Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Remember When Making Friends Wasn't So Difficult?

Here's the deal.  For my entire life, I've never really had trouble making friends.  And most of my life, except for a couple of miserable years in junior high, I always had friends.  It wasn't difficult for me to find someone who would be willing to stand in my corner.  Ya know, someone who would say, "I've got your back."  From almost every decade of my life, I could list at least one significant person who I considered a BFF.  (I want you to know who you are because I think most of you listed below actually read this blog.)

0-10             Jenny
11-20           Laura C.
21-30           Kara, Shannon, Laura O., Stephanie (College was a good time for me.)
31-Present   Erin

But can I just be honest with y'all?  Making friends as an adult in a town where you did not grow up isn't as easy as one may think.  Make that town a small town in the south and you've got a double whammy.  Yes, indeed, the Lord has blessed me with some amazing acquaintances around here and at church.  And I've been so embraced by my husband's childhood friends.  I would consider them my own friends, as well.  But it's just not quite the same.

And so here I am in a very difficult and unfamiliar space.  When I worked, I had my work friends, ya know?  But then when I decided to stay home my social network looked and sounded a lot like episodes of Barney the purple dinosaur.  I have almost completed my fifth year of being a stay-at-home mom.  Nothing has made me happier and nothing has been more fulfilling.  I wouldn't trade this gift for the world.  But every now and then, I long for female camaraderie. 

This longing a lot of us stay-at-home moms share is kept under wraps.  I think we worry about sounding needy.  To express our issue in a public setting could potentially scare people away.  Or at least that's what we worry about.  I hope this post will expose the need for friendship in a way that will encourage us to step out of our comfort zone, to walk out from underneath the shadow of fear and insecurity, and just be willing to be someone's friend. 

Adulthood and mommyhood can be a very lonely place.  No one is a friend like Jesus, that's true.  And it's quite easy to place expectation and the need for validation on one specific individual.  The problem with that is almost always we end up disappointed, because no one human being can validate us, love us, and give us a sense of worth and security better than Jesus, Himself.  But I do believe He calls us to be friends to one another.  I believe He takes great pleasure in seeing His children love Him by loving others.

So today, if you know someone who could use a friend or maybe just a phone call, won't you be willing?  Don't just send a text OR facebook.  I believe technology is stealing our friendships and we are slowly getting accustomed to interacting with a screen rather than a live human being.  Actually pick up the phone OR stop by someone's house and let them know you've been thinking about them.  You never know how your sacrifice of time and convenience can be the biggest gift of joy and love to someone else. 

Just sayin'...

Friday, June 15, 2012

Scripture Memory Verse 12

... even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. -Psalm 139:12 (NIV)


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Benadryl, My New Love

I think I mentioned in yesterday's post about my (not-so) little sleeping problem.  This has become a pretty big deal to me, because anyone who knows me knows that sleeping, to me, is a hobby.  I love sleeping.  Truly and verily.  

So to remedy the problem, I've tried...well...all sorts of things.

First, I took Tylenol PM.  This worked but I had to take it every night and since I don't have a headache every night, I thought the idea of taking Tylenol that often was not smart.  Second, I moved to Unisom.  This definitely worked, but unfortunately Unisom doesn't know when it's the start of a new day and momma has to function and be nice to 3 kids and what not. Third and finally, I took (take) Benadryl.  This has been the best fit so far, because I sleep well, am alert the next day, and it has helped with my minor allergy issues.  Bonus!

Yet!  I must say every good thing has a dark side (unless it's Jesus).  Taking Benadryl works but lemme just tell dreams have been WHACK, yaw.  Like the other night, I kept having this reoccurring dream where I needed to fill out paperwork for my bank, but they kept giving me the wrong paperwork and when I finally got the correct paperwork, I didn't understand how to properly fill it out.  OK, maybe this actually happened.

But last night, I made a colossal mistake.  As the hubs and I were casually watching television before it was time to turn off the lights for bed, he "just so happened" to turn the station to the movie Titanic.  Oh yes he did!  And could I turn away with Leonardo DiCaprio staring me in the face wanting to draw pictures of me while I'm only wearing a blue diamond necklace?  I think not.

(I mean who thinks of this stuff?!  It's sick, truly.)

So, after watching one of the most depressing events in history and bawling my eyes out to Celine singing The Heart Can Go On, I finally turned everything off and climbed into bed.  And since I so smartly set the stage for a great night of sweet dreams after a viewing of the Titanic, you can imagine how unnerved I was only to be woken up by what I thought was the 2nd coming of Christ.  We had a storm blow into our neck of the woods that produced such vicious lightening, that each time it thundered I waited for the trumpets to sound and the angels to shout Behold He Comes Riding On The Clouds!  It was something, folks.

Needless to say, I've had more restful nights than the last which is why I'm writing this completely pointless blog post today.  I'm hoping this will keep me awake long enough to avoid the urge to catnap while the house is finally quiet.  To nap would only mess up the little bit of sleep I'll actually get tonight thanks to Benadryl. 

Whew!  If you made it this far, you won't need Benadryl or Unisom or anything for that matter.  You can just read this again later and it'll do the trick.

Thanks for taking this journey with me, friends.  Blessings to you and yours.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Happy Wife, Happy Life, Happy Home

I am totally stealing this idea from Pinterest.  I read another woman's blog who did the same thing I'm about to do, and I found it inspiring.  So here it is...

I've been blessed to have several key women invest into my life and give me some of the best advice around.  I thought I'd share with you, because I believe the following five tidbits lead to a happy wife, happy life, happy home.  Enjoy...

1.  If you're like me, clean laundry is impossible to keep.  If you'll take the time to wash, dry, fold and put away one entire load of laundry a day, the task seems bearable.  Doing it this way has helped me stay on top of this necessary evil.

2.  When picking your children up from school in the car line, do your best to be off of your cell phone when they get into your vehicle.  I find this a great time to tell them how much you've missed them and find out about their day.  You trying to do that while talking on your phone just doesn't quite deliver the message you want them to have.

3.  I have also found it quite helpful to have a light snack for my kids in the car once I pick them up in car line at school.  You remember what it was like to come home from school starving.  This will minimize the harassment for food prior to dinnertime.

4.  I always seem to rest better when I know everything has been put away in its place before bedtime.  It's helpful for all the dishes to be put away out of the sink and for any clutter of the day to be put away in its place.  I even have the kids put their toys away before bed.

5.  I'm only 34 and I already have trouble sleeping at night.  I have found it quite helpful to keep the same bedtime and wake up time everyday.  What's even more helpful is when I get up early enough to exercise and spend some quality, uninterrupted time with the Lord.

These are all things other women have suggested to me, and I have found them quite helpful.  The thing is I NEVER have a week where I do each thing exactly the way I explained it everyday.  I'm not Superwoman, ya know?!  But with my OCD and constant need for structure, this creature of habit enjoys the order and sense of accomplishment these five pieces of advice bring.

What about you?  Any words of wisdom you've got to share with the rest of us?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Needing Your Input

I'm curious...

If you'd be willing and are comfortable, please comment to this post ANONYMOUSLY by answering the following question.

**Disclaimer:  You do NOT have to be attending a church at this current time to answer this question.  Without mentioning names or even specific examples, answer the following question as honestly as you can.

How could we make church more appealing for those who currently attend AND for those who would like to attend but just haven't done so?

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Digging Myself Out. Almost There!

Dear Bloggy Friends,
I know my posts around this here ol' blog have been less than light-hearted.  I realize this.  In fact, if you've been in your own state of funk, reading this here ol' blog has prolly been a real drag for ya.  And for that, I apologize.

The truth is I have been ransacking my brain for something funny, for something positive, for something encouraging and inspiring to share with you.  And for whatever reason, I find myself at a loss.  This means only one of two things...
1.  I have wallowed around so deeply in my own bed of despair that to come up with any hopeful words to share is impossible OR
2.  It's just not the appropriate time to write with humor or sarcasm.

And by appropriate time, I mean the Lord just hasn't given me the words these days.  I sure hope my writer's block can be attributed to the second rather than the first.

My purpose in writing this post is to let you know that I do not plan to stay in this sad place very long.  In fact, if that happens, I'm quite sure it will be the death of me.  For now, I'm allowing grief to do its thing, and I'm fighting through some of the surprising elements it has brought  along the way.

I am certain the Lord has lined up our circumstances in this precise order for a reason.  As we journey through the grieving process, I have found myself less than thrilled with my bouts of insecurity, loneliness, sadness, and new-found fears and frustrations.  But to focus on those is to focus on myself, and I've spent too many years of my life doing that already.

Please be patient with me as I'm slowly digging myself out.  I'm almost there!

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." -Lamentations 3:22-23

Bless the Lord,

Monday, June 4, 2012

The War Raging Inside My Mind: First Person vs. Second Person

I have found myself in a state of transition.  What I used to let define me no longer does.  Always feeling like there was more to this life but never quite knowing how to obtain it.  Realizing at how compartmentalized I have allowed my life to become.  Finding myself so engulfed in my own little world forgetting about other places and more importantly, other people around me.  Coming to the acceptance of my divine appointment and getting a clearer picture of what that looks like.

It's hard to say what hurts more...

Watching a loved one battle an illness that eventually takes her life OR watching her husband ache over her indefinite absence.

Longing for community OR realizing the community around you has missed the mark entirely.

Remembering the path you once walked and the growth spurts along the way OR realizing the journey you are now on may involve steps of faith, many of which may involve you walking alone.

It's hard to say what's more challenging...

Being careful to not criticize others while remembering you once made similarly poor decisions.

Wanting more from this journey knowing you were created for such a time as this while needing support from others in your endeavors.

Becoming disappointed when others don't share the same enthusiasm or vision while being grateful for the ones God has put in your life to hold your hand along the way.

Allowing yourself to not become upset with others for seeming not to care or simply forgetting while remembering the world doesn't revolve around you.

Yes, these unsettling feelings, this unique transition, I know is entirely authored by God.  I know because if it were left up to me, I would choose apathy and complacency.  The decision is not up to me.  I forfeited that right when I asked the Lord to lead my life.  So for now, I wait with expectancy, urgency and a little bit of frustration.  But, I remember how Psalm 139 soothes.

You have searched me, Lord, and you know.  You know when I sit and when I rise.  You perceive my thoughts from afar.  You discern my going out and my lying down.  You are familiar with all my ways.  Before a word is on my tongue, You Lord, know it completely.  You hem me in behind and before and you lay your hand upon me.

What relief there is in knowing your Creator knows you!  Without that, it'd just be you alone with your thoughts.  And although that is often how it feels - lonely - remember you are NOT.  Your time is coming.  It's time to fulfill your mission.  Come, Lord!