I Am Thankful

thanksandgratitude

This month has been so FULL. I was sick for almost half of it, and to be completely honest, it was a struggle to be grateful and thankful when I wanted to stab things. But, I had breakfast this morning with a couple of friends, and as we were leaving, I talked about how I’ve been resting in these moments with my little Kinsey girl. She is a joy. I know that parents say that a lot, but I actually mean it 100%. She’s keeping me on my toes, and just yesterday as she was falling off the couch, she actually grabbed onto my nipple like it was a handle to catch herself. I yelled, and she said “ouch?” And, I said “yeah, Kinsey, that was definitely an ouch.” But then, I just started laughing, because seriously?! And Kinsey modeled my laugh, and fell onto the floor laughing like she couldn’t breathe. She’s hysterical. She’s also the perfect little beauty, and the best part of my days.

So, I am thankful. Really thankful, actually. This year has been a very blessed year. New houses, vacations, jobs, new nephews, and though we also experienced heartache in ways that we never thought was possible…we ARE blessed. We have much. And so, I plan to relish in all of the moments, and enjoy this holiday with the perspective that we live in abundance.

I am also really thankful for all of you. This blog, and the relationships that I have developed through it continue to bless me. I’ve had moments where I think “what’s the point?” but then I get an email from one of you, or a comment on an old post, and I realize that we are all in this together. We’ve bonded through the trials of motherhood, and laughed together when things have felt impossible. I’ve met so many new people who have experienced baby loss just like us, and they continue to encourage me with their “just checking in” emails. I am thankful that I chose to share a part of myself here, in this space, because I was able to meet so many great people by doing so.

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends. From the bottom of my heart.

 

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We Need A Flawless Constant

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{photo by Julie de Waroquier)

Sometimes, I feel like I put out a lot of effort, and it often feels like it goes unanswered.

It feels empty, sometimes.

I force myself to send it out, and often get nothing back.

But, I am starting to realize that this may just be what it is supposed to be.

A lot of push and pull.

A lot of unanswered effort.

We win sometimes, but we will lose most of the time.

Community is messy.

Heart friends are hard to find.

When you find them, you have to hold on like hell, because they are rare.

This sounds depressing, but I think it might be freeing.

Freeing to realize that beauty isn’t supposed to be common.

Divine moments would be less divine if they were experienced so frequently.

It may be better to expect to be burned. Low expectations means there is less disappointment and more surprises.

And since I’m stating a bunch of really hard truths, I will say this:

I don’t want to be the kind of person who doesn’t trust others, in fear that they will hurt me. I want to give people the benefit of the doubt. I want to leap, and then tend to my heart. But, I am starting to understand why guarding and protecting our little hearts is necessary.

And, I may not be very good at it.

I think I am at a place in my life where how I am treated, has little effect on my core. My faith has come too far to let people munk up its’ waters. I know who I am. I know where I stand. My ground is firm.

But, community can be messy.

Heart friends can be hard to find.

But, my spirit can not be weakened by others. I won’t allow it. I love myself too much to let other people be assholes to me.

That might be the most profound truth in this long list of self talk.

I love my family. Love my husband. Love my little daughter. I love us, too much, to let others wreak us.
And so, maybe I need to learn to jump a little less often. Maybe I need to learn to protect us harder. Maybe I can’t be the kind of person who trusts easy. Maybe, it is necessary to guard stronger. Because I love to love people, but in life, I’m learning that people don’t love back easy. We are too messy as a collective people to freely love each other, and do it well.

I think this is why we need a God that never fails. We need a flawless constant.

I do, at least.

{self talk: brought to you by me, in this strange little heart place that I am in}

Love a Stranger

Over the weekend, our neighbors had some friends of theirs move into their basement. A young couple with an almost 2 year old, were unpacking their very modest collection of things, and were moving into a 300 sqft basement. I am not even sure if this basement is more than cold cement. Bryant and I were sitting out on our patio and overheard bits and pieces of their story and it broke us. Their financial struggle was at a place that I found unimaginable, and watching their toddler play in the grass brought it all to another level.

Bryant and I decided we’d pick up a giftcard for them, not really knowing exactly how they were brought to this place, but not really feeling like the details were important. I did that on Monday, and had it sitting on the counter for a few days. I had tried making small conversation with the wife whenever she was outside, and was trying to just know her better before I gave it to her. On Wednesday, I just decided to walk over there and give it to her. I had been struggling with how she would respond, or if she would consider it offensive. I didn’t want it to be an intrusion of privacy or come off like we were looking down on them; but, on Wednesday, I had a moment where I accepted that my intentions may not be understood, but I needed to just do it anyway.

I walked out my front door and across the street and said “I really hope this isn’t awkward, or makes you feel uncomfortable, but my husband and I overheard a bit of what your family is going through, and we just wanted to say we are happy to have you here, and do something nice for you.” I handed it to her, and she said thank you, and shared a bit about how they ended up without a house, and I just listened and formally introduced myself and then came back home.

About 10 minutes later, there was a knock on my front door. I opened it and she was standing there sobbing. I hugged her, and she told me that it was her 25th birthday. She said she was out of diapers and food, and had been crying about it being her birthday and feeling overwhelmed by what they were going to do. Lots of tears were exchanged on my front porch.

I’m telling this story not to get praise or high fives. I’m telling it because I’m not sure how you can be a witness to this and not see God’s incredible timing. I didn’t know it was her birthday. I didn’t know very much about them at all, but I just suddenly got up enough courage to go over there. It was a fleeting moment of courage too. I think I went to the kitchen to get a glass of water or something, saw it sitting there, and just decided to do it already.

My faith was encouraged by the vulnerability that was exposed on my front porch yesterday. She told me that I was rare, and I felt my spirit send up a prayer. That moments like these wouldn’t be so rare; not just in my own life, but as humans. That we, as a collective community of people wouldn’t rarely help others, but that we would make it a habit.

Do something nice for someone today. Pull your neighbors weeds, or buy the stranger behind you a cup of coffee. It makes a difference.