4 yr old


One of America’s finest.


Friends make holidays better.

imageGod Bless ‘Merica.



Filed under Lifestyle, My Life Thus Far, Politics