Wednesday, December 28, 2016

We Don't Have to Disguise the Hurt

We’ve all heard it. The words of that well-meaning family member, or friend. They don’t know how to make things better for us, so they offer words that they feel, will lift us out of our frustration.

“It will all work out.”

“It will be ok. You’ll see.”

“Someday, (insert name) will understand all you did for them.”

“You’ll be fine.”

And the words go on and on and on.

They aren’t bad words. But they also, aren’t always TRUE words.

Everything ISN’T always fine.

Everything DOESN’T always work out.

So, here’s what I want to tell you. Grieve about it. Be angry about it. God is big enough to handle it.

Acknowledge that something unfair happened to you and in your life. Don’t try to bury it. Don’t try to ignore it. Don’t try to pretend you are stronger than the unfairness of what happened, or the moments and dreams that you may have lost.

Grieve about it. It’s OK. In fact, it might be necessary.

If you ever want to be healthy, whole, and able to move on with your life… you need to be able to dwell in your frustration, sorrow, anger, and hurt for a bit.

For a “bit.”  Please, don’t live there forever. There are so many more GOOD moments in your life that are waiting to unfold and happen!  But do allow yourself the freedom to feel what you are feeling. There’s nothing in the world wrong with that.

Not everyone gets a fair shake in life. I wish we all did. So many things take left turns and plummets in our lives. But we don’t have to let them defeat us forever. We can turn them around into our testimonies.

Some of those spots in our hearts will always remain a little soft. Tears will always cling to our eyes when we speak of them. Let them. That time HURT. It’s ok to say it, and let people know it.

We don’t have to be tough all of the time. We don’t have to disguise the hurt.

If the bottom drops out of your dreams, you can still climb back up from that pit. Maybe a little wiser because of what you’ve endured. But climb up, you can.

Just take it rung by rung, step by step.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

It Doesn't Matter If You Are Different Than Everyone Else Around You

I’m not a big scarf girl. They look so cute on women, but they kind of strangle me a bit.

I don’t like coffee. I know the whole world pretty much, wants to meet at the local coffee shop for conversation and “catch-up” chats. But I don’t drink coffee. It’s ok. I can have a smoothie, or something else. It’s just the fact that people ASSUME.

I love cats. I always have. I love how you don’t have to worry about where you step in your grass, lest you might step in the wrong spot. I love how they purr when they are happy. I love how they love to be loved and snuggled. And I LOVE how they love laying in the sunshine. Just. Like. Me.  But, this is a “dog” world.

And so, I’m often in the minority.

I don’t have a tattoo.

I don’t drink alcohol.

I don’t like Chinese food.

I HATE to camp and I detest running.

These are things that just astonish people at times. Because people often expect other people to be just like them. To like what they like. To enjoy what they enjoy.  It’s easy to think others are weird if they don’t do what the majority of the world is perceived to be doing.

But that’s ok with me.

I like what I like. I don’t like what I don’t like. That’s how God made me.

We so often want others to mirror ourselves. We feel more accepted, more normal, if others are a reflection of who we are and what we think. But it’s ok to have friends who DON’T mirror you. To enjoy people who are different. In fact, it can be very enjoyable. They can expose you to a lot of new and interesting things in life.

It doesn’t matter if you are different than everyone else around you. Standing out can be a great honor. It can immediately put you in a place of leadership and influence. Even if you are an introvert, people will watch and listen to you – intrigued by your differences. And, an individual is always more memorable than a “pack.”

So, be YOU. Be you in all of your intricate, unique glory. Soak in the thrill of enjoying something that may not be common. Enjoy being different and not having to partake in the trend or fad that everyone else is throwing themselves into.  Trust me…. If you didn’t want to wear a “beehive” hairdo in the 70’s and got made fun of for it? No one would know now. For everything has a time and a season.

You were created to be just as you are. Different than those around you.

Never try to reflect someone else. You are just as you should be.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

It Says So Much

“Honor God in all you do.”

One of my very first cell phones allowed me to put a phrase in the opening window. Those were the ones I chose. “Honor God in all you do.” I put them there, after hearing that phrase somewhere. I don’t recall where, but it was a phrase I wanted to ingrain into my heart.

It was a reminder of the kind of person I want to be. And what better place than your cell phone, than to have those words staring back at you all day long?

When I deal with things in life, I want my priorities to be straight. I want to honor God in every part of my day. Every part of my being. Every part of my choices.

When I’m mad about something… I want to honor God in the middle of that anger.

When my feelings have been hurt… I want to honor God as I deal with that hurt.

When God gives me responsibility, or power… I want to honor God in that elevated position of authority.

Raising my children, being a grandmother, and as a wife… I want to honor God as I carry out those roles.

Whatever it is that I run across in life – I want to be honorable, act honorable, and live honorably.

It says so much.

I have a long way to go. I have a lot of habits to break. A lot of pride to swallow. But little by little, year by year – I pray that I can take baby steps towards this goal, for I want God to find favor with me. I want Him to be pleased.

To be an honorable person. I can’t think of a better phrase that could be said about someone.

I pray, someday, it may be said of me.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Experience Makes You Who You Are

My kids went to karate when they were younger. One night, one of the instructors was talking to the parents, and explaining why they taught the kids, the way they taught. He explained that if you talk to the child, and tell them the right way to break a board with their foot, just telling them wouldn’t have the same effect as the child actually trying to break the board with their foot the wrong way.  Why? Because the wrong way hurts!!

Once you do it, and you feel how it hurts, you learn by experience. You learn the reasons why, and how come. 

I think it’s the same way with life.  So often we don’t want to go through something. We try to forget something that has happened to us in the past, or we even try to simply live life on auto-pilot, without realizing that it’s that very DAILY experience of living that life, that makes us who we are. 

We may not have fond memories of a past event, but it still shapes how we see the world, why we react the way we do, and where we are headed.

I think only trying to embrace the good things in our life can potentially be limiting.  The bad and painful stuff in our lives are what sometimes teach us the most!  We would not be who we are without it.  Our choices based on those events and experiences, mold and shape us – whether we like it or not. 

That’s why it’s never fair to say how we’d act or react in a certain situation. Because until you are in that spot, feeling those feelings, and going through those things – you just – don’t – know.

I want to learn, grow, and better myself because of challenges that I go through. And I want to be able to look back and see why I had to go through those things and how come God allowed me to be sifted in a certain way. I want to see that I learned from each experience and was stronger because of them.

We can go through life trying to pave our own way without acknowledging why we are meant to do something – OR - we can listen to what the whispering of experience in our life is trying to tell us and change our direction accordingly.

We can let it fuel us and make us wiser and stronger.

That’s the way I hope I choose. How about you?

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

When You Don't "Feel" God In Your Life

“I don’t feel God.”

“God just seems so far away. So distant.”

We walk through the desert sometimes in our lives. Those seasons ,where we feel torn in our very souls, because for whatever reasons, we can’t hear God.

We cry out to Him. We long for Him. And we get silence in return.

Those times seem to last for an eternity. The loneliness…. Unbearable. To be separated from God’s presence? To not feel His love? It can be confusing. Frustrating. Hurtful.

We have all had those times. Those seasons where it feels as if we are having to walk through our turmoil alone.

But God never abandons us. Even if we cannot feel Him there.

I’ve heard people say that if you can’t feel God, that it was probably you, that moved and not Him. True. But – what if – what if – He’s also just silently watching? What if He is strengthening u,s by withdrawing from us for a period? What if He is increasing our desire and our craving for Him and only Him?

Sometimes, it truly is US that is causing the void in life.  We are so good about DOING work for God, without seeking the King Himself. Without spending quiet time with Him and prioritizing it. I am raising my hand high on this one. I am guilty, too.

And I believe that our misplaced priorities, our lack of one-on-one time with Him, greatly affects how we see, hear, and feel Him in our lives.

But as I was thinking on all of this, I also believe that sometimes, God is very near to us when we can’t feel Him. He may be closer than the times when we DO feel Him.

Those times when we feel so alone? When we can’t quite seem to touch Him with our heart or catch a glimpse of His breath? Those may be the times that He is closest of all. God in His great love can mold us by being silent. He is there. Oh yes, He is there. He is loving. He is guiding. And He is protecting still. But He is silent. Silent because of His great love for us. Maybe He is silent, because He wants to make our legs stronger, our perseverance longer, and our love deeper.

God knows Satan is cunning. He knows He is distracting. So maybe, just maybe, He uses these times to increase our ability to fight the evil one.

He is increasing the might of His army.

I know that when I’ve looked back on the battles in my life – they were miserable. But God was there. Every time. He was faithful. EVERY TIME.

So, my friend, if you can’t feel God today, please don’t despair.  Look and see if you’re the one who has moved and created the distance. If not, then trust His heart. Trust in His love for you. Even if you feel like you are getting weaker….if you hang in there…. that weakness can turn into great strength. Great compassion.

I wish we all felt the Lord’s presence always. But even if I don’t feel Him, I know He is there. I just know it.

Because He has never abandoned me.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

To Be Slightly, Wrinkled, Tousled, and HUMAN

I don’t know what it is about Texas. Maybe it’s the warmer weather, or maybe it has nothing to do with Texas at all. Maybe it’s me. I’m maturing.  But I feel more and more comfortable to let others see me “not at my best.”

I’ve gone to the hospital in the middle of the night with the neighbor. No makeup. Messy hair. Tshirt and sport shorts. It was gloriously not attractive.

I go out more often with straight hair. And I don’t care who sees me.

I take my daughter to school before I’m ready. Now, hear me out. I used to always, ALWAYS get ready (clothes, hair, and makeup) before taking my girls to school. Now, I often take my girl with my hair pulled up into a messy bun. And sometimes – heaven forbid – I’m still in my sleepwear. But when I say this, I never, ever get out of the car. I just drop her off and then head back home. I do have boundaries!

I’m not getting sloppy.  I still care about my appearance. I’m just getting “comfortable.”

And it feels good.

It feels good to not have to look perfect all of the time.

It feels good to answer the door and know that I have no makeup on, but I can still be myself. It feels good to know people will accept me, knowing that they have seen multiple sides of me….not just my best.

I feel like I’m enjoying life more. I’m enjoying myself more.

These are just moments. Moments where it doesn’t matter as much if I’m in my best clothes and my hair is just right.  They are moments where I’ve decided to ease up on my expectations of myself.  Life has gotten busier, and I’ve decided that I don’t want to wear myself out more than necessary.

So, I’ve prioritized.

You know what? I like the new me. I like the prioritized “me.”  Why did it take me so long to understand that I didn’t have to wear makeup to drop the kids off at school?  No one even sees me, for heavens sake!

We are so hard on ourselves. These things may seem silly to some of you, but to others – you understand. You know the pressure we can put on ourselves to have it all together.

But when we can break down the absurdity of some of the expectations we put on ourselves, we can give ourselves permission to be “raw.” To be real. To be slightly wrinkled, tousled, and HUMAN.

It can be very loveable. It can be very endearing.

It can remind us, that underneath it all, we are ALL imperfect. And that’s okay.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

There Are Just Those Times

There are times where I just need to be myself. I need to be BY myself.

There are times where I need to be able to relax and know that no one is watching me.

Not because I have things to hide.  Not because I don’t feel like I can be myself in the presence of others. But simply, because I need to be able to just BE, without the feedback or looks from others.

I need to be with my own soul. With my own heart. With my own mind.

I need to clear the cobwebs from my head.

There are just those times.  Times where I need to gather myself and understand where I may be feeling “burnout” in my life. Look at what I’m prioritizing, and what needs to be realigned.

I need to do this by myself. With myself. FOR myself.

I can feel it when I go for great lengths of time without getting time to be with myself. I get a little…. Out of alignment.  I feel somewhat off-kilter.  I may be going about things in my life just fine, but inside……. Inside I know I need some ME time.

Time in my own company recharges my soul. It refuels my drive to do the things I’m gifted to do. It feeds me in a way that not many other things can do.

I can close my eyes and think without the voices of others filling my head.

I can dream without the interruptions of other people’s dreams.

I can tell myself hard truths that I need to hear. And I can pamper myself when I need some extra tenderness and softness during challenging seasons.

I can – most of all – hear my God more clearly speak to me. I can more clearly see who He has made me to be. And that can get lost in the busyness of the days.

So, there are those times, where I crave to be alone. Not lonely. Because I will be far from it. But, alone to rediscover and refocus what I want to be about, each year of my life.

You have to go down deep inside at times, to know what the inside wants. So I will cherish those times that I am given to be with my own soul.  I will crave them when they creep away from me, until I can access them again.

I will continue to value the gift of them when they are given to me. Those sweet, sweet times that hold so many treasures to be uncovered.

They give me vision. They give me rest.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

What If We Were Meant To Be Soldiers?

This world is tough.  And we get discouraged. We wonder – “Where are our heroes?”

Life can seem overwhelming. We watch the news in disgust. How did we get to be this kind of a society? This kind of a world?

We look to our leaders. We look to our parents. We look to anyone – but ourselves.  We want someone else to solve the world’s problems, so that we can live more peacefully. So that we can feel safe.

So that we can be happy.

But, what if we are meant to be the soldiers? What if we are the ones called to be the warriors?

Are we willing to get in the fight for the very souls of those we love?

So much is at stake, each and every day.  I look at my kids’ future, my grandkids’ future. And I close my eyes to block out what my heart fears for them. For what I don’t want them to have to experience.

But life keeps moving forward. Time keeps on ticking. And I don’t want to just sit by and watch a world go by. I want to use my voice for good. I want to use my voice to motivate. I want to use my voice to pray and move people into action.

What if something I said could save a life? What if something I did could save a family?

What if instead of sitting and complaining about the state of the world… I am meant to be a soldier in it?

There is so much to fight for. So much to believe in. Am I willing to fight for it? Are you?  Am I willing despite the risks?

Someone has to be.

I am sensitive. I love deeply. I feel for the pain that others feel. So, although I may seem “soft” to others on the outside….. I know I can have inner strength that makes me a warrior on the inside.  A warrior that fights for what’s right and for the very people I proclaim to love.

I choose to take up my sword and shield. I choose to risk getting hurt and wounded – because I know running won’t solve anything. Hiding won’t protect me.

So, I raise my tired head and I prepare to head to the battlefield…. The last place I want to be. But the only place I may be MEANT to be.

Today – someone needs to know that they are being loved. Someone needs to know that they are being prayed for. And someone needs to know that someone is willing to fight for them. To fight for their future.

Someone needs to know there is still good. Still love. Still kindness. And that there is still wrong and right.

I am willing. I’m willing to fight for what is right. 

I am willing to be a soldier.

Are you?

Monday, October 31, 2016

We Can All Be Found

The buffer.  We all implement a “buffer zone” in our lives.  For some of us, it’s physically isolating ourselves from relationships – from getting hurt.  For some of us, it’s the opposite. We participate in any and everything. We have FOMO (Fear of missing out.)

There are some of us who use the buffer to keep others away from us. We set ourselves apart by our physical look; our attitude.

Still others of us, push ourselves to our limits and then some. We have to excel at everything. We don’t know how to relax.

It’s the buffer. We all use it to varying degrees.

Thankfully, some of us have learned to only use it temporarily as we heal from hurts. Others of us, somehow, have allowed it to become permanent in our lives – in our hearts.

We’ve all been hurt. We’ve all stumbled.  It can be easy to panic and say, “We’re not ready” to put ourselves out there again.  We’re not ready to take the risk of falling again. Of hurting again.

Being at the bottom isn’t fun. Being on the outside doesn’t feel good. And losing, hurts.

But the thing is, we can’t find what we don’t allow ourselves to search for.  We can’t fly if we stay on the ground.  We can’t be free if we stay in the chains.

A buffer in our lives is good sometimes. It’s good to give us healing time. It’s good to show us how much healthier we can live with boundaries in place in our lives.

It’s good to take a “ pause” sometimes. To think. To rest. To wait on our own souls to catch up to the moment.

Otherwise, we need to learn to let go of those buffers we’ve set in place in our lives.

It can be scary at first. No one said bravery would come easy.  But we can overcome. Step by step. Grasp by grasp.

We all lose sometimes. But we can all be found.

Take the step. Make the choice. Take the risk.  Lift your eyes upward, and reach for your life. Your joy.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Somewhere Along the Line, You Stopped Being You

Oh, those sweet dreams of our childhood. We dreamed of being rockstars, doctors, lawyers, mommies and daddies.  We dreamed of being loved. Of having perfect little families, in beautiful little houses.

As we grew up – little by little – we got jaded.  Life changed for us. For most of us, our parents taught us we could change the world. They would tell us how special we were, and that we could do whatever we wanted to do.

But then – we’d go out on that job interview, and we’d be told we weren’t good enough. Classmates would bully us, and point out all of our flaws.  We’d feel rejected by peers and the opposite sex. But worst of all? We believed what they had to say about us.

We let their perceptions of us, change us.

And we stopped being “us.”

Instead of knowing our value, we looked for it in the eyes of others.

Instead of facing the wind that blew against us, we let it blow us down altogether.

To know what your worth means, you live like it. You go out and you make the life you know you can have. You don’t wait for it to come to you.

Yes, there will be punches and hits along the way. Life hits hard sometimes.  But if you can take the punches; still knowing who you are, and what you are worth…you will always grow.

Not everyone will see your value or your worth. They will make fun of you. Hinder you. Tell you that you can’t do what you want to do. But it’s up to you to never let them tell you who you are. Despite the hits you will take in life, keep….being….you.

You are priceless. Believe in yourself, and in who you can be. In who you, ARE.

Because if you can’t believe in yourself, no one else is going to take a chance on you, either.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Never Quit On Yourself

Some obstacles and challenges in life seem overwhelming.  It can seem like we are all alone, fighting the battles of the world on our front doorstep.

It’s easy to get discouraged. It’s easy to want to give up and just let the “world” have its way with us. 

But I want to encourage you to fight for yourself.  Fight for your life, for your family, for your values, and for your dreams. 

Never, ever, quit on yourself.

Some odds are insurmountable, yes. Some battles are very, very steep. That just means we have to grow stronger muscles to engage in them. The distance we have to go may be further, harder, or more challenging than someone else’s journey.  But go the distance.  Fight the battle!

There is never a reward in giving up on yourself. Never happiness to be found in saying, “I’m not worth it.”

I’m not guaranteeing you will win, or that you will succeed in whatever it is that you are fighting for. Sometimes you won’t. But you will win in other ways. You will know that you gave it everything you’ve got. You will know that you tried your best. You will KNOW, that you fought for what was important to you. And that is a lot.

Life changes. Circumstances change. You never know what is around that next corner. Stay the course, my friend. You owe it to yourself and you owe it to your life.

Never quit. Never quit on your dreams. Never quit on yourself.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Fighting for the Broken

Are you struggling? Do you feel like you aren’t…. quite… whole?

Emotions can do that to us. When we feel like no one values us. When we feel neglected, unloved, cast aside, weird, or “different.”

If you are struggling to be happy, to feel worthwhile, and joyful… you are not alone.

There is a world full of people just like you. People who have shattered pieces they are carrying around inside of their heart. Pieces broken by others that they truly cared about. Whatever the situation…. Lots of us are walking around needing some healing and mending.

My heart goes out to you. 

I may not know what it’s like to hurt every moment I’m awake – but I do know what it’s like to hurt in a moment.

I may not understand what it’s like to deal with depression – but I do know what it’s like to get depressed in small installments.

I may not have had parents who rejected me – but I’ve had friends reject me.

I cannot fathom what it’s like to lose a child – but I do know what it’s like to grieve, as I’ve lost many, many people close to me.

I don’t know what it’s like to LIVE broken. But I do know what it’s like to BE broken. 

And I’m fighting for you.

I care.

I don’t want anyone to live life feeling shattered all of the time. Feeling hopeless.

So, I’m fighting for you. I’m fighting to get through to you. To let you see that there IS hope. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. There ARE genuine, caring people out there. There IS acceptance, healing, and help to be found.

Life CAN change.

You matter. And I want you to not only know that… but I want you to FEEL that.

And I will keep fighting for you, and everyone else who is living broken.

There is too much beauty, joy, and love in life for anyone to miss out on it. Struggles are real. But they can be overcome. Just believe and reach out.

No one has to live life broken all of the time.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Words Are Never JUST Words

There are moments in time, where I look back on my life, and see how certain conversations, moments, and things that were said, forever shaped who I was and who I wanted to be.

I remember a moment in high school. I was a special education aid, and a student came into class really upset. He said some other kids were teasing him about being, “retarded.” He looked at me and said, “I know I have a mental problem…but…but… I’m not retarded!”

I have never forgotten it. In that moment, I saw that he still hurt. He still understood “mean.” I decided to always stick up for those who were weaker than I was.  For people can’t always fight for themselves.

There was that other time when I was a teen and I was at evening church.  A bunch of kids were talking and goofing off. A lady got really upset because she couldn’t see or hear the film being shown.  I felt badly for her, as I had been trying to watch too. So after the service, I went up to her and nervously told her I was sorry for their actions.  She asked my name and I gave it.

I was walking out of the main sanctuary with my parents, when she caught up to us. She proceeded to tell my parents what had happened, and told them that they had raised an amazing young lady to be able to come up to her and apologize like that. I had been scared to be punished for the actions of others – but instead, I was humbled as I was verbally acknowledged and rewarded for mature, honest, and kind behavior.

That moment, whether I knew it or not, probably drilled home in me, more than anything, the desire I felt in wanting to be honest and respectful to others.

There are many moments like those two examples. I’m sure there are many moments in your life, as well. Conversations and words uttered, that didn’t just exist in the moment. They lived on in your heart and soul, long after the event; forever shaping who you chose to be.

I so pray they were good ones.  But even if unkind words are uttered – it’s always still our choice to prove someone wrong. To CHOOSE to be better, wiser, and more than they said we were.

The cycle lives on. As we grow up, we utter words and have conversations with those younger than us. Our kids, our nieces and nephews; our grandkids. And we never know what conversations and words live on long after we’ve said them.

Careless words can last. Encouraging words can influence for years.

I KNOW I’ve made mistakes in the things I’ve said at times. I can only pray that the effort I’ve made to be intentional, generous, loving, and forgiving, outweighs those thoughtless and unfortunate “other” moments I’ve played in someone’s life.

I can only hope that any negative words uttered from my lips – are FAR fewer than the positive, loving ones - so that they don’t stick with someone’s heart long after they were said.

I pray that something I say is life-giving to someone else. And I pray, that it will help shape their view of life and of themselves, in a positive way. For words are never JUST words.

They are moments in time that shape a soul forever. And so many souls are waiting to be molded and shaped.

What will our legacy on another human life be? What impact will our words have made?

Time will tell. One way, or another.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Never Be Afraid Of Your Own Voice

Stuffers. Some of us are “stuffers.” We “stuff” our feelings deep down inside of us. Maybe, we don’t like confrontation. Maybe we don’t want to hurt someone else’s feelings. Lots of maybe’s.

The thing about “stuffers,” is that at some point, the bottle gets full.

And things explode or overflow.

Usually, it’s not in the constructive way we’d prefer. Instead of an honest conversation, we yell at a loved one over something silly. Instead of addressing something that bothers us, we pull away and a rift forms in the relationship.

There is strength in all of us. Some of us just need to look a little deeper to find it.

We all have a voice. We all have feelings. Feelings are never wrong. Sometimes, they just may not have all the facts, or may interpret something in a way that causes misunderstandings.

You don’t have to be a bully to speak up. You don’t have to be confrontative. You can speak up in a soft, gentle voice. But, speak up for yourself. Value yourself enough, and value a relationship enough, to use your voice to express what is going on inside of you.

Of course, not all conversations will end the way we’d prefer. Some people will never understand or “get” us. But don’t we owe it to ourselves to try?

We hurt ourselves when we bury our feelings. They eat away at our joy, our peace, and our self-worth.

Don’t be afraid of what those feelings stand for. Don’t be afraid of what you feel.

You have a voice. Use it. Use it respectfully, but use it.  You owe it to yourself.

Friday, September 30, 2016


Life is so fast.

People walk fast. They eat fast. They drop in and out of friends’ houses fast. They drive fast and they sometimes talk and hug fast.

Everything seems to be “amped” up.

We are busy. Our schedules are jam-packed. Even sleep can seem fast on those days when we drop into bed late and rise way before we’d like to.

It’s all just…so…fast.

My children are growing up – fast. Time seems to be going by – fast.  Yet I just want it all to slow down.

I want to linger.

I want to linger on my walk and enjoy the beauty around me.

I want to linger while I eat. Relish the food I’m tasting and the atmosphere.

I want to linger with my friends and linger in bed in the mornings so I feel rested instead of rushed.

I want to look around me. Smell things. Taste them – not just gulp them. I want to soak in the relationships and people God has placed in my life.

Do you remember -  lingering?

I remember lingering after church when I was a little girl. I’d walk around this square bench that went around a tree. I’d walk down one side, up the other, down the other, and then the other and back around again. I wasn’t bored. Sometimes I’d skip. Or just walk slowly. But I enjoyed it.

I remember lingering over meals when I was dating. Just trying to stretch time out to the maximum. Looking into each other’s eyes and delving deep into each other’s hearts with conversation and caring.

Lingering means something. It focuses outward instead of inward.

Lingering renews. Refreshes. And enjoys. “Fast” simply runs and accomplishes.

If I could choose between the two – I’d definitely choose lingering. How about you?

What choices can we make today to linger a little bit longer?  To find and tap back into that “something” that we all know we are missing in our daily life?

Don’t buy into “fast.” It’s not that pretty or popular and it will overstay its welcome quickly. Opt instead for “linger.” It’s genuine, authentic, and caring. And it will add more to your life than the time you could ever give in return.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Are You With Me?

Are you with me, when I act like a goofball? Will you still love me when I gain weight?

Are you with me, when I accidentally rip your favorite shirt? Are you still proud of who I am, when I cry ugly tears at a movie?

I can be needier than I should be, at times. 

I can overreact.

I can have bad breath after eating a huge burger with onions.

I am not perfect. But I love life.  Sometimes this may mean that I try to dance to my favorite tunes or belt them out loud in the car.  I might forget to vacuum and dust the house, because I got caught up in something fun. And I may want to hug you too many times in public, because I am just – so – proud – of – you.

Are you still with me in this thing called life?

Will you still be my friend? Even on my bad days when I get irritated easily?

Will you still love me as my spouse? Even when I don’t look my best?

Will you love me, my child? Even if I embarrass you in front of your friends?

Everyone needs people in their life who are with them through thick and thin. People who laugh at the dorky moments of life, cry together over the heartbreaks, and weave a story of ups and downs together.

Everyone needs someone who they know won’t abandon them when the going gets tough. When the ground gets rocky. Or when the ship starts tossing on the seas.

Everyone needs someone to believe in them.  Someone to love them, and see past the outward – into the inward.

Are you that person? Are you with your friend….. your spouse….  Your child…. Your siblings….. for life? Not because you HAVE to, but because you WANT to?

That’s what people are asking.  They are asking, “Are you still with me?”

How about it?