Friday, March 28, 2014


why do we give so much of ourselves?  especially once it's been proven to us that we aren't, and won't get near the same in return?  why do we keep giving and holding out hope and seeing things that really don't exist at the expense of our heart, our soul?  what is it about someone that makes us do that?  are we all so broken that we can't value ourselves enough to see a situation for what it really is, see a person for what they are really able to give and walk away with grace if we aren't able to accept both and not expect more?

i was watching the next to last episode of how i met your mother on monday and heard these (paraphrased) words:  we have to keep loving.  it's what we're good at.  it's hard and sometimes it doesn't work, but it's what life is all about, what makes life worth living.  we have to keep loving.

and i found myself agreeing with all of it.  i do love.  i love hard and with a completeness i have recently come to realize i don't do in any other area of my life.  love comes easy for me.  it's something i do with ease, not always without disappointment yet always genuine and real and honest and hopeful.  i'm not sure i'm good at track record would argue that i'm not.  perhaps my love is selfish.  maybe, that while i can love easily, i am unable to love others as they truly need to be loved.  it's possible that my heart isn't capable of trusting enough to let the right people love me.  or that my ridiculous insecurities keep me from showing the right people who i am out of fear that they would then have the power to hurt me too.  honestly, i don't know.

what i do know is that for the first time in a long time i felt God this week.  i felt Him as i always the people He surrounds me with.  words and reassurance, simple gestures and genuine kindness that reminded me i'm not doing this alone.  give it.  accept it.  don't fear it.  embrace it.  when you find yourself lucky enough to share it with someone, work for it...make it a priority.  you never know how long it will last and i guess that's part of the magic...and the misery.   just keep loving...

Sunday, March 23, 2014


what's more important - the big picture, or the details?  when you stop and really think about it, which is it?  i tend to be a big picture kinda girl, yet can find myself hung up on details...if that makes any sense whatsoever.  i'm not great with details...i tend to blame that on my poor memory, but it's likely more a result of the ever-looming ADD i'm fairly certain i have.  my brain just won't slow down long enough to retain details and i have to work hard to not only remember them, but to even see them or focus on them when making plans or learning things.  it's a fault of mine and i'm not proud of it.  on the flip side, i am constantly imagining things - places, stories, people, situations - some of which are based upon memories and some that are simply just day dreams.  but, they are always big picture - a general overview really.

this leads me wonder...who am i?  i mean, obviously i know who i am...but, what do other people see when they look at me?  what do others see in me - the big picture and all the little details?  do they see the me i see or someone/something entirely different?  i know that at the core of it all, i am both...

i am all the little details - my love for wind chimes, sunshine, the sound of laughter, homemade chocolate chip cookies, white daisies, a good book and almost any well as my dislike for cold, brussels sprouts, traffic, mean people, scary movies and snakes.  i'm also every heartbreak, every accomplishment, every failed attempt, every word - written and unpoken...i am my mother and i am my father...i hold pieces of each of my grandparents - some easy to see, others only visible to me...i am my fear of failing, my wish to be something more...i am strong and determined - especially when it comes to people...i am a mom who is often terrified of messing this little person up...i am a writer who wishes she could sing...i am physical touch, quality time and words of affirmation...i cry at movies and want the fairy tale...i am insecure sometimes which leads me to act jealous and clingy...i hate unpredictability and crave familiarity...i dream of traveling all over the world yet can't wait to come heart is always my guide even when it shouldn't be...i tend to see the best in people but then get hurt when they disappoint me...i am human - i make lots of mistakes and i hurt people without meaning to...i try really hard to be honest - most of all with myself...and when it's all said and done, i pray i do enough good in my life to outweigh the bad.

and i am the big picture...all of those things wrapped up into a 4'10", 95 pound, 36 year old redhead with freckles with the big smile and hazel eyes who tends to be too loud but who loves fiercely and has a hard time making decisions.  i am crazy protective of those i love and give until you've pushed me so far that i truly have nothing more to give.  i can be a little too serious, yet have an ornery side.  and it's more important than anything that i make a anyone i know, anyone i work with...even to those whose path i may only cross for an instant.  i fear not being enough, but hate that part of me.  i wish i didn't need validation from anyone yet am honest enough with myself to know that's just not true.

i think it's important to know who we be aware of what makes  it's within that knowing that we are able to give the best of us, yet also be able to see the parts that need...well, a little more work.  i believe we are all a constant work in progress...that God is continually molding us and shaping us to do His work...i'm also fairly certain there are parts of me that He likely has no idea what to do with yet He loves me anyway and keeps patiently working on those stubborn parts through forgiveness, mercy and grace.

i hope we are each able to see those in our lives - and those we maybe just pass on the street - with that same amount of compassion remembering none of us are one or the other....we are every detail and the whole picture.  it's within those details we become whole.  the hope is that others are able to see us as just that...whole, no matter how many cracks we have.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


what's one thing you wish people knew about you?  i asked this question to a variety of my friends...a couple wanted more time to think about their answer, one said he just wants people to get to know him, one was actually very philosophical, but the rest had different versions of the exact same answer..."i wish people knew i'm not as strong as they think i am".

i've thought about this all day.  first of all, why do we feel the need to make others think we're so strong?  is it because we truly care that much about what others think...or, is it more to convince ourselves that we're strong enough to handle whatever life throws at us?  secondly, why if we work so hard to make others think we're so strong, do we wish they knew we aren't?  is that so that we can stop pretending?  or, so we can be more forgiving of ourselves if we can't, in fact, handle everything with the ease we feel we should?  why the need to put on such a show?

i mean, there are things we each face that are just too hard - at least temporarily.  yet, we still expend a ton of energy making sure everyone around us sees us as this unquestionable force, capable of dealing with every trial, every load of crap that gets dumped on us when in reality, sometimes all we wanna do is give up and have a good cry.  i know, i know, weakness is a sign that we're somehow less...somehow incapable of doing...doing what?  everything?  carrying not only our own burdens but those of everyone around us as well?  because, if you really think about it, that's part of it.  we want...we be able to step up to the plate whenever we're needed - even if we really don't have it in us to do it at the time.  we don't want to disappoint those around us...even at our own expense.

i went to church camp as a kid for years and to this day one thing stands out to was the closing campfire of the week, we had spent five days bonding with kids who had been complete strangers just days before...and on that last night, we were asked to create a mask that we then placed on the fire.  these masks represented the us we put in front of the world, not necessarily who we really were.  these masks held within them our insecurities, our fears, our hopes for what we wished others could see in us...if only we would allow them.  we were just kids...jr. high age i'm fairly certain, yet we were able to grasp that at even at that young age we were already posing for the world around us...most often to protect us from the cruelty that comes from being different.

i suppose you want to know my answer to the earlier question.  what do i wish others knew about me...well, my easy answer is that i'm actually shy - yeah, i'll never believe it and to anyone i gave that answer to the response was always the same "you hide it well".  but, it's the truth.  i hate walking into places alone, especially crowded places where everyone else appears to be with someone.  i'm honestly terrible at small talk - unless you count the mindless banter that comes with a complete stranger while waiting in line.  if i'm honest, i overcompensate with being overly friendly or if you watch close enough, i actually become quiet.

here's the thing, it's actually hard for me to answer this question because at this point i'm not sure what you all don't know about me.  maybe that i'm terrified of falling into the same depression so many of my family members have been plagued with for years.  or that i fear failing so much that i don't even try many things...that way i don't have to deal with the disappointment of screwing up.  i read once that is actually a form of perfectionism...the article was very convincing although i in no way consider myself a perfectionist (i'm too lazy for that).  but, most of all, i want people to know that i am exactly who they think i am...i am exactly who i appear to be...a ridiculous mess of anxious and excited, rarely organized in anyway that might make sense to anyone else, an over thinker who sees absolute reality yet follows her heart always, an extrovert who struggles with too much alone time yet gets claustrophobic in crowds and maybe most importantly...almost always strong to the point of exhaustion - because i've finally realized i need to be needed like that almost as much as i need air...yet, i am weak too...i crack just like everyone else...rarely is it in front of others, but it happens and i've learned to let it happen when it does.  i am genuinely happy and truly love my life.  it's not an act, i assure you.  i'm not trying to make you think i'm strong, nor do i care if you think i am.  i am simply just me.  

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


what would you do if you could do anything and knew you wouldn't fail?  and i mean anything.  i asked a few people this question earlier this week and got a variety of answers - most of which centered around career dreams, but one boldly said "world peace - if i knew i could do it and it would stick, i would make world peace happen".  each answer made me smile.  i loved the loftiness of them; like i gave them permission to really think about their life like the nine year old version of themselves would - full of promise and opportunity, lacking disappointment and failure, certain that the world is theirs for the  their answers came quickly with little hesitation.  and then the same thing happened with each one...they turned the question around on me...

that used to be a tough question for me to answer for some reason.  i think it leads back to being in college and reading through course catalogs, trying to find something that interested me enough to commit to doing it for the rest of my life.  which lead me to changing my major...oh, five times.  i see the world with so many possibilities, yet am acutely aware of my abilities and limitations which typically causes me to be overly practical and cautious and doesn't allow much room for absolute daydreaming.  but, this time it was easy for me...

i would write.  books, magazines...whatever i want.  without the fear of failing.  and i would...wait for it...these are the entertaining a motivational speaker or have my own talk show.  i know.  those are a bit out there, but this is all about "if you could do anything and not fail", at this point in my life, those are my "if i could's".

i suppose the flip side of this coin would be to imagine your life exactly as you want it...maybe easier to imagine...maybe easier to create in some ways, more difficult in others.  oddly, that dream is way more simple for me and doesn't involve a life much different than the one i currently lead...  i have a job i genuinely love, a daughter i wouldn't replace for anything, a family i love like crazy and friends i can't imagine living without.  those are the important things, but if i am totally honest i would say that i dream of creating a life, a home, with someone...or, even at this point, finding the perfect little home for m and my dream we travel - a my dream i find ways to spend even more time with those friends and family who mean so much to me...and i maybe drive a different car although i can't say what...and i find a way to make peace with the things that haunt me...  i wouldn't wish to be taller and i don't need a big house or a ton of money.  i would fix sarah's heart and bring carter back....and i wouldn't waste a single minute on stupid things, but waste as much time as possible on the little things that when you add them all up make up a lifetime of perfect.

take time to imagine your life without any self-imposed boundaries.  what does it look like?  and how badly do you want to get there?  dare to take one tiny step forward and see where it gets you.  even if you end up taking two steps backwards, you will at least know that you weren't afraid to try.  your dreams, your life, are only as big...or as you allow them to be.


who do you surround yourself with?  who do you choose to share your life with...the mundane, day-to-day stuff...and, more importantly, the deeply intimate pieces of you that lie far beneath the surface?  do you carefully select those you let in or do you open up willingly to anyone who will listen?  i've thought a lot lately about the people in my life...all of which, at this point, are on this journey with me because i want them to be.  it's said that we tend to become like those we spend the most time with, and after really thinking about it, i gotta say that's pretty much dead on.  which leads me to want to surround myself - and m - with the best people possible.  some people suck the life right out of you while others do the exact opposite...they build you up and encourage your dreams and help you however you need them to even if that means offering a shoulder or making you laugh or buying you a drink or just reminding you that this life is better lived when shared.  they meet you right where you're at and don't expect you to be anything you're not.  their love is genuine and so is their friendship.  they are good people. 

so...who do you surround yourself with?  are you proud of the people you call friends?  do they make your life better or do you feel somehow less (or more, i suppose, if they cause you stress or anxiety) when you are with them?  and when you choose to share your life with someone; don't choose the better person...choose the one who makes YOU a better person.