Monday, February 20, 2017

shine your light over here, please

Yesterday, Addison and I were walking Flash, Addie's dog, around the block.
We were arguing over who would have to pick up the poop and who would carry it.
Because clearly, I am emotionally immature when it comes to poop.
(Not my dog. I shouldn't have to carry poop. That's all I'm saying.)

Our conversation veered into former job aspirations that I have had.
(There is no rhyme or reason to our conversations. Clearly.)

Addie asked, "Mom, have you ever worked in a nursing home?"
I said, "Yes. For one day."
"Only one day?"
"I thought I wanted to be a nurse so I signed up for a nurse's aide course in high school."
"What happened?"

"My first day an elderly woman asked me to help her.
She was upset because she needed help going to the bathroom....
she started crying. I didn't know how to help her. So I started crying with her."
Addie said, "You are the worst nurse ever."
"Yes. Yes, I am."
"What else did you want to be?"
"Well, I thought I wanted to be counselor."

Addie laughed.
"Mom, you would be horrible at that."
"Why do you say that?"
"You had to get off of Facebook because you couldn't stand reading sad things."
Funny how he would know that about me in two seconds
and it took me four college semesters of psychology to figure it out.

I didn't tell him I had also crashed and burned as a short term missionary in college.
Living overseas is no joke. Missionaries are rockstars. That's all I have to say.
Nursing. Counseling. Missions. Not in my wheelhouse.

"I have always wanted to help people. It just took me a while to figure out how."
"I encourage people."
"Oh." He didn't look impressed.
"With my writing."
It was clear that I was making no impact on him with my words.

But I felt like I had an epiphany somewhere between fighting with him about dog poop
and him telling me I would be a horrible counselor.

Sometimes we have to try a thing or 12 before we realize, "Hey, I am horrible at that."
Sometimes we have to recognize what we aren't before we can embrace who we are.

We all have a certain kind of light to bring to this world. Light that only we can bring.
I bring mine with blog posts and humiliating personal stories and talking about Jesus.
I bring it with baking scones and teaching Sunday School and laughing with friends.

It may take us upwards of 40 years to figure out how to shine best...but we should keep at it.
It is a life long journey of learning how to shine.
And I am still figuring it all out.

Others bring their light with knitting or dentistry or auto repair.
I can't do any of those things. But I so need all of them in my life.
Especially the knitting...I love cute scarves.

We are each created with innate gifts and a purpose.
Each season of life seems to invite new ways to shine.
God wants us to spread all that light and creativity around.
We need each other's brightness and beauty.
This life is too dark without it.

When we step into all that God has for us and let Him use us? The world gets better.
There is less crying. More goodness. Less hurting. More helping.
More clarity. More provision. More sharing. More joy. More loving.

I need all that good stuff that you bring to this world. We all do.
So as soon as you figure it out? Shine that light right over here.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

welcome to the crazy train

Kay Warren says that in the journey of life, the tracks of joy and sorrow run parallel.

It is not so much peaks and valleys.
She says that we experience the highs and lows of living simultaneously during this amazing ride.
There is so much wisdom and truth in recognizing that.

But I think there might be a third track. It is neither joy or sorrow.
It is the crazy track.
That loop-de-loop that comes at you out of nowhere, flings you up in the air,
whirls you head over heels and leaves you feeling undone.
Its not either happy or is the unpredictability of real living.
It leaves us breathless and with crazy hair. And sometimes unkempt eyebrows.
Maybe that is just me.
My personal grooming skills always take a hit when life is crazy

My third track right now is this looming move into a smaller home.
Our move date got pushed back since the kitchen at our new house is still being renovated.
So I am living with boxes for another month. And papers.
I would like to have my life sorted before we move.

This is my kitchen table right now. And a representation of what I feel like inside.

I will accept your pity at this time.

I have tax papers.
Insurance papers.
School papers.
Animal license papers.
A gift box to be sent out.
Organizational bins...that are clearly not being used.
Some plastic cutlery. In case I want to picnic.
The essential coffee cup.
Mint extract. Just because.
And some rice crackers. For snacking.
Because I need to nosh while I feeling wild inside.

Craziness comes in all shapes and sizes.

For my sister, Jenny, right now, it is sleep depravity with a one year old toddler.
She can't stop yawning. Or wanting to lay down.
She told me this week, "I can barely stay awake in the afternoon at work."
I have two words for her. Coffee. And Jesus.

She has both. Her Keurig is holding her mornings together.
And she told me that she regularly prays, "Help me, Jesus."
It is the only prayer that she can formulate.

But she takes it one step further and encourages herself, mid-loop-de-loop.
Immediately after she prays, she reminds herself,
"He IS helping me."

And He is.
The first line of Psalm 118:7 says, "The Lord is with me; He is my helper."
He is with Jenny. He is with me. He is with you.
In the craziness.

He is helping us. With His goodness. His love. His mercy.
And His unfathomable resources. With His light. With His grace.

He never gets off the ride. No matter how crazy.
Arms wrapped around us as we get ready to somersault through life,
He is saying, "Don't forget. I've got you."

And I feel He is unconcerned about eyebrows.
I think mostly He wants us to remember, no matter what loop-de-loop we are facing,
He is right there.
And His help? Makes me feel...hopeful.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

I am not up...or down with the times #notonfleek #atleastiamnotwearingmomjeans

I think my fashion sense has plummeted since I was forced to wear orthopedic shoes
for 4 months.
It has not gotten much better since the doc upped the ante and let me wear tennis shoes.

It is difficult to look svelte when your shoes have rubber insoles and laces.
I told my sister, Jenny, "I am going to be wearing hoodies for the next 3 months."
When I went to a baby shower last month with a silky top and Nikes.
I just told my friends, "Just look at my face. I can't reconcile my shoes and my outfit."
They were kind. But I think a few stole some glances at my shoes.

This morning I woke to an email in my inbox that said,

But are they hot with cross fit trainers is my question?
And do they go with hoodies? Or joggers?
Because that is where I am living.

The other day in the store, I saw a scarf so big it looked like a blanket.
And I thought, "How?" And then walked over to look at more tennis shoes.
Because at least I know how to put them on.

It is not just my fashion sense wavering at this point in life.
My communication SKILLZ with a "z" have taken a hit in the last few years.
I am not down with the lingo.
As you can see by me saying "down with the lingo" which is a
1970's/1980's language hybrid.

Scott listened to a podcast the other day talking about the current slang.
He has been introducing these new phrases into our conversation so we can relate to the children. #notreally#hesaysthemtomakethechildrenangry #theycantstandit #parentfun

The other day he told me, "Sue, you look FLEEK."
Jack said, "What did you just say?"
I told him, "Scott, it is ON FLEEK not FLEEK."
Jack looked at me and said, "Dad, Mom is right but Mom. Don't ever say that again."
Scott answered, "This place is about to get TURNT."
Jack may have thrown up a little in his mouth.
I asked, "What's TURNT?"
Scott said, "It's like LIT. Like IT'S ON."
Jack was desperate, "STOP TALKING."
Who knew you could torment a child just with words?
I said, "#FUNNY!"
Apparently, my hash-tagging made him want to die inside.
Jack left the room.

It is a fine line to walk between staying current and not looking like an idiot.
I'm just saying.
I am slowly transitioning to wearing Doc Martens Mary Jane's...
the shoes I wore in my college years. #retro
Super supportive soles.#toehealing
But are they fashionable? I say yes.
But Addison looked at me the other day like I was wearing clown shoes.
When I ask Will what he thinks about my style choices he says, "You're my mom."
Which means, "You look horrible and I can't look you in the eye but I love you anyway."

All I know is that I will not be picking the boys up from school in a choker top.
Or a scarf/blanket/tarp.
Because I would probably trip on the excessive fabric and break another toe.

But I think I may be able to pull off some cute outfits with my Docs that don't involve hoodies.
So in other words....
It's about to get TURNT!

p.s. don't tell Jack that I said TURNT so many will make him cry.
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